Authors target Modi govt for propagating hate, says Nationalism is a piece of nonsense

Dehradun: Noted writers and intellectuals across the country targeted the Modi led BJP government for propagating hate among the people.

One of India’s foremost writers and the most prominent face of the 2015 award wapsi campaign — authors returning their prestigious Sahitya Akademi awards in protest against the alleged intolerance in the country — Nayantara Sehgal, has said that the issue of nationalism is insignificant and a piece of nonsense.

“Nationalism is a piece of nonsense. There is no need for a country that has been free for 70 years to suddenly shout about nationalism. Those who are raising this slogan today — the ruling party — were nowhere to be seen when India was fighting for freedom. They were fast asleep on their beds. So what are they shouting about now,” Sehgal asked the audience on the concluding day of the WIC India Dehradun Communnity Literature Festival.

The comments from the much acclaimed author came at a session titled “Nationalism in Digital India”. The panel, apart from Sehgal, also included writers Kiran Nagarkar, Nandita Haksar and Harsh Mader. The discussion was moderated by journalist Rana Ayyub.

Kiran Nagarkar has said that he “does not give a damn” about nationalism and is yet a proud Indian.

“I am a proud Indian but I don’t give a damn about nationalism. I don’t want India to be a great country. I would rather want India to be a good country where everyone is loved and respected and where everybody’s rights are protected,” he remarked to a house-full audience, comprising mostly students from the many reputed schools of the this hill station.

Accusing the ruling establishment of propagating hate among the masses, Nagarkar said that the government — led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi — hates questions.

“Hate is something that this regime thrives on. They breed contempt and hate,” he said.

Nagarkar is an Indian novelist, playwright, film and drama critic and screenwriter both in Marathi and English, and is one of the most significant writers of post-colonial India.

Sehgal alleged a “deal” to make people fall in line. She said that the ruling establishment wants everybody to agree with their ideology — of Hindutva and of Hindutva of their definition — and that all those who are in disagreement with this propagation is at the receiving end.

“We have a fascist regime in power. Muslims and minorities are being targeted,” Sehgal added.