Published: 31st December 2018
Students of Varkala college shocked as Malayalam news channel shows picture of them as 'terrorists' and 'IS Supporters'
Students explained that the channel has used a year-old video from the college's Arts Day celebration, where students were paying tribute to actor Salim Kumar
Can one turn into an IS terrorist or an Al-Qaeda supporter overnight without realising it? Turns out it is quite possible and the 'members' needn't necessarily know anyone in these organisations. All that they need to do is wear black clothes to college and a popular Malayalam news channel will handle the rest. Don't believe us? Then you must ask the students of CH Mohammed Koya Memorial College, Varkala.
Two days ago, a Malayalam News Channel had put out a story with the visual from the college's 2017 Arts Day celebrations. According to the report, the III year students, clad in black pants and kurta were called IS and Al-Qaeda supporters, who were allegedly trying to create an atmosphere of terror in Kerala. The channel also asserts that the students entered the campus with the terrorist group's flag. They also supported their claims with malicious graffiti from the students' toilet.
Throwback time: The college's 2018 graduates
But on closer inspection, anyone who's been to college could easily make out that there was nothing unusual about the graffiti or the video, which shows a group of young men in a jeep and a few motorbikes rallying outside the college. We reached out to Pranav S, a former student, who was present at the event to find out exactly what happened. He says, "The video was from the 2017 Arts Day Celebration. I was a final year student back then. The event was organised by all the final year students unanimously."
The Chief Guest at the event was Malayalam actor Salim Kumar and the black dress code was a tribute to his character in the popular film CID Moosa. In the film, Salim Kumar plays an inmate in a mental asylum who dresses up as a terrorist and as Superman at different instances to fool others. "This wasn't an attempt to hurt anyone. Salim chettan too liked the idea and even he was dressed in black," says Pranav, adding, "Every final year student would want to create a unique identity before they graduate. That is all that we did. Also, it isn't something new. We've all seen similar "
LOL time: Salim Kumar in CID Moosa
Pranav added that there was a ruckus outside the college because the rally created a commotion. "But we sorted it all out with the principal and the authorities back then. We really don't get the reason for digging up this issue and calling us terrorists. What the news channel did was very cheap and unethical."