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Setalvad calls for multi-pronged attack against fascist forces

Staff Reporter

— Photo: Vipin Chandran

MAKING A POINT: Social activist Teesta Setalvad delivering the inaugural address at the seminar on ‘Indian secularism and its challenges’ organised by Forum for Faith and Fraternity, in the city on Saturday.

KOCHI: Social activist Teesta Setalvad has called for a multi-pronged attack against fascist forces in the country.

Delivering the inaugural address at the seminar on ‘challenges to Indian secularism’ organised by Forum for Faith and Fraternity here on Saturday, Ms. Setalvad said there was very little help from political parties in the struggle for justice to the victims of communal riots in Gujarat.

“We should ask ourselves what we can do together to reactivate the rule of law in the country. Otherwise, we are going to face a recipe of disaster,” she said.

Ms. Setalvad, who was at the forefront of the campaign for justice to the victims of Gujarat riots, said the situation would get worse in the country, if hate speeches and mass killings were allowed to continue. “We need to work together, if secularism should be kept alive in the country,” she said.

Blaming the intelligence agencies for approaching terror activities in a uni-dimensional way, Ms. Setalvad asked why the authorities had failed to consider the acts of Bajrang Dal in Orissa and Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Gujarat under the purview of terror. Urging the media to step up its vigil against fascist forces, Ms. Setalvad said the media should notice the signals and the build-up towards communal polarisation in the country.

“Why are we only interested in sensationalising the incident,” she asked.

Terming R.B. Sreekumar, former DGP of Gujarat, as a courageous officer, Ms. Setalvad said he had fought for upholding the rule of law.

Divisive forces

Mr. Sreekumar, who spoke on the occasion, said the 2002 riots had taken place with the support of the government. It was a carnage planned by the Modi government, he alleged.

Pointing out that competitive communalism has taken over spiritualism, Mr. Sreekumar said divisive forces were trying to destabilise the country by fostering communalism. He urged society to join hands to launch a concerted fight against those promoting terror activities in various parts of the country. “I am against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad as they stand against the original Hindu ideals,” he said.

Mohammed Zakir, chairman of Forum for Faith and Fraternity, presided over the meeting. MLAs K. T. Jaleel, A.M. Yousuf; and KPCC general secretary M. I. Shanavas, attended.

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