In her maiden speech in Parliament, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra warned that prevalent signs suggest that India is moving towards fascism. During the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address in Lok Sabha, the Krishnanagar MP said, “Only if you would open your eyes, you would see that there are signs everywhere, that this country is being torn apart.”
Quoting freedom fighter Maulana Azad, and poets Ramdhari Singh Dinkar and Rahat Indori, the former investment banker spoke about dissent, religious freedom,and media control, besides other issues. She said that the Constitution which each member of the House has “sworn to protect” is “under threat today”. “Of course you may disagree with me, you may say achche din are here,” she said, pointing to the Treasury benches, “but then you are missing the signs”.
Moitra pointed to seven signs to say that the country was sliding down a dangerous path. She said that the US Holocaust memorial museum put up a poster in 2017 that “contained the list of all the signs of early fascism” and that each of the signs she mentioned are on that list.
She urged the members to decide “which side of history do we want us to be on”.
Of the seven signs, Moitra began with the “powerful and continuing nationalism that is searing into our national fabric”, which she said “is superficial”, “xenophobic” and “narrow”. “In a country where ministers cannot produce degrees to show they graduated from college, you expect dispossessed poor people to show papers to show that they belong to this country,” Moitra said.
Another sign, Moitra said, was the “resounding disdain for human rights that is permeating every level of government”. Mentioning the “10-fold increase” in hate crimes, she said that there are forces in this country that are “pushing this number up”.
She also spoke about “an unimaginable subjugation and controlling of mass media today”.
There is an “obsession with national security and identification of enemies” and everyone is in fear of “some nameless, shameless kaala bhoot”, she said. Moitra claimed that the “achievements of the Army are being usurped in the name of one man”.
She also rued the intertwining of “religion and government” and cited the NRC and Citizenship Amendment Bill to state that “we are making sure that it is only one community that is the target of anti-immigration laws”.
The “most dangerous” sign was the “complete disdain for the intellectuals and the arts” and “suppression of all dissent”.
Just one party had spent nearly 50 per cent of the Rs 60,000 crore in the recent elections, Moitra said, claiming that “there is an erosion of independence in our electoral system”.