Sex-racket accused, Tukde-award wapasi gang, Urban Maoists, Marxist malcontents among speakers; Lit Fest director tells media not to call BJP, RSS leaders for TV debates
The third edition of ‘Kerala Literature Festival’ hogged the limelight for all wrong reasons as it happened to be a platform for the convergence of all anti-national forces, the infamous ‘Breaking India’ brigade. Much to the dismay of public, the anti-national event was co-sponsored by the BJP Government itself – the Tourism Ministry and other PSUs like Air India. The Tourism Ministry is reported to have given Rs 20 lakh from the exchequer to host the event.
As expected, the venue was infested by the likes of Romila Thapar, Arundhati Roy, Prakash Raj, etc., along with other Communist writers (CITU writers) from the state. Among those who were present in a session was Rahul Pasupalan, the Kiss of Love protest hero, who was arrested by Kerala Police under various acts including IPC and POCSO, for alleged involvement in a sex racket and child trafficking. Spreading canards against nationalists and asserting the anti-national narratives in public domain, the Leftist literary festival has ended up as a litter festival, said a student who attended the event. Though the Leftist dominated lit-film festivals are not new to the people of Kerala, Kerala Literature Festival was characterised by a strong anti-national and anti-Hindu fervour.
Owing to ignorance or apathy, the Union government has consistently been funding the anti-national fiestas like Kerala Literature Festival and Kochi Muziris Biennale in the state. This is to be analysed against the backdrop of the unprecedented rise of secessionist tendencies which have been spawned by the Communist-Jihadist-Evangelist axis.
The speeches of Prakash Raj and Arundhati Roy flavoured with anti-national and anti-Hindutva rants got submerged in the applause. The frenzy it has created among the participants was evident in the reports that appeared in various national dailies. Director of the Kerala Literature Festival K Satchidanandan has abused the platform to cater the need of his political masters and went so far as to the extent to declare that the RSS-BJP sympathisers or leaders should not be allowed to take part in the Lit Fest. Later, while giving a clarification, Satchidanandan reiterated that the RSS-BJP leaders should not be invited even to television channel debates. Social media is flooded with scathing criticisms against the intolerance and ideological bankruptcy of Satchidanandan and the CPM, the party to which he is affiliated, as both had conveniently raised the bogey of intolerance to put the union government in a fix.
The harsh criticism against Sangh Parivar in the Lit Fest put one of its sponsors, the Union Minister Alphons Kannanthanam on the defensive. Feeling the heat of the local leaders of BJP and RSS activists, the minister was forced to bite back the festival director over his regressive statement against nationalists and concede to the fact that the festival propagated only Leftist ideas.
The state BJP leaders are annoyed and outraged by the naïve decision of the Tourism Ministry to fund the event, which laid bare its political affiliations and interests last year. The literature festival, organised by DC Books, provided a common public platform for Leftist and Islamist extremists last year. The Sangh Parivar insiders also found a reason for the Tourism Minister Alphons’ favouritism that he had served as the district collector in Calicut during his stint as an IAS officer.
Condemning the statement of Sachidanandan, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said that if the Lit Fest was meant only for Leftists, it should be funded by the AKG Centre (the state headquarters of CPM). Not all writers follow the dictate issued by the AKG Centre. He also added that a cleansing process is inevitable in the cultural realm of Kerala to ensure space for diverse voices. The other state leaders like K Surendran also lashed out at the event. The BJP state leadership had protested the tourism minister’s release of funds for the anti-government event. With similar unfavourable and undesirable incidents recurring, the state Sangh Parivar leadership is likely to approach both Prime Minister and the party chief Amit Shah.