A college magazine in Kerala published provocative cartoons on the National Anthem and withdrew them after massive furor.
Brennen College in Thalassery, which is also the alma mater of Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan, published a cartoon of a couple having sex in a movie theater while the National Anthem is being played. It also had a second images of a penis-shaped TV remote on a hand that is tied down by a Sangh Parivar flag. This and a few other cartoons published created a furor, following which they were taken down.
The college has an SFI student union and had recently published their college magazine titled ‘Pellet’. The cover had a cartoon of an injured person with pellet wounds.
The cartoon of the couple having sex had a caption that read,
The nationalism of standing up in theatre, the nationalism of reading Manusmrithi in streets.
In no time, ABVP students raised an objection on the cartoons and alleged that the cartoons are anti-national. Priju, ABVP leader at Brennen College, commented,
There are also other defamatory contents by representation of vagina and penis. Also offensive articles are there against the army by supporting radicals in Kashmir, which is against our Nation.
In response to the wide protests by students, the college withdrew two pages from the magazine. SFI secretary, Viji, commented on the BJP and said,
Has the ABVP and other groups taken a quotation for patriotism? There is nothing anti-national in the magazine, nothing at all.
In a desperate attempt to save face, SFI agreed to taken down the two pages and tried hard to maintain peace on the campus. Sanadh, a member of the college editorial team, revealed,
They aren’t having sex in the theatre, but on a road outside the theatre. In the cartoon, there is a road that leads to outside the theatre and that is where they are having sex. Our intention was to protest against the Sangh Parivar groups and expose their hypocrisy. On one hand, they preach patriotism and on the other hand, they attack women on the road. We have been seeing such instances especially in UP.
When asked about the drawings, the principal of the colleg said that there is nothing wrong with the magazine and added that certain drawings could cause misunderstandings “if viewed from a narrow-minded perspective”.
Of all the provocative cartoons published, the SFI has only taken down two drawings and have not agreed to edit the objectionable content from the magazine.