State university festival ‘Intifada’ sparks major controversy, VC orders investigation

Ever since the poster with ‘Intifada’ was mentioned, there was widespread criticism in social media against the Kerala University and the student union, the SFI which is organizing the festival starting from March 7th till March 11th in the capital city of Kerala

| Updated: 29 February, 2024 3:25 pm IST
Major controversy erupts after state university festival named ‘intifada’, VC orders enquiry

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A major controversy has erupted after the official poster of the Kerala University youth festival is named ‘Intifada’, an Arabic term that translates into ‘uprising’ or ‘shaking off’ which is currently being used to describe periods of intense Palestinian protest against Israel, mainly in the form of violent terrorism:

Ever since the poster with ‘Intifada’ was mentioned, there was widespread criticism in social media against the Kerala University and the student union, the SFI which is organizing the festival starting from March 7th till March 11th in the capital city of Kerala – Thiruvananthapuram.

Kerala University Vice-Chancellor (VC) Professor. Mohanan Kunnummal has intervened in the controversy surrounding the naming of the university’s Art Festival with the Jihad of Palestine Islamic terrorists. Expressing his concern, Professor Mohanan Kunnummal stated that he would seek clarification from the university registrar regarding the decision.

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“The students union decided the decision on naming and I was unaware of it. I will seek an explanation from the university registrar and decide on a further course of action. Art Festival is a platform for artistic expression and not a forum for war or riots, instead, names reflecting Kerala’s artistic heritage should be given.

I don’t know how the Arabic name came about. Further steps will be taken if necessary, after the explanation”, said professor Kunnummal while speaking to the media.

Social media users slammed the university and the left government for granting permission to use names used by Islamic fundamentalists in Palestine over Israel. Many who commented said that the CPI (M) led government is trying to appease a section of radical outfits to secure their votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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“It’s shocking that a democratically elected government in our country is giving a platform to such ideologies and that too for a government-sponsored youth festival. Strict action needs to be initiated against the organizers”, read a comment by Jineesh.

The First Intifada, spanning from 1987 to 1990, witnessed widespread Palestinian protests and acts of violence against Israelis. The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada, occurred from 2000 to 2005, marked by intense conflict and uprisings against Israeli rule.

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