Kerala Governor Dr. Arif Mohammed Khan ignored the threats and challenges of SFI and CPM and reached Calicut Varsity campus, on December 16 to stay there for a couple of days. SFI had threatened that they would not let the governor step onto any university campus. But the governor, before emplaning from New Delhi, had said that none could frighten him. He said, that if SFI goons came closer to his vehicle and attacked it, he would alight from the car. The car is public property and, hence, should not be hit. He said they can hit him if they want.
SFI men protested two hours before the Governor’s arrival. Anticipating stiff protests, there was stringent police protection around the Calicut Varsity guest house. But police arrested the protesters and removed them at least a couple of hours before the governor’s arrival. The SFI state president and secretary led the protests and raised derogatory slogans against the Governor. The visuals speak out that the police treatment to SFI men was ‘too soft to believe’.
After reaching the varsity guest house, the governor asked, while talking to the media, where the protest was. He said, “he did not see any protest.” He reiterated his stand that the protesters cannot hit the car; they can hit him if they want. He said, “Swami Vivekananda is his role model. Swamji had called on the people to face the attackers boldly. SFI men are criminals. CM has hired them. CM sponsored the protests. State is in acute financial crisis; government is unable to pay even the pension. CM wants to divert people’s attention from this pathetic condition. People who worked for 30 to 40 years do not get pensions, whereas the politically appointed personal staff of the ministers get pensions after working for two and half years. Kerala’s economy depends on the monies remitted by the elite people who leave Kerala and work abroad or in other states.
The governor added that he is answerable to the president of the country alone. Answering a question regarding the saffronisation of the varsities, he shot back: “Lot of ancient temples are in the state. Is that saffronisation too?” He said that saffron is the most suitable colour for the eyes, according to Quran.
In the meantime, CM Pinarayi Vijayan alleged that the governor used bad words against the SFI workers and violated the protocol by coming out from the car. (There were reports that Governor said, the attackers were criminals. He said so when the SFI men blocked and hit his car on December 14 in Thiruvananthapuram). CM said, SFI’s protest is natural and Governor had invited it.
Governor governor travelled to Kozhikode to attend the wedding ceremony of Shaheen Ali Shihab Thangal, the son of Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) state president Panakkad Sadiqali Shihab Thangal. Interestingly, SFI had declared that they would not protest against the Governor during his travel for the wedding ceremony. But, they are going to protest on December 18 when Governor inaugurates a seminar on “The Contributions of Sree Narayana Gurudev, Chattambi Swamiji & Shubhananda Gurudev towards the renaissance of Kerala”, the programme organised, under the joint auspices of Sanatana Dharma Peetam and Bharatiya Vichara Kendram, at Calicut Varsity campus. Calicut Varsity Vice Chancellor M.K. Jayaraj presides.
Union Minister V Muraleedharan said that SFI did not protest when the governor went to attend the wedding of the IUML’s leader’s son but is going to protest when he inaugurates the seminar or Sree Narayana Guru, because, they are against Guru. Regarding the allegation of saffronisation of the campuses by the Governor, Minister said that CM should get a knowledgeable person to read and explain to him the by-laws of the universities; then he would realise the power of the Chancellor to nominate people to the Senate based on his own discretion.
Gone are the days when the governor was supposed to sign the list sent from the CPM office. ABVP workers are competent to be Senate members. The minister added that CM Pinarayi speaks the language of criminal politicians, not of a CM or Home Minister. Referring to the Nava Kerala Sadas, Union Minister said that CM and his colleagues travel the whole state, spending the tax payers’ money, to abuse the Prime Minister and the Governor. He encourages violence against the protesters and the governor.
After the seminar, Governor is scheduled to return to Thiruvananthapuram on December 18. And, Police is all set to take stringent steps for his safe travel from Thiruvananthapuram airport to Raj Bhavan.
The governor instructed the police to remove the banners erected in the Calicut Varsity campus against him. He asked them who permitted the SFI men to erect such banners in the campus. He has also asked the Raj Bhavan secretary to seek explanation from the Vice Chancellor about the banners in the campus.