Robbing an entire generation of their power to think freely and intellectually is the biggest sin committed by Narendra Modi in Gujarat, Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, has said.

Inaugurating a national seminar on ‘Minority, Secularism and Communal Fascism,’ held in connection with the release of a CPI(M) magazine in Kozhikode on Thursday, Ms. Hashmi said such a sin was more serious and unpardonable than that of presiding over a genocide. “He achieved it through communalising education and falsifying history,” she said.

Maintaining that there was no meaningful intellectual discourses taking place anywhere in Gujarat, she said it had become a State where its entire youth was systematically poisoned with divisive thoughts. It was done with the patronage of big corporate houses and other vested interest groups, she said.

Accusing Mr. Modi of opening the experiment of spreading the politics of hate to achieve personal ends in Gujarat a decade ago, Ms. Hashmi said he was now expanding the same game to other States as well. “The communal unrest and violence now spreading in Uttar Pradesh is the fallout of such hideous intents.” Mr. Modi, she said, was not only spreading this politics of hatred in the country but also among the large Indian diaspora across the world. “It is sad that such a person is now being projected by a mainstream political party as the next Prime Minister of our country,” she said.

Challenging the Gujarat Chief Minister’s claims regarding development, she said the ground realities in the State were far from the rosy pictures presented by him and his public relations team in a bid to project him as the next PM.

Ms. Hashmi said Mr. Modi had never stopped his persecution of the minorities. “If it was through his party cadres earlier, it is being carried out through the police forces and other tools of the State now,” she said and urged all secular and progressive forces to come forward to save the country from communal forces. Over 10 papers, including by writers and historians on a variety of subjects such as ‘Left Reading of Islam,’ ‘Minorities and Women,’ ‘Muslim Perspective of Kerala Renaissance,’ ‘Globalisation and Minority Politics,’ ‘Communal Face of Community Politics’ and ‘Muslim Presence in Malayalam Literature,’ were presented during the seminar.

Writers Khadeeja Mumtaz, Dr. Usman, Hussain Randathani and T. Jamal Muhammed were among the speakers.

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