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Kerala College Doesnt Want Some Words In Its Magazine, Students Protest

KOZHIKODE:  A college magazine in Kerala is back in the news, this time because students are protesting the college authorities banning words such as beef, dalit and fascism from the publication. Authorities at the Nadapuram Government Arts and Science College in rural Kozhikode feel the under-graduate students were going too far with their coverage of political topics and want the students to tone down their criticism.

“These are attempts to silence students. We won’t stay silent to such dictatorial editorial rules,” said Vaishnav Prabha, one of the protesting students against the “diktat”. Students say they will continue to protest within the college campus till the restrictions are withdrawn.

Faseena A, who had written an article for the magazine, said the college had told them to “edit out our Marxist writings, caricatures including an interview” of a Congress lawmaker. “That is why we can’t just simply accept this,” he said.

College authorities, however, insist that it had become necessary to draw the red line for the students because they had taken things too far.

“National symbols, personalities and even sentiments were insulted. And action against this had to be taken,” Dr M Jyothiraj, the college principal told NDTV.

“This magazine became overly political. That’s why we were forced to demand certain words be edited out, but this is not curtailing of free speech,” the principal said, suggesting that the effort was to steer clear of unnecessary controversies.

In June this year, a magazine brought out by Brennan College students in Kannur landed many students in trouble for a controversial sketch of a couple having sex at a movie theatre with the national flag in the background on the screen. The police had also registered a case after right-wing political student bodies protested, insisting that it insulted the national flag.

Earlier in 2014, 9 students of a college in the state’s Guruvayur district were arrested for using, what the police had underlined, was “objectionable and unsavoury” language against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, garbed as a crossword puzzle.