‘Break silence over non- acceptance of secularism’

Human rights activist and writer Teesta Setalvad speaks during the release of the book 'Samvidhanada Kalalu: Teesta Setalvad Nenapugalu', at St Aloysius College auditorium in Mangaluru on Sunday. Communication specialist Satya S, Former DySP T C M Sharif,

Secularisation in the society has come to a standstill, Human rights activist and writer Teesta Setalvad stressed.

She was addressing the gathering during a seminar on ‘We, The People-In Defence Of Secularism’, organised as part of the release of ‘Samvidhanada Kalalu: Teesta Setalvad Nenapugalu’, a Kannada translation of Teesta’s original work ‘Foot Soldier of the Constitution: A Memoir’. The programme was organised by Kriya Madhyama at St Aloysius College auditorium on Sunday.

“How secular are we? is the question we need to ask ourselves. For the secular ideologies in the Constitution to be implemented effectively, the fight towards creating secular society needs to percolate down to regional and sub-regional levels so that the people could be convinced of the idea of having a mixed neighborhood.”

When people from the right wing come to power, they try to apply the RSS ideologies while dealing with complex problems in the Nation, which is not correct. Stating that Mahatma Gandhiji became a threat to some people only because he spoke on communal harmony, Teesta Setalvad added that overwhelming silence over the non-acceptance of secular values, needs to be broken.

Communication specialist Sathya S, who translated the book in to Kannada, said, “The narration is made by Teesta in a very well balanced way, without losing perspective. This made the translation of the book, a challenging task.”

Introducing the book, writer G Rajashekhar said one has to voice their protest against the exploitation of common man by the people in power.

Along with some religious centres, folk arts and rituals too had turned into ambassadors of communism, said Journalist Dinesh Amin Mattu.

He lamented that cultural politics is being used to influence people these days. Folk art Yakshagana and Bhootha Kola are being used to propagate a particular ideology.

“In a region like Mangaluru, cultural politics is much stronger than election politics and trade is one of the significant factor which is fostering communism.”

St Aloysius College Registrar Prof A M Narahari released the book.

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