October 3rd, 2011
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How do I keep up the fighting spirit? It is my Kerala blood

Narendra Modi

What do you think about Modi’s model of development that seems to be receiving immense praise?

There has been a lot of industrialization but the benefits accrue to only one section of the society. The people who grow richer by the minute are those who own private helicopters or jets and who have their own security. This section will soon have their own oxygen chambers and masks too. Besides this elite section there is the other section which comprises of the rest of the society.

I don’t know any other state where an entire middle class, urban family committed suicide because of economic hardships. In Gujarat entire families committing suicides has become a regular event.  Several organizations including the Bharatiya Kisan Sangh are totally against the current policy of development, adopted by Modi.

The society is divided. The chasm between the rich and the rest is growing by the day.

Was Modi’s Sathbhavana fast genuine?  What is the state of Muslims today in Gujarat?

The whole thing is a farce. Muslims are a whole different issue after 2002. They are ghettoized. They are terrified. Nobody gives them admissions in schools, colleges or even for jobs. Women who used to earn 150 everyday by stitching and embroidering are forced to offer their services for 8 or 10 rupees.

In Juha Pura where thousands of Muslims live, especially those who lost their homes in the 2002 attack, live in inhuman conditions. There have neither proper sewage system, electricity, banks nor buses. They have  nothing! Not even 10 years after 2002.

modi's cap controversyInfact Muslims have to constantly prove their tolerance and innocence to the people by garlanding Ganapathi every year for every Hindu festival. Even during Modi’s rath yatra they were told to dress up in burkha’s and skull caps and so that the TV camera’s could prove that Muslims are accepting him. Its all a big farce a drama enacted for the world to see.

When some of us went to meet victims of the 2002 communal carnage to draw attention to the fact that none of the victims got justice even after 10 years, we were taken into custody. Is this the reaction of someone who genuinely wants communal harmony?

This not only the case of Muslims but also that of the dalits . There are hundred’s of  Dalit villages where they are not even permitted to buy soap in their village. Boycott and untouchability is so intense that they have to walk at least 20 km’s to even buy a bar of soap. This is the pitiable condition of people due to segregation and discrimination. This is not only the case condition of the Muslims but also the dalits, fisher folk, farmers and women.

Everyone is petrified to raise their voice or their views.

Does the general society and people in Gujarat support Modi’s divisive social policy?

Yes. There are a lot of people who support Modi’s views because the divisiveness of society has been going on since 1990 in Gujarat. It has been a laboratory for the BJP and the RSS since 1990. The seeds of hatred have been sown so deep.

The main work in the 2002 riots were carried out for the politicians by Dalit’s and Aadivasi’s who are otherwise the most marginalized sections of society. They were pitted against the Muslims. It has been a very strategically planned division and it has been working. It is only now that some sectors have started to realize that they were being used.

Dalits in Gujarat have always been marginalized and discriminated. Dalit women are the most discriminated lot. In 2002 they were suddenly made to feel important for they got an opportunity to discriminate against someone else.

It is human tendency to discriminate. It is human nature. Father kicks the mother, the mother kicks the child, the child kicks the dog.  But when this discrimination and hatred and division is backed by the State, the situation becomes very dangerous and worse. That’s what is happening in Gujarat.

brand buildin of narendra modiWe are trying to fight and change this nature among the Gujarathi’s. In each one of us there is a dark side and a light side. Today the political climate brings out only the dark side. They are feeding us with fear. It is  a slow and sinister process of building fear psychosis. Warning signals are always reminding us that we are under threat, threat that Kashmir will be taken away from us, threat that Muslim population would grow and eclipse over the others, fear that Muslims will rule over others, fear of a terrorist attack, threat from your neighbour, fear that your friend will snatch away your husband and the list goes on.

We are living in a world of fear and it is then that the dark side within us comes out. It is the thought that I am under threat and I need to survive. I must crush all others for me to survive. Our fight is to try and remind people that there is a light side and that it is, this light side that will make our lives worth living.

How does Modi manage to achieve consecutive success in assembly elections?

Modi is a man of brand management. People are scared and petrified and there is a lack of a strong opposition.

Do you think communalism is present only among the members of the BJP and RSS?

Unfortunately, the Congress is also communal. If you scratch the surface they are just as communal. There are people in the Congress who may not be communal at all but otherwise in Gujarat, the Congress is also communal.

One of the many things I realized in the last 10years is that a lot of people who say that they are liberal are in fact not liberal at all. When it actually comes down to taking action they all prefer to sit on the fence. Most people who talk about secularism don’t believe in it at all.  I have lost more friends but  gained many others than ever before in the last 10 years.

The fight in Gujarat is not against the BJP or RSS it is against anyone who is communal. BJP declares that it is their policy and it is all on the outside for everyone to see but the others are wearing masks. They are two faced and hypocritical.


10 Responses to “ How do I keep up the fighting spirit? It is my Kerala blood ”

  1. jyothi

    Though I am not in consonance with some of Mallikas views. Its a good indepth article written with elan and a great writing style.

  2. kumaraguruparan R

    Women empowerment is the essence of this article. Communal amity is the need of the hour. Mallika’s unrelenting fighting spirit reminds me of Poet; Freedom fighter Subramania Bharati’s visualization of an ideal woman.The role of cultural activists is much more than the laymen’s…Kudos to Mallika.

  3. Sanoob

    Looks good… well compiled article….must say. I guess using “protest” instead of “fight” would have been more appropriate. Regards.

  4. admin

    Thanks Sanoob…. the words are not mine. It is her own words….. and i didn’t feel it appropriate to tamper with that…..

  5. uma

    Dynamic,powerful,brave,smart and talented.I esp liked her views about feminism not being anti men and role of mothers in molding their children and women politicians getting aggressive.Subramanya Bharadhiyars vision of ‘Pudumai Penn’ Iis definitely ‘Mallika Sarabhai’.You
    have put it all together so nicely.Great job!!!!.

  6. admin

    Thank you so much Uma…. hope we will be able to render more articles that shall capture your interest

  7. Anil Angre

    The 2011 Noble Peace Prize has spoken very loudly in recognition of the importance of women’s role in society and the peace process. There are millions more who also fight alone and silently . Your article will no doubt strike a chord with many as did the Noble prize ( though I do not agree with some of Mallika’s views), Well done editor

  8. Harindranath Ravunny

    Mallika Sarabhai is well-known as a dancer, choreographer, publisher, writer, actor, social activist … … . Your interaction with the this celebrity helped her communicate with us boldly and effectively. Thank you Niranjally Varma for your splendid work!

  9. Kalyani

    The questions are well chosen to get Mallika Sarabhai to speak about the aspects of the subject relevant to Kerala.The women of Kerala need to hear these views which were superbly elicited by Niranjali Varma.

  10. lakshman varma

    what this woman talks about Modi is utter non sense; i have heard quite the opposite about him, from very neutral people.


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