Kochi: Union tourism minister Alphons Kannanthananm has locked horns with K Satchidanandan over the poet's wish to keep away BJP and RSS men from a literary festival. Kannanthanam said that writers should have a broad worldview and allow various viewpoints in literary festivals.
The criticism followed Satchidanandan’s comment that RSS and BJP leaders should not be allowed to take part in the Kerala Literature Festival, being held in Kozhikode. Kannanthanam had earlier termed the comment “anti-democratic”.
Satchidanandan, however, said that the BJP minister was reacting without understanding the facts. He said that he had taken a stand against people who tried to undermine democracy. He had said that RSS and BJP leaders should not even be invited to television debates.
Kannanthanam joined issue with Satchidanandan after BJP leaders sought his intervention. He said on Saturday that a literary festival was no place for narrow political loyalties. He also said that literary festivals did not belong to anyone.
The BJP state leadership had protested the tourism minister’s release of funds for an event which was detrimental to the interests of the party. BJP leaders including K Surendran had lashed out at Satchidanandan.