Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016 appears to be giving the platform for anti-national Kashmiri voices to publicly raise fissiparous slogans
T Satisan, Kerala
When Biennale was launched in December 2012 people of Kerala accorded it hearty welcome. But, it looks like; the organisers do not care much about the integration and unity of the country when they host programmes. They areleast bothered about the participants making use of a prestigious platform for their anti-national slogans.
The latest incident took place on December 24 in the main venue in Fort Kochi. Some artists, said to be from Kashmir, had performed Kashmiri art forms under the banner of Students’ Biennale. At the end of the programme, five girls and 15 boys raised the Kashmiri separatist slogans such as “Khoon se lenge azadi,” “Chheen ke lenge azadi” and “Kashmir ko azadi”. The other slogans demanded the retreat of Bharatiya army and police; some others were in favour of Burhan Wani. They denounced PM Modi in vulgar language. The demonstration was in the presence of the audience and the police. When they attempted to interact with the audience stiff opposition came from the people. Adv. N.V Sanoo from Alappuzha led the resistance.
Adv. Sanoo informed that he had met the police officers and explained the whole episode to them. Sanoo, a Central Govt Standing Counsel in Kerala High Court, added that some people from among the audience joined the sloganeering too. When he questioned it, a Kashmiri justified it and asked him: “Doesn’t Kerala need Azadi”? He claimed, he is the good friend of Omar Khalid, the infamous JNU man and close associate of Kanhaiya Kumar. When some RSS workers got the information of the incident they came to the venue. They, led by Krishnakumar and Biju, asked the organisers about it who claimed to be unaware about the incident. Mattancherry Asst. Commissioner of Police S. Vijayan and Circle Inspector of Police Rajkumar assured the RSS workers that they would take appropriate actions after viewing the camera visuals. It is alleged that the organisers did not permit the media persons and police officers to enter the venue. Off the record, it is told that Biennale gets abundant grant from both the State and the Centre.
Controversies are not new to Biennale. During the first Biennale (2012) the venue was decorated with the flags of various countries,
including that of the flags of global terrorist groups like the Islamic State. The same year they exhibited the dummy of a martyr who was taken to Portugal and executed there for acting against the will of Vasco da Gama. It is high time the authorities keep an eye on what is happening under the mask of Biennale.
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