By TwoCircles.net Staff Reporter,
Kozhikode: In a move that is likely to severely curb freedom of speech and expression, the Kerala Government has issued an order barring its employees from publishing anything against the interest of nation and government policies. The order, issued by the Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department (ARD) seems to be a departure from the present scenario, which grants all freedom to the artistic and literary pursuit. The order demands that employees get prior sanction from higher officials before engaging in any kind of artistic or literary activities.
P K Parakkadavu
Experts say that if the order is implemented, the government employees who want to appear in TV programmes, involve in serials, films and dramas and write books or articles will have to get a written sanction from the state government.
The employees will have to submit the contents of the book along with the details of the publisher and the person, who pens the introduction of the book, to the State Government before engaging in writing. The order even demands to inform the price of the book before penning it.
Besides, the employee is demanded to give an affidavit that the book is left without any content that is anti-national and again of the interest of the government and its policies.
Expectedly, the order has come under heavy criticism from various corners.
Opposition Leader and former Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan termed the order ‘cultural fascism’. The CPM also called for steps to cancel the order immediately.
M N Karassery
VS alleged that the State Government was in favour of the Sangh fold. “The Chief Minister should make it clear that whether it is due to his relationship with the RSS. The order has once again proved that Oommen Chandy is a follower of the Sangh Parivar, which is advocating cultural fascism” he said.
Such orders will never be approved by the state which pursues a progressive democratic politics, he added.
Writers and authors in the state have also come down heavily against the order saying the move will take the society back to dark ages.
Responding to the issue in a special column in the New Indian Express, writers M M Basheer, TP Rajeevan, MN Karassery, P K Parakkadavu, P Valsala and Anwar Ali expressed their grave concern towards the move. The writers pointed out that the order was draconian law at any cost and was against the freedom of speech and expression.