Citing RSS presence, Baby backs out of Jaipur Lit Fest

M.A. Baby  

M.A. Baby, Polit Bureau member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), has decided not to participate in the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival, as a mark of protest against the invitation extended to two representatives of the Sangh Parivar.

“I am fully cognisant of the fact that in a democratic polity, everyone deserves to be heard and one should be willing to interact with ideological streams of different kinds. I am equally aware that it is normally unfair to decline participation in a literary festival panel on the rationale that in another session, certain personalities are invited with whom one has strong ideological differences. I would like to urge you to understand that here it is not just ‘another’ ideology but the ideology of a theocratic state of Hindu Rashtra. It is almost similar to ‘Islamic State’ and (is) already showing manifestations of annihilating democracy,” Mr. Baby said in a letter addressed to the festival organisers.

The CPI(M) leader urged the festival organisers to recall the ‘dastardly’ murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and Dr. M.M. Kalburgi for the democratic, progressive, secular and scientific views they held. Similar threats were being issued to many others.

The latest in this ‘dangerous and sinister’ approach was the verbal violence being unleashed on M.T. Vasudevan Nair, a multifaceted cultural personality, who had won many laurels including the prestigious Jnanpith as well as the national award for best film director.

His only ‘sin’, Mr. Baby said, was that he criticised the Central government’s decision to withdraw ₹500 and 1,000 currency notes and spoke about the hardships ordinary people encountered as a result of this ‘Tughlaqian model’ decision.

“It goes without saying that in a democratic polity, every citizen has a right to criticise matters affecting their lives. This is what the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are unwilling to accept. Rubbing shoulders with those who spread religious and ideological hatred and violence in theory and practice, therefore, is unethical and improper,” the CPI(M) leader said.

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Printable version | Dec 8, 2021 12:37:36 AM |

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