Mumbai will play host to a two-day event “Celebrating freedom and pluralism in defence of secularism” organised by the Mumbai Collective, an informal grouping of the city’s residents aimed at voicing their opposition to the growing trend of violence and intolerance in the country.
Those listed for participation in the event include CPM leader, Sitaram Yechury, historian Irfan Habib besides senior journalists N Ram and P Sainath.“The effort is to bring together people from all walks of life in Mumbai to jointly declare that we strongly uphold the syncretic traditions of our culture and democracy,” Professor R Ramakumar of the TISS and one of the organisers said. The programme will be held on March 5 and 6 at Y B Chavan Auditorium.
The event will be a combination of panel discussions, talks and cultural expressions of harmony, solidarity and protests expressed through music, dance, painting and street plays.
“We would like to discuss and debate on themes like the future of secularism; attacks on evidence-based history; undermining of secular education; the relationship between caste, patriarchy and communal ideologies and attacks on science and reason; and the role of media in these troubled times,” Ramakumar said.
N Ram and Habib will be part of the inaugural panel. Historian K M Shrimali will speak on “How the Sangh Parivar rewrites history” while Sainath will speak on media and communal politics. Yechury and Raja are scheduled to speak on “political resistance in times of intolerance.”