The Kerala Lalithakala Akademi on Monday decided against reviewing the award for a cartoon, which triggered a controversy when the Catholic Church alleged that it insulted Christian religious symbol. After the controversy broke out, the CPM-led state government had asked the Akademy to review the cartoon.
The cartoon drawn by K K Subhash is a caricature of Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar diocese.
Following the allegations of raping a nun and his subsequent arrest in September 2018, Mulakkal was removed as head of the diocese.
After a council meeting of the Akademi, an autonomous body under the state department of cultural affairs, Chairman Nemom Pushparaj said the Akademi’s executive and council has unanimously decided not to review the jury’s decision to choose the cartoon for the award. “If the cartoon has insulted anyone’s religious sentiments, that aspect would be looked into after taking legal consultation, if required. The Akademi sticks to its stand on the cartoon award,’’ said Pushparaj.
Last week, when the Akademy announced the cartoon award, the Kerala Catholic Bishops’ Council had protested against the decision, saying it had insulted religious symbols.
Subsequently, various Christian organisations had held protests against the Akademy and the government.
The state government had immediately asked the Akademi to review the decision.
However, veteran CPM leader V S Achuthanandan and CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran had come out against the government’s move.