The poet was trying to upload a video that mocked the BJP’s loss in the Kerala elections when his account was restricted.

Poet K Satchidanandan speaking at an eventK Satchidanandan / FB
news Controversy Sunday, May 09, 2021 - 09:48

The Facebook account of K Satchidanandan, prominent Kerala poet and former secretary of Sahitya Akademi, was restricted for 24 hours after trying to post a video that criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party over its loss in the recently concluded Kerala Assembly elections. On Saturday, the poet said that his account was restricted after he tried to upload a video which he said was a “humorous criticism” of the BJP in Kerala.

Talking to Manorama News, Satchidanandan said that he tried to post a video that had been widely shared by many on social media, but he could not as Facebook restricted his account while he was trying to post it. As per Facebook's curbs, Satchidanandan was not able to post, share, like or comment on anything from his account for 24 hours. He also added that he has been barred from going live on Facebook for 30 days because he has violated their 'community standards.'

"This (the action by Facebook) came last night (Friday) and the reason is for posting a hilarious video about Amit Shah (Union Home Minister) and the loss of the Kerala unit of the BJP in the recent Assembly polls. I had also posted another advertisement about Prime Minister Narendra Modi. I had received both these on my WhatsApp," said the poet on Saturday.

"Due to this, I was unable to post or share or write a comment and it should be over on Saturday night. On April 21, I received a warning and that was for another funny comment. Before that, I started to notice that some of my comments were disappearing," said Satchidanandan.

"I feel such things can be expected time and again from now on. When I tried to post an article against the suppression of criticism that appeared in the medical journal Lancet, I received a message that said 'you are trying to post something other people on Facebook have found abusive.' So I feel that there are preying eyes behind critics like me," added the poet.

After his account was restored on Saturday night, Satchidanandan posted on Facebook, "If the choice is between being on the FB and being a democrat and a human rights defender, I have no doubt where I should stand (sic)."

"Twelve years of poetry and protest can hardly be erased by twenty-four hours of silence (sic),” he said in another post.

Incumbent Kerala Minister Thomas Isaac and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor have voiced support for the poet and condemned Facebook’s actions against him.

"Deplorable that Facebook has suspended the account of one of Kerala's greatest living poets, K. Satchidanandan, former Secretary of the Sahitya Akademi), for posting a video about BJP's defeat in the Kerala Assembly elections. We must not allow censorship into our politics!" wrote Member of Parliament and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor.

CPI(M) leader and Kerala's incumbent Finance Minister Dr Thomas Isaac took to Twitter to say, "In solidarity with Sachdanandan leading contemporary Malayalam poet and former secretary of National Sahitya Academy, whose Facebook account has been closed for posting a video on PM Modi in relation to BJP defeat in recent Kerala election. A most deplorable act .#Facebook.”



(With IANS inputs)

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