Rise of Modi epitomizes a ‘counter-revolution’

Journalists, Intellectuals urge to fight against communal forces.

By Badre Alam Khan and Abhay Kumar, TwoCircles.net,

New Delhi: Amid the shadow of communal forces taking over the state power in the upcoming 2014 General Elections, a number of journalists and academics have made an appeal to all secular and democratic forces to get united against a “counter-revolution”.

“We are witnessing a counter-revolution and darkness in the form of the rise of Modi”, said the veteran journalist and editor of MainstreamSumit Chakravartty. He expressed these views at a book-release function on ‘Communalism of Media’ held at Jawaharlal Nehru University on Friday.

Those who also participated in the discussion were Left intellectual and social activist Subhash Gatade, Dr. Rakesh Batabyal, historian of JNU, Professor S. N. Malakar of JNU, noted journalist Anil Chamaria, senior journalist Shaheen Nazir and cultural activist Gopal Naidu.

Chakravartty further said that corporate media are batting for the BJP primeministerial candidate Narendra Modi as he is perceived to be capable of providing a strong authoritarian government in favour of big business and corporate houses.

Ruing the failure of the Left to take agitation against the assault of Hindutva, he urged all democratic and secular forces to launch a united struggle.

Underlining the need to take on the communal-fascist forces, Subhash Gatade claimed that India is witnessing trends of fascism as experienced by Germany in the late 1930s.

At this critical juncture, media, in Gatade’s views, are increasingly being controlled by the management of newspapers and thus, the freedom of editors has been curtailed. He contended that the Indian media, the second time after Emergency, are shamefully “crawling” to corporate and communal forces.

“It is a shame that in reporting the cases of the arrests of Muslims youth on terror charges, media have been absolutely Islamophobic and they have done a great damage in constructing the stereotype of Muslims as terrorists,” added Gatade.

Holding media responsible for constructing communal prejudices, Anil Chamaria stressed the need to study “communalism of media”. ‘It is our mainstream media that has constructed a language of Muslim terrorism, which prepares the ground for the Hindutva forces to polarize the society on religious line.’

Linking the rise of communalism to neo-liberalism, S. N. Malakar said that two main rivals in the upcoming elections, the BJP and the Congress, were supported by the corporate lobbies of the USA. Moreover, he also attacked Ram Vilas Paswan and Udit Raj for joining the BJP. ‘These leaders, who belong to Dalit community, have done a great damage by supporting the Brahminical BJP for their individual interests.’

While urging people to guard against communalism, Rakesh Batabyal argued that the fight against communalism could not be won if the faith in secularism gets eroded.

On the occasion, four books dealing with the theme of communalism and media—Deshbhakti Gane, Desh aur Rashtra (2014), Embedded Journalism: Punjab (2014), Media aur Musalman (2014) and Media aur Sampradayikta (2014), all published by Media Studies Group, Delhi–were released.

(Badre Alam Khan (badredelhi@gmail.com) and Abhay Kumar (debatingissues@gmail.com) are pursuing PhD at Department of Political Science, University of Delhi and Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University respectively.)

First published in TwoCircles.net

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