Pinarayi Vijayan
Pinarayi Vijayan

Beyond ideology: Kerala media, CPI(M) and the fight for narrative control

The friction between Kerala’s ruling Communist Party of India - Marxist [CPI(M)] and the state’s major media houses appears to have entered a new phase of lows. Their antagonism toward each other goes right back to the time EMS Namboodiripad established one of the world’s first democratically elected communist governments.

Malayalam news anchor Hashmi Taj Ibrahim, known for his passionate delivery of opinions on his show "Encounter," unleashed a powerful monologue in defence of his colleague Vineetha VG, recently named in a bizarre case. The drama unfolded on December 23, 2023 after Vineetha, simply reporting on a protest where a shoe was hurled at Pinarayi Vijayan’s vehicle, found herself accused of conspiring against Pinarayi. This absurdity ignited a wave of outrage among journalists, culminating in Hashmi's electrifying on-camera address.

"Phone call snippets and flimsy accusations? That's not how you silence us," declared Hashmi, "Vineetha is one of us, and we stand by her." He challenged the authorities, “If you are doing this only to scare us - knowing well that the case is a sham and will fail miserably in the court - register a hundred cases, not just one. We are not going to cut off our tongues and place them in baskets to do your bidding.”

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