Brennen College magazine published a cartoon of a couple having sex in a movie theatre while the National Anthem is being played.

Kerala college publishes provocative cartoons on national anthem withdraws after furoreThe two provocative cartoons from the magazine "Pellet" that has now been taken down.
news Magazine Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 17:43

A man and a woman having sex in a cinema theatre behind the seats while the National Anthem is being played on the screen. A penis-shaped TV remote on a hand that is tied down by what appears to be the Sangh Parivar flag. 

This, and a few other cartoons were published in the magazine of a Kerala college recently and it has rubbed the right wing groups the wrong way. 

The college union of Brennen College in Thalassery, which has an SFI student union, recently brought out their college magazine titled ‘Pellet’, the cover page of which has the cartoon of an injured person who has pellet wounds. 

In the magazine that runs over 100 pages, one of the cartoons published on Page 12 shows a couple having sex in a movie theatre, while the screen shows the National Flag. The caption reads: “The nationalism of standing up in theatre, the nationalism of reading Manusmrithi in streets.” 

In page 84, a cartoon was published which showed a penis-shaped TV remote.

In no time, the magazine courted controversy, with the BJP's student wing ABVP raising objection to the magazine, alleging that the contents of the magazine is anti-national.  

ABVP activists alleged that the cartoon of a couple having sex in a theatre while the National Anthem is being played was against Supreme Court order making National Anthem mandatory in cinema halls before the commencement of every movie. 

Huge protests were organised by ABVP and BJP's Youth Wing against the magazine, brought out by a left union. 

“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,” says Priju, ABVP leader, Brennen College.

The BJP Yuva Morcha too, came down heavily on the magazine.

“The picture marks protest against the prevailing order to stand-up during the time of national anthem in movie houses. Govt college Principal is the chief editor of the Magazine. Such a nice culture to follow in a college where students are asked to learn morality and good behavior. Note the name of the magazine; its #Pellet. Definitely there will be something which will be against our Armed Forces in #Kashmir,” (sic) reads a Facebook post by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) Kerala unit.

As the controversy erupted, the college union withdrew two pages of the magazine on Wednesday.

The decision was taken after a council meeting, SFI State Secretary, Vijin tells TNM. Lambasting the right wing groups on the allegation that the magazine is anti-national, Vijin says, "Has the ABVP and other groups taken a quotation for patriotism? There is nothing anti-national in the magazine, nothing at all." 

However, the SFI leader says that maybe, the explicit cartoons weren't a good idea. 

"There were complaints that the cartoons were indecent, which is why we have agreed to remove them from the magazine," Vijin says. 

With the two pages taken down following widespread criticism, the SFI now appears to be trying to save their face. 

Sanandh, a member of the editorial team of the magazine argues that the controversial cartoon on page 12, of a couple having sex in the cinema theatre, is not actually what people think it is. 

"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," Sanandh argues. 

The SFI member seems to be in search of the silver lining, "Of the many cartoons, only two have been taken down. We have not agreed to take down any of the writings. 

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