Kerala college in soup over 'defamatory' portrayal of PM

A government-run polytechnic institute in Kerala has courted controversy over a “defamatory” portrayal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in its annual magazine. 

The police registered a case under Section 153 of the IPC against seven people including the principal of the institute and the magazine’s student editor following protests from the local BJP and Yuvamorcha units.

Litsokniga – the 2012-13 magazine published by the Government Polytechnic College in Kunnamkulam in Thrissur district – features Modi in a section titled ‘Negative Faces’ where the prime minister shares space with Adolf Hitler, Osama bin Laden, Veerappan, Ajmal Kasab and eight other men who complete a Hall of Shame as pictured by the magazine’s editorial team.

In the backdrop of the controversy, the college authorities withdrew circulation of the magazine on Tuesday.

The college magazine that was compiled and designed last year was released only in February this year. Baburaj, Principal in-charge of the institute, said college authorities had not “noticed” the section that triggered the controversy.

“The magazine was released on February 21 itself but it was circulated among students only last week. Since the content has now led to a controversy, we have decided to withdraw the magazine,” Baburaj told Deccan Herald on Tuesday.

The decision to withdraw the magazine was taken after a meeting of college authorities and teachers.

 The college administrators have sought an explanation from the magazine’s editors who maintained that the issue was being politicised. Earlier, members of Yuvamorcha staged protests against the college union for “defaming” a democratically elected prime minister. 

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