Sunday, May 16, 2010

'Sri Ram Sene-like elements are there within the Congress and the CPM too', says Ramachandra Guha

Tehelka's extraordinary exposé of the Sri Ram Sene demonstrates how 'popular and religious sentiment' is cynically manufactured -- for a price. It should lead to serious introspection among all our political parties, who -- as the cases of Salman Rushdie, MF Husain, Taslima Nasreen and James Laine all show -- have so often stifled or suppressed artistic freedom in the name of protecting this alleged sentiment. 

The Tehelka exposé should provoke not self-satisfaction but shame, for there are Sri Ram Sene-like elements within the Congress, the CPM, and the BJP as well. 

Ramachandra Guha's reaction to the Tehelka expose on Shri Rama Sene

I would like to congratulate Tehelka for a brilliant exposé on the ugly face of fundamentalism in India. People like Pramod Muthalik and organisations like the Sri Ram Sene are a threat to India and strict legal action should be taken against them based on what they have said in the tapes. 

Everyone has a right to follow one's religion, but no one has the right to instigate the public and create communal tension in the name of religion. This is precisely what the Sene and the other parties like the RSS are doing. 

Also, the onus should not be on the Sri Ram Sene as much as it should be on the BJP and the VHP. Muthalik is just an off-shoot of the fundamentalist agenda of the VHP and the RSS, which receive patronage from the BJP. 

The exposé has brought into public conscience what these parties can do to spread communal tension in the country.

Sanjay Nirupam's reaction to the Tehelka expose on Pramod Mutalik and Shri Rama Sene
To read the reaction of H D Deve Gowda, Digvijay Singh and others click here.

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