Hyderabad: Book exposes ‘Mann ki jhooti baat’ told by PM Modi

People should be made aware of the pitfalls ahead, says author Aakar Patel during the release of Vidveshapu ‘Vishwaguru’.

Hyderabad: The ‘divisive agenda and authoritarian rule’ of the Modi government pose a threat to democratic values and the secular fabric of the society. If left unchecked, it will push India to a perilous position.

These views were expressed by several prominent speakers at a book release function here on Saturday August 5. The relentless assault on minorities — particularly Muslims — and political opponents are undermining the democratic institutions. “These issues should be openly discussed and people should be made aware of the pitfalls ahead,” said noted writer, Aakar Patel, who released the book Vidveshapu ‘Vishwaguru’ (world teacher of hatred).

The book authored by Veekshanam editor N Venugopal is a collection of editorials written by him in his Hyderabad-based Telugu journal over the last nine years – contemporaneous with the Prime Minister, Narender Modi’s rule. The 80–odd editorials are a running commentary on the Sangh Parivar’s regime and expose each and every policy of the Modi government.

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The programme held at the Potti Sriramulu Telugu University was presided over by Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, managing editor of The Siasat Daily. A number of writers, intellectuals and concerned citizens turned up for the programme.

The book cover, which has a diptych image of Hitler and Modi, indicating the connection between the fascist regimes, didn’t go unnoticed. Khan criticised the anti-minority stance of the Modi government and said what happened in Manipur was a shame. He cautioned people against the dangers of majority fundamentalism.

The RSS ideology, he said, would ultimately ruin the country. BJP was on a slippery wicket. It tried everything under its quiver in Karnataka and still failed. Fundamentalism would not last long. Khan congratulated Venugopal for the timely book and wanted it translated into English and other languages.

Katyayani Vidmahe, literary critic and former professor, Kakatiya University, spoke at length on the book. The scathing editorials lay bare the nefarious agenda of corporatisation going hand in hand with communalisation and militarisation. A whole lot of issues like religious intolerance, demonetisation, ghar wapsi, Rafale deal, CAA-NRC, love jihad, hijab controversy, bulldozer culture, killing of Planning Commission, media sell out are all discussed threadbare in the book. It also exposes the ‘ji huzoor’ culture of the Modi regime with corporate.

Speaking on the occasion, Aakar Patel, referred to the symbols of authoritarianism in front of the country and said large parts of the state appeared to be acting as a tyranny, particularly against civil society, activists and political opposition. Hindutva doesn’t have any positive agenda. It doesn’t address the social and economic problems of Dalits and Adivasis. It primarily pursued an anti-minority agenda, particularly against Muslims. For the first time, there is no Muslim chief minister, minister, MP or MLA of the ruling party. He accused the Modi government of targeting minorities through law. “Muslims are the only community for whom divorce is a criminal act while for others it is a civil offence. We should understand the harassment and more harassment of Muslims and combat it,” he remarked.

Akunuri Murali, former IAS officer and convenor, Social Democratic Forum, described Modi as ‘Hitler plus’ and called for delinking religion and religious politics. While religion was fine, religion politics was dangerous, he said. He accused the BJP regime of helping corporates to loot the country at the cost of quality education and quality health care.

Murali further criticised the false propaganda that Hindus will become a minority by 2040 and Muslims emerging as the majority community. “These bogus figures should be exposed and people told the reality,” he said.

Venugopal said Prime Minister Modi was the reason for his writing the book. He wanted to expose the ‘Mann ki jhooti baat’ told by Modi through his radio programme.

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