Veteran journalist and writer spoke of her concerns about how, in the current regime, those who opposed the ruling party’s ideologies were being threatened, persecuted and killed.
“We see violence on TV–mob lynchings – and we know that five eminent writers have been shot dead by passing motorists. Violence is all around us and it is not new, there has been plenty of violence in India before this. What is new is that violence is now being celebrated as a way to get rid of what the ruling ideology no longer perceives as Indian. It now calls non-Hindus foreigners who have no right to be here” said Sahgal.

“This is a new situation for India and we are struggling to cope with it. War is not coming, it is upon us. When we think that Indians are being divided into Hindus and others, that’s a kind of civil war, isn’t it? There are other kinds of war. The military, under this regime, has been given the chance to speak on TV and express the ideas. In a democracy, the military stays out of sight and we have had a great tradition of armed forces who have stayed out of sight and done a superb job when they were called upon to do so. Now they are being politicized and that is a tragedy,” she added.

While speaking about her latest book The Fate of Butterflies, Sahgal pointed out how it was a result of ‘her obsession with the destruction’ taking place to the ‘meaning of India’.

“I have thought of each of my novels as being about the making of modern India. This novel and the one before it are about the unmaking of modern India. I have been struck by the way that India has been unmade in the past four years – almost obsessed with the destruction that is taking place to the very meaning of India, to what we have been since Independence, to our values of that time, to our democracy, to our secularism, to our fraternity—all of this is being torn apart,” she added.

Fielding a question on her returning the Award in 2015, Sahgal said “At the time of emergency, I wrote to the Sahitya Academy and I said ‘please speak out against censorship because you are here to protect literature and freedom of speech. They refused so I resigned from the Academy. What is happening now is worse. Those who oppose the ruling ideology are being threatened, persecuted or killed. The Sahitya Academy has never raised its voice about the killing of all these writers. I think they are not doing their job.”

While stating that it is difficult to protect oneself ‘when there is a fascist govt in power’, Sahgal urged the audience to continue to speak and express themselves.

“I have a very strong belief that we must speakwriters must write, artists must continue to paint, we must continue to do what we are doing and not be silenced by any authority or by any threat. Though there is no obvious protection, what we will be doing by speaking, writing and painting is protecting what India stands for and that’s what is important,” she said.

By Swaty Iyer
End of the article .DZUFLQUgrW h2,.DZUFLQUgrW h3,.DZUFLQUgrW p {margin:0;padding:0;font-family:proximanova,proxima-semibold;;}.DZUFLQUgrW {width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > span{width:100%;float:left;height:130px;float: left;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div:last-child > div > a > span{position:relative;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > span > img {width:100%;height: 100%;float:left;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div {width:31%;float: left;margin-left:3.5%; text-decoration: none;margin-bottom: 20px;cursor: pointer;position:relative}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div:first-child,.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div:nth-child(4) { margin-left: 0;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > div h3 {width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;max-height: 36px;overflow: hidden;display: -webkit-box;-webkit-line-clamp: 2;-webkit-box-orient: vertical;color: #333;padding: 8px 0 0;text-align: left;line-height: 19px;font-size: 14px !important; min-height: 36px; font-family: proxima-semibold;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > div p{width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;color: #999;padding: 6px 0 0;text-align: left;max-height: 17px;overflow: hidden;line-height: 1.2em;display: -webkit-box;-webkit-line-clamp: 1;-webkit-box-orient: vertical;font-family: ‘proxima-regular1‘;font-size: 12px;}.DZUFLQUgrW h2 {height: auto;display: block;width: 100%; float: left; padding: 0;color: #000000; margin-bottom: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;font-weight: bold;line-height: 26px; font: 700 18px/28px proxima-semibod,proximanova,roboto,arial,sans-serif !important;}.DZUFLQUgrW h2::before { content: “”;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > div {float: left;width: 100%;min-height: 65px;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div {float: left;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > div{display:none;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div:hover > div {position: absolute; right: 0; top: 0;display: block !important; width: 20px; height: 20px;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > div a img { height: 15px;width:19px;}.DZUFLQUgrW > div > div > a > img{left: 7px;top: 7px;border-radius: 50%; position: absolute; content: “”; z-index: 1;}

FROM AROUND THE WEB

.tQqqZL h2,.tQqqZL h3,.tQqqZL p {margin:0;padding:0;font-family:proximanova,proxima-semibold;;}.tQqqZL {width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;padding-bottom: 12px;background-image:url(//timesofindia.indiatimes/toiitpic/commons/images/rbc-gray.png); background-repeat: no-repeat;background-position: 98% 100%;background-size: auto auto;margin-bottom: 30px;}.tQqqZL:hover{background-image:url(//timesofindia.indiatimes/toiitpic/commons/images/rbc-red.png); }.tQqqZL > div > div > a > span{width:100%;float:left;height:130px;float: left;}.tQqqZL > div:last-child > div > a > span{position:relative;}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > span > img {width:100%;height: 100%;float:left;}.tQqqZL > div > div {width:31%;float: left;margin-left:3.5%; text-decoration: none;margin-bottom: 20px;cursor: pointer;position:relative}.tQqqZL > div > div:first-child,.tQqqZL > div > div:nth-child(4) { margin-left: 0;}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > div h3 {width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;max-height: 36px;overflow: hidden;display: -webkit-box;-webkit-line-clamp: 2;-webkit-box-orient: vertical;color: #333;padding: 8px 0 0;text-align: left;line-height: 19px;font-size: 14px !important; min-height: 36px; font-family: proxima-semibold;}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > div p {width: 100%;height: auto;float: left;color: #999;padding: 6px 0 0;text-align: left;max-height: 17px;overflow: hidden;line-height: 1.2em;display: -webkit-box;-webkit-line-clamp: 1;-webkit-box-orient: vertical;font-family: ‘proxima-regular1‘;font-size: 12px;}.tQqqZL h2 {height: auto;display: block;width: 100%; float: left; padding: 0;color: #000000; margin-bottom: 7px; text-transform: uppercase;font-weight: bold;line-height: 26px;font-size: 18px !important;}.tQqqZL h2::before { content: “”;}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > div {float: left;width: 100%;min-height: 65px;}.tQqqZL > div {float: left;}.tQqqZL > div > div > div{display:none;}.tQqqZL > div > div:hover > div {position: absolute; right: 0; top: 0;display: block !important; width: 20px; height: 20px;}.tQqqZL > div > div > div a img { height: 15px;width:19px;} (max-width:1920px) {.tQqqZL h2{font-size:28px;}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > div {height: Auto; }}.tQqqZL > div > div > a > img{left: 7px;top: 7px;border-radius: 50%; position: absolute; content: “”; z-index: 1;}

Comments (0)

Refrain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks, name calling or inciting hatred against any community. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines by marking them offensive. Let‘s work together to keep the conversation civil.

Be the first one to comment

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here