Pouravakasha Vedi (Forum for Citizenship Rights), organisers of Abhipraya Swathanthrya Sammelanam (Right To Expression Conference), a programme to propagate solidarity with Siddiq Kappan, the self-styled jounalist, has given up the very idea of the conference which was scheduled to be held at Kozhikode, Kerala, at 4pm today, October 5, 2022.
A lot of ‘VIPs’ had agreed to address the programme. They were Panakkat Munavarali Shihab Thangal (member of Panakkad Thangal family, the first family of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML). Head of this family is considered to be the spiritual leader of Kerala Muslims), Congress leader M.K. Raghavan MP, Revolutionary Marxist Party leader K.K. Rema MLA (widow of slain rebel CPM leader who was allegedly killed by CPM cadres), IUML leader P. Obaidulla MLA, O. Abdulla (former editor of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s mouthpiece and TV debator representating Islamic forces for countering Hindu and nationalist forces), former Naxalite leader Gro Vasu, Pro Left Observer K. Noushadali, Anjana Sasi (Secretary, Kerala Journalists Union), M. Firoz Khan (President, Journalists Union, Kozikode), N.P. Chekkutty (former editor of an Islamic newspaper), Raihanath Siddiq and Mehna Siddiq, wife and daughter of Kappan respectively. The excuse the organisers mention for the cancellation is the ‘threat from Sangh Parivar’ !
In fact, there was not an iota of threat from Hindu movements. BJP district leader had asked the organisers to give up the conference in view of the shot in the arm the programme may give to the anti-national forces. They had requested the authorities of the historic Kozhikode Town Hall not to permit its premises as a venue for such a programme. They had submitted petitions before the revenue and police brass not to permit such a programme. And, that is all.
Reports from Kozhikode suggest that the elected peoples’ representatives withdrew from the programme, hence the authorities decided to cancel it. It is clear that elected representatives were afraid of the possible consequences if they participated in a programme for the benefit of a man who is behind the bars for anti-national activities. Kappan was arrested in Uttar Pradesh when he allegedly went there to join the agitation against Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 unleashed by the anti-national forces which turned violent and anti-national.
In Kerala, Communists and Islamic forces are raising pro- Kappan statements quite often, thanks to the simple reason of ‘minority vote bank’.
There are reports from New Delhi that Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ) has cancelled their similar programme scheduled to take place in Delhi in the wake of the surveillance by central agencies.