The southern state of Kerala is the mirage for the left-liberals and the entire cabal loves to portray it every now and then as the perfect model of effective governance. However, that mirage has once again been shattered by none other than the ruling LDF party which has brought in a draconian ordinance that will effectively cull the Freedom of Speech (FoE) of any individual of the state. From the failed Kerala health model that couldn’t even compete with Bihar to the fascist gag order—the fall and fall of the Pinarayi Vijayan government has been spectacular and worrying, to say the least.
The Governor’s house on Saturday confirmed that the ordinance pushed by the Kerala government which incorporates a new Section, 118 (A), in the Kerala Police Act was signed and made into law. Accordingly, any person who creates or sends any information that is offensive or is intended to offend or threaten another person, through any means of communication, is liable to face imprisonment of three years or a fine of Rs 10,000 or both.
Chief Minister Vijayan came up with a sorry reason saying the decision was guided by growing abuse on social media targeting individuals—the effective translation being ‘We can’t handle some keyboard warriors coming at us and, therefore, we are going to use the entire state machinery to hound you and put you behind the bars, all whilst keeping the important things as ‘governing the state’ on the back burner’.
‘Experts’ of the domain have called the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s order to cull free speech as a monumental decision by not outraging at all. The usual suspects (Read: Arfa’s and Swara’s) who more often than not cry at the top of their hoarse voices whenever unjust is happening in the society have preferred to observe a stoic silence.
Of course, if any BJP ruled-state had introduced such an ordinance, all hell would have broken loose and there would have been earth-shattering discontentment. The placard gang would have been out, the ‘award-vapasi’ gang would have woken up from its deep slumbers magically, Jantar Mantar would have been blocked for ‘Democracy-saving’ protests and the North-East Delhi riot-esque scenes would have once again ensued, parallels of Pakistan being a better country in terms of FoE would have been drawn and the ‘wokes’ of the country would have written fancy and unusually long posts on social media comparing PM Modi to a fascist leader like Hitler—and the usual hullabaloo.
However, some outrage did came from Congress and one of its old-guard P Chidamabaram took to social media to claim that the Kerala government’s order to make ‘offensive’ post on social media punishable by 3 years in prison has shocked him.
Shocked by the law made by the LDF government of Kerala making a so-called ‘offensive’ post on social media punishable by 5 years in prison
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 22, 2020
Although the former Union Minister’s condemnation is applaudable, one cannot help but reminisce the ‘utopian’ UPA rule where Chidamabaram himself used the draconian Section 66A of IT act to settle personal scores. UPA had injected life into the act by bringing it into force in 2010.
Cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, who was arrested in Mumbai in September 2012, under section 66A of IT Act as well as various other provisions over allegations of ‘insulting’ the national emblem and drawing a cartoon, was one of the many individuals tried by the UPA government under the punitive act.
Expecting a response from the left-liberal cabal to a decision by the progressive Communist regime was a pipe dream and nobody honestly anticipated it. The lobby had kept mum when Gestapo-like police were operating in Maharashtra and arresting commoners like Sameet Thakkar and dragging him in chains like some hardened criminal.
Consequently, when the second rung is being prepared by the Pinarayi Vijayan government to be deployed in the streets of Kerala to arrest anyone saying something mildly offensive—a response from the section at the opposite end of the spectrum would have been a ‘Hailey Comet’s’ event.
Sensing the growing outrage amongst the public across the country, the Kerala government on Monday afternoon decided not to implement the amended Kerala Police Act.
“With the announcement of the amendment, different opinions have emerged from various quarters. Those who support the LDF as well as those who stand for the protection of democracy have raised concern about the amendment. Under these circumstances, the government does not want to implement the amended act.” said CM Vijayan.
However, the reader shouldn’t be fooled that the LDF government has completely backpedaled on the issue. The draconian ordinance still hasn’t been crushed and thrown into the dustbin, albeit it has been kept on the back burner to fend off the growing outrage at the moment, only to bring it out on a later stage.
However, some sense has prevailed in the communist camp of Kerala but given their history of culling any form of dissent–the public will have to take the statement of Vijayan with a pinch of salt.