Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Modi govt fascist in conduct, unlike Indira Gandhi, who was ruthlessly authoritarian during Emergency: PUCL

JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar arrested for sedition
By Our Representative
In an important statement, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) national president Prof Prabhakar Sinha has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of launching an attack and arresting Jawaharlal Nehru University students “on flimsy and ridiculous grounds” as part of his “fascist strategy.”
Posting it as a PUCL’s Facebook post, he wonders, how could “anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans shouted by a handful of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) students” pose a “grave threat to the security and integrity of the country?”
The commentary comes a day after Modi talked of existence of a NGO-inspired conspiracy with the help of foreign funds to “destabilize” his government and “defame” him. He was speaking at a rally at Bargarh in Odisha.
Making the pretext of anti-India slogans to arrest students “a typical fascist strategy to give a bad name to the dog before shooting him”, Prof Prabhakar says, “Hitler had arranged to have Parliament house set on fire, and then launched an attack on the opposition and destroyed them holding them responsible for the arson.”
“In the estimation of his government, 50 or 100 anti-India slogan-shouting students pose a grave threat to a nation of 120 crore people with million strong armed forces and larger number of other security forces”, he says.
Drawing a parallel with Indira Gandhi clamping Emergency on June 25-26, 1975 to “protect her throne and put thousands behind the bar”, Prof Sinha says, while she tried to “whip up mass hysteria against her opponents by branding them as fascists, Modi and Co. are trying to do it by branding his opponents as 'anti-national’.”
Pointing towards a “disturbing difference between the emergency and now”, Prof Sinha says, “Indira’s government was ruthlessly authoritarian, but was not fascist. Modi government is not yet authoritarian because it does not have the power of emergency, but it is fascist in its conduct.”
“To throw dust in the eyes of the people, she declared that the country's security was in grave danger”, Prof Sinha says, adding, “Innocent persons were arrested and sent to jail for no fault. Since fundamental right to life and personal liberty was suspended one could not get any relief from the court.”
Prof Sinha was imprisoned during the Emergency period in Bihar. A university teacher at that time, he led a popular movement of teachers and students against the Emergency.
“While Indira Gandhi indulged in character assassination of her opponents and tried to create mass frenzy in the country to protect her Prime Ministership, Narendra Modi is doing it to foist his ideology on the country by misusing the power of the government”, Prof Sinha says.
Referring to Modi’s recent visit to Pakistan “on an informal invite”, Prof Sinha asks how could he have “so much patience and tolerance with an inimical Pakistan” but so intolerant towards “some youngsters shouting pro-Pak slogans, as if they pose a greater threat than ISI and Pakistan-based terrorists.”
“The disproportionate highlighting of the JNU incident as an attack on the nation's integrity and security is nothing but a ploy to attack democracy under the garb of saving national interest”, he adds.

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