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Cannot use Palestine uprising word in annual fest: Kerala University

Cannot use Palestine uprising word in annual fest: Kerala University

The poster designed by Kerala University students' union.

Thiruvananthapuram: University Kerala said on Monday that its annual youth festival cannot be titled "Intifada", the term referring to the Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation, The Indian Express reported.

University Vice Chancellor Dr Mohanan Kunnummal directed the students union to change the title as well as remove the word Intifada from all promotional material of the fest, including posters and social media handles. It mandated that the name of the fest must be renamed as Kerala University Youth Festival.

The VC took action following BJP's students' wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) filed a complaint against the name. The organization also wrote state Governor Arif Mohammad Khan, who is also the Chancellor of the university.

The students' union, controlled by the Students Federation of India (SFI), released the logo last week.

According to the VC, the university's activities must not hurt the sentiments of any section of students, faculty or the public. The festival is no place for protest and is no stage to propagate any ideology. Since the word Intifada is directly linked to the "Palestine-Israel issue", using it as the title of the fest could have implications for the country's foreign policy, the VC claimed.

ABVP had claimed in their complaint that after the ban on PFI, its students' wing, Campus Front of India (CFI), changed its social media handle name to Intifada to evade the attention of security agencies. It claimed India has diplomatic relations with both Israel and Palestine, and the former is a strategic partner to India. Therefore, a government-funded education institution must not indulge in propaganda against one of the countries in the context of their internal conflict, which is not a good gesture. The complaint claimed it may affect India's strategic interests.

Further, the organization claimed that naming the festival Intifada was SFI's attempt to legitimize "extremist and terrorist terminologies".

The festival is scheduled to be held from March 7 to March 11 in Thiruvananthapuram.

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TAGS:IsraelPalestinewarKerala University
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