Fight against fascist powers in the country, says Teesta Setalvad

Social activist Teesta Setalvad said there is a need to fight against fascist powers in the country.

Delivering a special lecture at a programme organised by the Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development at School of Social Work, Roshni Nilaya, in Mangaluru on Friday, she said the fascists in India have been misusing religion to spread violence. Consolidation of political power and implementation of the agenda of ‘Divide and Rule’ are among the multiple motives behind the eruption of communal violence in the country. Through this, religion is being misused by political powers and the masses are being mislead, she claimed.

She said “We should not be a religion-based nation. Everybody has an equal share of citizenship. But, there are forces which do not believe in the Constitution.”

“The social networking sites are being used to spread gossips which in turn flare up communal violence. The mainstream media too is biased about political issues, she charged and alleged that one cannot expect TV channels, owned by business tycoons, to discuss about drought and the problem of poor labourers and farmers,” she said.

Teesta charged that the police system has been silent over the violence by the majority. Referring to Babri Masjid demolition, she said 3,000 paramilitary men in Ayodhya were mute spectators to the incident and they allowed it to happen.“Even today, several unconstitutional acts are being held in the presence of police which is very sad,” she said.

Interacting with the students, she said the teaching of Bhagavad Gita in schools reflects religion-based ideology of the government. Sociological history should be taught in schools and not religious history, she said.

Regarding restriction for the entry of women to temples, she said that a movement should emerge from the masses to put an end to customs, which prevents women from exercising their rights.

“Amid all this, it is a good development that the young people have started a revolution in the country. The Union government’s move of withdrawing scholarships to research scholars is condemnable. No country has surrendered education to the private sector,” she said.

Citizens Forum for Mangalore Development Convener Vidya Dinker was present.

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