Odd ordinance
THE WEEK|December 06, 2020
What prompted Pinarayi Vijayan to make a U-turn on the controversial Police Act amendment
CITHARA PAUL

AS THE CONTROVERSIAL amendment to the Kerala Police Act was creating headlines nationwide for all the wrong reasons, one of the most circulated memes showed Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan looking into a mirror and seeing Prime Minister Narendra Modi staring back at him. The meme was shared by thousands, including ardent left supporters. And, that was something unusual.

No wonder, the LDF government took a U-turn within 24 hours of it coming up with the ordinance that mandated a jail term for any offensive social media post. Explaining this turnaround, the chief minister said: “The amendment evoked varied responses from several corners. Apprehensions were aired even by those who support the LDF and profess to defend democracy. In these circumstances, the government will not go ahead with implementing the amendment.”

He, however, defended the legislation, saying that it was brought in to check “malicious campaigns” on social media. He added that the fate of the ordinance will be decided after hearing opinions from all quarters, including a “detailed discussion” in the assembly.

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