The government of Kerala (GoK), manned by the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF), is pluralistic, as its leaders claim. But, now, their “pluralism” has a different dimension; the “pluralism” is wielded as a tool to shackle the media and media men. It is the methodology used to silence the critics. The police have registered a case against Anil Nambiar, “Janam” Malayalam news channel’s Programme & Current Affairs Head. It is on the basis of a complaint filed by a Congress leader.
It is alleged that the case is in the wake of the Janam TV news on Kalamasserry bomb blast of October 29. It comes close on the heels of the case registered against Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar in connection with his social media post against Pinarayi Vijayan’s regime in the light of the Kalamasserry blasts. The minister had blamed the LDF regime for the failure of the law and order situation in the state. He also alleged that the LDF’s approach to the extremist forces is soft. He had come down heavily on the GoK for the virtual address of the former Hamas chief in connection with the concave organised in Malappuram by Solidarity Youth Movement, the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind.
Rajeev Chandrasekhar has been charged under IPC 153 (Intervention for instigating enmity in the society) and 153 (A) (meant for creating enmity between two communities). It is an unbailable offence.
Anil Nambiar and “Team Janam” have been charged for ‘hate reporting’. Other victims are “Reporter” Malayalam news channel in connection with the reporting of Kalamasserry blasts. A case has also been filed against the channel’s coordinating Editor Sujaya Parvati. Interestingly, Reporter TV’s general policy appears to be pro-CPM, pro-LDF, and pro-CM Pinarayi Vijayan. On the other hand, Sujaya Parvati appears to be a sympathiser of Sangh-inspired organisers. Despite working for “Reporter” channel, her issue-based presentations have been drawing the attention of nationalists and right-thinking people. In fact, she had to leave her former workplace, another channel, allegedly due to differences of opinion regarding her pro-nationalist stands. After leaving the channel, she addressed addressed few programmes of Sangh-inspired organisations.
BJP spokesman Sandeep G Warrier faces legal action too, again with respect to the speeches about Kalamasserry blasts.
Few months before, Shajan Sakaria, the owner and editor of “Marunadan Malayali”, a popular Malayalam online journal, was jailed for several weeks for several cases, including forgery of documents. But the people believe that he was booked for carrying several anti-government news stories.
In the past, cases had been registered for social media posts against the government and the chief minister.
On the other hand, if social media posts are against Hindu organisations, Hindu Gods, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, people do not hear about the cases registered against the people behind them. That is why the BJP alleges a double standard in GoK’s approach to the defamation cases.