Kolkata

We are headed towards a fascist regime, says Teesta

A file photo of noted civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad.

A file photo of noted civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

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‘Fascism occurs when corporate capitals capture the political economy’

Questioning the secular nature of the present Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government at the Centre, noted civil rights activist and journalist Teesta Setalvad said here on Monday that we are heading towards a fascist regime.

“Fascism occurs when corporate capitals capture the political economy. Unless we assert ourselves as secular citizens, we will keep on wondering who is truly secular and who is not,” Ms. Setalvad said.

Referring to the recent political clashes between the BJP and the All India Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, she said communal clashes were slowly creeping into States which were untouched by riots in 1947.

When BJP leader L.K. Advani began the ‘rath yatra’ in support of the Ram Mandir movement at Ayodhya before the demolition of the Babri Masjid, many places which were peaceful during the 1947 (Partition) riots, were affected by communal violence, she said, citing instances of violence in Jaipur and Hubri.

She questioned the Rs. 4 crore-worth sandalwood and ghee donated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal during his official visit there.

“Where did the money come from? He had stated in his election affidavit that he does not have so much money, who funded his donation then? Does this donation now mean that India is becoming a religious state? Although corporatisation of elections is not a new phenomenon, its magnitude has changed,” Ms. Setalvad said.

She also raised questions on industrialists accompanying Mr. Modi during his official visits to foreign nations.

The freedom that the media enjoyed 15-20 years back is now curbed, she said.

“Media now offers limited space to discuss issues that people are actually facing. We are now faced with the phenomenon of corporatisation of the electronic media,” Ms. Setalvad said.

Stating that corporatisation of elections is not exclusive to India, she said that it exists in Pakistan too and termed the phenomenon as a South Asian pattern.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 6:01:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/we-are-headed-towards-a-fascist-regime-says-teesta/article6675168.ece

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