THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Poet K Satchidanandan on Wednesday called for the cultivation of new methods of resistance against the onslaught of right-wing Hindutva politics and corporate agenda-driven neo-nationalistic impulses.
Delivering the 16th N Narendran Memorial Lecture on ‘Nation, Region, Resistance: A Writer’s Point of View,’ Satchidanandan made the suggestion Leftist opposition forces - not Left political parties alone but dissenting writers and pro-Left individuals as well - should join forces on a ‘minimum agenda’ towards the attainment of such a goal.
“The biggest challenge the Left is likely to face, I feel, is how such a unity can be transformed into a pro-socialist mechanism that can lead to a people’s democracy,” he said.
There is a need to redefine democracy and usher it in a new in a scenario where law and order have collapsed and the freedoms of expression, religion, food and organisation are under threat, he said.
Any approach to democracy should be one that invests genuine faith in it; a faith which does not perceive democracy merely as a policy or a strategy, or as an authority that enables the majority to trample upon a minority, Satchidanandan said.
In equipping oneself against right-wing agendas, it is imperative to teach and study the histories of Fascism and diverse democracies. One should constantly be on guard against the violation of federal principles, he said. It is equally important to protect democratic institutions. “There are many democratic institutions which evolved during the Nehruvian era. These are the institutions that the right wing is attempting to take over. The agitation at the FTII, Pune, was the first agitation against such an attempt, but other institutions are also facing the loss of their autonomy,” he said.
Yet again, the concept of the single-party rule should be mercilessly rejected in favour of a multi-party system.
He advised caution against paramilitary-type outfits and the deliberate distortion of facts. “Nazism was established through such secondary forces. Today, instead of one, we have many such sub-armies like the RSS, Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena or Hanuman Sena. Their growth should be stopped,’’ he said.
Veteran journalist N Madhavan Kutty also spoke.