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Mangaluru: Communal clashes cannot sustain without govt pressure - Teesta Seetalvad


Pics: Spoorthi Ullal
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru (SP)

Mangaluru, My 20: "No communal clash can sustain for over 24 hours unless government exerts pressure. The fact that communalists have made their way into the police force has contributed to the worsening situation on this front," said social worker and journalist Teesta Setalvad.

She was speaking at a symposium on 'We the people for defence of secularism' that was organised at the auditorium of St Aloysius College here on Sunday May 19 as part of the translated work of 'Foot soldier of the Constitution - a memoir eBook' authored by Setalvad. The work has been translated with the title, 'Samvidhanada Kalalu - Teesta Setalvadaravara Nenapugalu' by journalist Satya S.

She urged the well-meaning citizens and people following secular ideology to bring pressure towards inspiring the people to work towards protecting peace. She felt that regional movements to protect secularism is utmost necessary. Expressing the opinion that the discussions concerning protecting secular ideals have slipped back by five decades, she stressed that the debate and discussions now-a-days are mostly negative and have single dimension.

"There is a necessity to create a forum to give rise to a sense of history consciousness among the young generation to withstand the current discussions which are being undertaken without proper assimilation of historic facts," she explained. At the same time, she said that in addition to opposing communal ideals supported by the majority, the ideals of communalism nurtured by the minority also have to be opposed without fail.

"We need to transform enmity with peace when overcoming communalism and fighting for secular principles. An attempt is now on to attract weaker sections towards communal idealogy through speeches filled with vengeance. We have to subdue these hateful addresses through the message of peace," she stated.

Veteran writer and thinker, G Rajshekhar, delivered introductory address about the translated work.

Satya S, who has translated the book, said that in her original work, Teesta has explained about the Gujarat violence with a balanced approach without getting affected by emotional upheavals. "I had to struggle to convert the incidents of the government which is expected to save human lives during the violence, instead crushing them and exulting at that, from the original work of Teesta. Teesta lived among these people and went through their life experiences and ordeals personally. Therefore, I remembered the travails she went through during the period of violence, and completed the work with single-minded determination," she stated.

Journalist and thinker, Dinesh Amin Mattu, expressed the opinion that the problems the people are facing now can be addressed only when the common people understand cultural politics. "For understanding that, one has to move around Gujarat and Mangaluru," he stated.

Mattu pointed out that Gujarat and Mangaluru have several similarities. "Gujaratis are basically businessmen. We would be idiots if we believe that politics breeds communal violence in Mangaluru. In coastal Karnataka, business interests support communalism. When communal violence happened at Suratkal, Muslims lost their shops. When a shop of a Muslim gets burnt down, it automatically results in increased business for the other shopkeeper. This is the reality, and we need to be vigilant about it," he stresed.

Registrar or St Aloysius College, Prof A M Narahari, who presided the programme, unveiled the work. The programme was organized under the aegis of 'Kriya Madhyama', and 'Samudaya' organisations.

Retired deputy superintendent of police, T C M Shariff, was present at the dais. President of 'Samudaya', Prof Rajendra Udupa, delivered introductory address. Director of 'Kriya Madhama', Yashwant Maroli, extended a warm welcome to participants and dignitaries at the beginning.

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