KOCHI: The kind of violence unleashed by the right wing forces in Tripura after the BJP's victory in Assembly elections has delivered disturbing signs about the future of India democracy, said poet and critic K Satchidanandan.
"This is not a political issue. It is height of intolerance. They are denying the space for dissent in politics. The difference in vote share between the CPM and the BJP is not wide. But the workers of the opposition party are being attacked and chased away. We should see it as an attack on the freedom to express our opinion freely. This cannot be seen as an issue faced by the CPM or Tripura. The attacks indicate the dangers in store," he told Express on the sidelines of Krithi International Book Festival at the Bolghatty Palace here on Wednesday.
Refuting the allegations that minority appeasement has led to polarisation of Hindutva forces, Satchidanandan said protection of minorities is the right guaranteed by the Constitution. "The happiness and safety of religious, ethnic and sexual minorities are main features of democracy. The allegations of minority appeasement are part of the vicious campaign launched from the time of Hindu Maha Sabha. A culture of hatred is being spread through RSS sakhas. They are manufacturing lies about persecution during Mughal and British rule.The Mughals had always given due representation to Hindus in their Army and encouraged artists, poets and tradesmen. They are distorting the facts to create an atmosphere of hatred, he said.
"There is a fertile soil for Hindutva to grow in the country and they are using it effectively. When you allege minority appeasement, you should see the appeasement of majority also," he said.
Satchidanandan alleged the Hindutva ideology being spread is favouring the upper castes and the Dalits and tribal people are being sidelined. "Though they use Dalits and tribal people as vote banks, the Hindutva leaders have failed to address their problems and protect their identity," he said.
Satchidanandan said the Opposition parties, including the CPM, have failed to factor in caste issues and address them. "There are cultural issues, including caste untouchability and marginalisation of Dalits, which the Opposition parties have failed to address. They are disenchanted. Though the Dalits and tribal people have been supporting the Leftist movements, these parties failed to fulfil their aspirations," he said.
Satchidanandan said the allegations regarding the influence of money and the tampering of EVMs that factored in the victory of BJP should be considered seriously. They have won in some seats in UP where it is impossible for the BJP to win. They have selectively manipulated the EVMs, he said.