KL This Week: Journalist Files Complaint Against Actor-Turned-BJP Leader Suresh Gopi
Image credit: IMDB
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the key developments from Kerala during the past week, including the state government strongly opposing the decision of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) to replace ‘India’ with ‘Bharat’ in textbooks, a woman journalist deciding to pursue legal action against actor and former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Suresh Gopi, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor being criticised for his observations in the Palestine solidarity meeting, and the observation of the 77th anniversary of the historic Punnapra-Vayalar uprising.
KERALA REJECTS NCERT"S PROPOSAL ON NAME CHANGE
CM Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier opposed the recommendation of NCERT to replace the name of the country from India with Bharat. "Our Constitution recognises both names, and this change appears to be another step in the Sangh Parivar's ongoing effort to impose their divisive communalism in our educational institutions and curriculum," he wrote on the microblogging site 'X'.
The minister for general education in the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, V Sivankutty, said that the state government will reject the recommendation by NCERT. He also accused the Union government of refraining from discussing with state governments before making key decisions.
"Some decisions are attempts to saffronise the education system and insert distorted history through such measures. We should not deny the next generation the opportunity to study the actual history of the nation," he said.
The LDF government has also resisted the Centre’s moves to remove portions from several textbooks including political science, history, sociology, and economics.
JOURNALIST FILES CASE AGAINST BJP LEADER
A case has been filed against Suresh Gopi, an actor-turned-politician from the BJP for inappropriate behaviour with a woman journalist during a press meet in Kozhikode. The actor who was a nominated MP for a term in the Rajya Sabha, reportedly touched the shoulder of the woman journalist while she raised a question and “repeated” the action despite her resistance.
The journalist and the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) demanded an apology from the actor. Suresh Gopi claimed that he touched the journalist only in a friendly manner and refrained from tendering an apology following which a complaint was filed.
Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) held protest marches in Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur condemning the inappropriate behaviour of the BJP leader.
Women members of the DYFI burned the effigy of actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi in Thrissur.
PALESTINE SOLIDARITY: CONTROVERSY OVER SHASHI THAROOR’S REMARKS
Several political, social, and youth organisations held Palestine solidarity gatherings, seminars, and marches during the week. The organisations unequivocally condemned the attack by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip under the disguise of eliminating members of Hamas.
Meanwhile, the remarks of Congress leader and MP, Shashi Tharoor on Hamas, while addressing a solidarity gathering organised by the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), have invited criticism. Though Tharoor claimed that the media picked a sentence to criticise him, his name has been removed from another solidarity gathering scheduled to be held on October 30.
Candlelight protests and night marches were organised during the week by the DYFI in solidarity with the people of Palestine facing unprecedented attacks by Israeli forces.
A night march was held on October 28 by DYFI in Payyanur, Kannur district. (Courtesy: DYFI Kerala)
PUNNAPRA VAYALAR UPRISING ANNIVERSARY OBSERVED
The observance of the 77th anniversary of the historic Punnapra-Vayalar uprising concluded on October 26 at Vayalar near Cherthala in Alappuzha district after the conduct of several programmes for a week organised together by the Communist Party of India (CPI) and Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)].
Coir workers, agricultural workers, and peasants organised an armed struggle against Travancore State which was led by Diwan Sir C P Ramaswamy Aiyar in 1946. The state had the support of the British army as well. The workers were organised under the Coir Workers’ Union by the CPI against the atrocities of the landlords and starvation.
The uprising was brutally suppressed by police and the army with an unknown number of workers killed during the struggle. This struggle led to Travancore joining the state of India a year later with the formation of Travancore-Cochin state.
YELLOW ALERT IN FIVE DISTRICTS
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted heavy to isolated heavy rainfall in five districts on October 29, followed by yellow alerts for central and northern districts till October 30 as the northeast monsoon has brought rainfall across the state. Though rainfall has reduced in Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Pathanamthitta, and Alappuzha districts the overall rainfall has been above normal and normal in the 4 districts.
Idukki, Thrissur, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasargod districts still have deficient rainfall (-59% to -20%) for the period between October 1 and 28, while Thiruvananthapuram and Pathanamthitta have large excess (+60% and above).
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