'Ayodhya Gave A Tight Slap To BJP's Ram Ke Naam Politics', Says Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan

'Ayodhya Gave A Tight Slap To BJP's Ram Ke Naam Politics', Says Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan

At a public discussion organised by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Patwardhan along with other activists, lawyers and authors took stock of the hate and divisiveness in the 18th Lok Sabha elections.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, June 08, 2024, 10:02 PM IST
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'Ayodhya Gave A Tight Slap To BJP's Ram Ke Naam Politics', Says Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan |

Mumbai: Ayodhya has given a tight slap to the Bharatiya Janata Party for its Ram Ke Naam politics, said filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, well known for his documentary Ram Ke Naam. At a public discussion organised by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Patwardhan along with other activists, lawyers and authors took stock of the hate and divisiveness in the 18th Lok Sabha elections.

On Saturday, PUCL Maharashtra organised a discussion on ‘A Vote For Hate Can Never Win’ to talk about the use of hate speech in campaigns for the parliamentary elections. Various activists, social organisations and individuals from different communities joined the discussion led by Patwardhan and other activists.

Talking about the BJP’s defeat from Ayodhya and its poor performance in Uttar Pradesh, Patwardhan said, “The people of Ayodhya have given a tight slap to the Bharatiya Janata Party for its Ram Ke Naam politics. People like us who are fighting with secular values had never imagined that the voters of UP would flip. We should celebrate the victory of a Dalit leader from Ayodhya but also should not think of this result as a safe zone. There is a long way for the anti-fascist forces to achieve in the country.”

Lara Jesani, a lawyer and human rights activist, informed the audience about the rise of hate speech in Maharashtra and on social media after the Shraddha Walkar murder case in November 2022.

“There were more than 150 rallies across the state and all of its organisers were directly or indirectly associated with the ruling party. However, they were not very successful in instigating the communities. THe social media has amplified these hate speeches a thousand fold and until any action is taken on them, it completes the damage it is meant to do,” said Jesani.

Sambhaji Bhagat, a folk poet from Maharashtra and an activist, denoted the rise in hate speech as a part of cultural politics and requested the audience to be a part of a positive cultural politics.

“Hate speech is not a new concept and its first instance can be seen in Manusmriti, which consists of hate speech against women and shudras. The politicians who fight for religion will never fight for the gods of Adivasis and other scheduled castes. We need to start a positive cultural politics against their divisive cultural politics,” said Bhagat.

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