‘Cutting South 2023’, a global media conclave scheduled to begin on March 25 at Ernakulam Town Hall in Kerala, has sparked controversy and concern in India. The media conclave is being organised by the Kerala Media Academy in association with Newslaundry, The News Minute, Confluence Media, Canada and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ). However, the event has been criticised for its alleged links to separatist forces and its funding by unknown sources.
The event aims to promote good journalism, especially with a focus on southern India and the Global South. However, media commentators have accused the organisers of having an anti-India agenda and pushing secessionist narratives in South India. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader and Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan, will inaugurate the conclave, and Congress leader and Kerala’s Leader of the Opposition VD Satheesan and CPIM leader and Kerala Minister P Rajeeve will attend.
The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has filed a charge sheet against the banned Popular Front of India (PFI) which plans to make South India a hub for Islamic terrorism in an attempt to make India an Islamic country. The media conclave is being organised to give impetus to the agenda of anti-India forces, such as the PFI, of dividing India and promoting separatism in South India.
There is no clarity on who is funding the conclave, but media observers allege that anti-India groups in the US and Canada are behind it. Some journalists have raised concerns about the agenda of the conclave and its alleged links to separatist forces.
Earlier, there were reports that Goa governor and BJP leader, Dr PS Sreedharan Pillai, would be attending the event. According to reports, his name was included in the publicity notice too. However, in an official statement, Sreedharan Pillai clarified that he had no connection with the event and that the reports were baseless. He said, “I have no connection with the event ‘Cutting South 2023’, which is scheduled to take place in Kerala. I have not received any invitation, nor will I be attending the event.”
Neither Raj Bhavan, nor Hon'ble Governor has given consent for the participation in the programme. It is, therefore, informed that such an organization is strange to Hon'ble Governor and hence, in no way connected with His Excellency. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/NFYZG8erIm
— P.S Sreedharan Pillai (@psspillaigov) March 24, 2023
This development has added another layer of controversy to the event, with some questioning the organisers’ claim of having prominent political leaders in attendance. The event is scheduled to be a three-day conclave, and its outcome and impact on the media landscape in India are being closely watched.
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