Bollywood Writer Javed Akhtar Says Narendra Modi Is a Fascist

Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB
Narendra Modi (file photo). Courtesy: PIB

A fascist is a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government that does not have any tolerance for opposing opinions.

By Rakesh Raman

In an interview with Al Jazeera TV, Bollywood screenwriter Javed Akhtar said that India’s Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi is a fascist. Akhtar was interviewed Thursday by journalist Mehdi Hasan.

The Bollywood writer said in a sarcastic tenor that “fascists don’t have horns on their heads. Fascist is a thinking. And thinking that we are better than others and whatever problems we have, it is because of these people… the moment you hate people in wholesale, you’re a fascist.”

A fascist is a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government that does not have any tolerance for opposing opinions.

Under fascist rule, the focus is on an imaginary entity — the nation — where citizens do not have individual rights. Those who do not support the ruling party’s views on society, politics, and culture are labeled as anti-nationals and they face the consequences such as police brutality and imprisonment.

In the same interview Bollywood director Mahesh Bhatt said that to hate the Muslims is the lifeline of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). “Let’s not mince our words,” he said.

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When Bhatt was asked about Islamophobia, he replied that the winds of Islamophobia blew through the world after 9/11 terror attack and the phobia here (in India) is manufactured, because I don’t think the average Indian is so frightened of Muslims.

As Modi and BJP have promised to make India a Hindu Rashtra (a nation only for Hindus), in the current Modi rule, all attempts are being made to persecute Muslims in India.

In August 2019, the Modi government abrogated the Article 370 of the Constitution to deprive Muslims of their rights in Kashmir. In order to identify and isolate Muslims, recently the Modi government has also introduced a slew of discriminatory citizenship laws which are aimed to take away Muslims’ right to live in India.

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Hundreds of thousands of people have been protesting in India for the past couple of months against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Population Register (NPR), and National Register of Citizens (NRC) announced by Modi and his Home Minister Amit Shah.

Modi government is also making detention centers on the lines of the Auschwitz concentration camp (Konzentrationslager Auschwitz) which was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.

General Bipin Rawat, who was recently appointed by the Modi government as India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) has claimed that deradicalization camps are operating in India. These camps are, in fact, torture prisons formed to force Muslims to accept Hindu religion. These camps will operate like the deradicalization prisons set up by China to detain Uighur Muslims.

Meanwhile, four U.S. Senators have expressed their deep anguish over the continuing human rights violations in India. In their letter written to the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Democratic as well as Republican Senators have particularly raised concerns about the trouble in Indian-occupied Kashmir and the discriminatory Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA introduced by the Modi government.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications and research reports on different subjects.

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