Less than a week ago, the Kerala Chief Minister, Pinarayi Vijayan, wrote an op-ed in The Hindu lashing out at the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) terming it as a clear violation of India’s Constitution. He had also gone to the extent of accusing the BJP-RSS of trying to impose the politics and philosophy of Hindutva, with its vision of a ‘Hindu Rashtra’, on the people of the country. “Our constitutional values are in peril, and no person who has faith in our democracy can afford to be silent and uninvolved in what is happening around us,” he wrote.
In a Facebook post, he had referred to the police excesses on people who directly challenged CAA on the streets outside Kerala. He also warned the BJP leadership that it would be foolish to think public ire can be snuffed out using brute force. Ever since the CAA was enacted in Parliament, Pinarayi Vijayan has been projecting himself as a champion of human rights who steadfastly defends the right to dissent. Even when Kerala journalists had faced the wrath of Karnataka police while attempting to cover the police brutality on anti-CAA activists in Mangalore, Pinarayi came out all guns blazing defending the freedom of the individual to react to happenings around.
But it was in the same period, that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the direct control of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah, took over the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case filed by Kerala police against two student activists of Communist Party of India (Marxist), accusing them of active Maoist links. Contrary to his strong stand in support of the rights of agitators against CAA, Pinarayi Vijayan now remains tight-lipped about the NIA move against Alan Shuhaib and Thwaha Fasal. The Communist party, which had expected the government to intervene when the case came up for review for prosecution sanction before the Gopinathan committee, has also gone silent in the face of the NIA involvement.