The Student Federation of India (SFI) has sustained its protests against Governor Dr Arif Mohammad Khan for over a month amid the ongoing confrontation between the CPM-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Governor in Kerala. In a striking move, the SFI erected a board at the Kerala State School Youth Festival venue, inscribed in Malayalam, expressing strong disapproval of the Governor, reading ‘Hell with the Governor’. This festival, renowned as Asia’s most prominent youth arts festival, has been a consistent annual event since its inception in 1957, barring interruptions due to the pandemic. However, the festival had never witnessed such a direct and politically charged display in its history. The incident gained traction after being reported by the Malayalam news channel, Janam TV, prompting police intervention to remove the board. This action by the SFI has drawn criticism, exposing the party’s intentions amid ongoing anti-Governor agitations attributed to the CPM, DYFI, and SFI. This move has brought to light the political nature of these actions before the public eye, impacting parents, students, educators, the media, and festival attendees, revealing the true colors of the CPM parivar.
BJP State President K Surendran remarked that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM] harbors animosity towards the Governor due to his firm stance against inappropriate Vice Chancellor appointments and illegal placements of wives of CPM leaders in various universities.
Additionally, senior CPM leader and former minister M.M. Mani resorted to his customary derogatory language, describing the Governor using the highly objectionable term ‘nasty’. Mani directed this disparaging remark at the constitutional head of state, blaming the Governor for not sanctioning the Kerala Government Land Assignment (Amendment) Bill 2023. He further criticised the business community for inviting the Governor to Idukki, his own home district, to preside over a program scheduled for January 9.
The upcoming hartal called by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) on January 9 in the district coincides with the CPM’s planned Bhavan March, aiming to protest against the Governor. Despite this, Governor Paimpillil, the Idukki district president of the Business-Industries Coordination Council, affirmed that their scheduled program for the Governor’s participation would proceed as planned. The Governor was scheduled to inaugurate the Karunyam Family Welfare Scheme.
On January 6, members of the Student Federation of India (SFI) brandished black flags at the Governor’s convoy. Although the police intervened promptly and thwarted their attempt before reaching the vehicles, a confrontation ensued. Surprisingly, despite the altered route of the Governor’s convoy, SFI members managed to reach the location. This occurrence raises concerns about possible security breaches within the police force, an issue previously highlighted by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Allegations suggest that certain elements within the police force pose a threat to the nation’s safety and security, a concern reiterated by the BJP.