Kolkata, Oct 31 (IANS) Terming the central government a proto-fascist force, human rights activist Teesta Setalvad on Tuesday said the freedom of speech and right to question to the established set-up is being immensely curtailed under the present regime.
“We have a proto-fascist force in power at the centre. It is not the BJP government at the centre, it is the RSS government at the centre that fundamentally believes in overthrowing the constitutional norms and establishing an aggressive Hindu state,” she said at a seminar organised on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Communist Party of India-Marxist’s Bengali mouthpiece ‘Ganashakti’ here.
“So much space for talks has already been lost. The politics has reached an all time low. It is time for intense reflection at so many levels. Every structure of our democracy has got further hegemonic rather than becoming more democratised, be it our judiciary or the education system,” said Setalvad, who moved the Gujarat High Court against the state’s BJP government for filing an FIR against her.
Coming down heavily on the Election Commission for not taking steps to make election funding more transparent, she said the entire election process in the country is rigged by money at present.
“The EC only counts what an individual spends in his constituency, not what the party spends in that constituency. Therefore it is a completely hypocritical set up. Why does the EC not look at what a party spends on the whole and then decide whether it is balanced election or not?”
She also appealed to the opposition to find a way to have a fair and democratic election where money plays a transparent role.
The activist alleged that the government was deliberately cutting down the scholarships at the post graduate level to squash the voice of dissent rising from the young students and claimed that the issue needs “huge political mobilisation”.
“The kind of cut backs in the PG seats that UGC is doing needs to be a matter of huge political mobilisation which it has not become. 25,000 UGC scholarships were cut back last year while 35,000 scholarships are likely to be cut back now and that means the government does not want this section to come up and question the set up,” she alleged.
Setalvad said a section of the society gets benefited by multiple pay commissions while 93 percent of the nation’s population is still languishing in the unorganised sectors. She alleged there was hardly anyone interested to talk about dignity of labour or minimum wages for the unorganised sectors.
Setalvad, who has worked for over 30 years in the area of minority rights, said the minority communalism in the country should be tackled with equal intent as majority communalism since both feed on each other.
“We have Hindu Mahasabha at one hand, the Muslim League on the other and then there is RSS that is actually asking for a religion based nation. All three are equally dangerous. The majority communalism does have the capacity to bring in proto fascism but the minority communalism is equally harmful for the nation,” she added.
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