The evaluation of the essay writing competition of the Kerala School Kalolsavam in Alappuzha has been cancelled, owing to the protest against Deepa Nisanth, one of the judges of the event. The results have been re-evaluated.
"It has been decided to conduct a re-evaluation of the essay writing competition held for the students of High School section as a complaint was raised against its judgment. Jury member Santhosh Echikkanam was entrusted to evaluate all the works in the competition. The re-valuation hence done was accepted by the 13-member state-level appeal committee," Director of Public Instructor KV Mohan Kumar said in a press statement.
The statement further reads that the re-valuation was done after examining the complaint against one of the judges of the competition.
It was on the second day of the School Kalolsavam, the annual art festival held for school students in the state, that fingers were pointed on Deepa for being a judge. A Malayalam teacher at the Kerala Varma College in Thrissur, Deepa was recently involved in a poem plagiarism row.
Various student unions such as the ABVP, Kerala Students Union (KSU) and the Youth Congress had raised slogans on Saturday, demanding that Deepa Nisanth be removed from the post. But the authorities maintained that she was invited as a judge prior to the plagiarism controversy, and were adamant that the competition had nothing to do with the controversy.
Women activists of the KSU marched towards the Kerala Government Service Co-Operative Society Bank where the judges evaluated the works. They even shouted slogans such as â€śGo back!â€ť.
The controversy surrounding Deepa broke out after poet Kalesh revealed that a poem written by him, which was published in 2011, appeared in Deepa's name in a journal run by the All Kerala Private College Teacher's Association.
The row led to heated debates. Following this revelation, Deepa had initially refused to apologise and had also stated that she was being unnecessarily targeted. It was only later that she revealed that it was her friend and activist, MJ Sreechithran, who had given her the poem asking her to publish it in her name.