Mangaluru, May 19: Groups fighting for the protection of secular values should be more vigilant even when the government of their wish comes to power at the Centre, said activist Teesta Setalvad on Sunday.
Speaking at the seminar ‘We, the people – in defence of secularism’, Ms. Seetalvad said the silence of groups fighting for the protection of secular values will be broken to some extent after May 23. “Our task will be much harder as these [communal] forces will be among us to provoke. We need to be more vigilant,” she said.
Stating that defence of secularism was nothing but preserving constitutional rights, she said there has been a failure in taking to masses the secular narrative in the language they understand. She asked intellectuals, academics and thinkers to come out with a collective voice for the protection of secular values.
Ms. Seetalvad favoured the creation of mohalla committees comprising doctors, engineers and other professionals who will work with the police and the district administration in maintaining peace.
Earlier, Registrar of St. Aloysius College (Autonomous) A.M. Narahari released S. Sathya’s Samvidhanada Kalalu , the Kannada translation of a book written by Ms.Seetalvad.
Communication specialist Sathya S, who translated the book in to Kannada, said, “The narration is made by Teesta in a very well balanced way, without losing perspective. This made the translation of the book, a challenging task.”
Introducing the book, writer G Rajashekhar said one has to voice their protest against the exploitation of common man by the people in power.
Along with some religious centres, folk arts and rituals too had turned into ambassadors of communism, said Journalist Dinesh Amin Mattu.
He lamented that cultural politics is being used to influence people these days. Folk art Yakshagana and Bhootha Kola are being used to propagate a particular ideology.
“In a region like Mangaluru, cultural politics is much stronger than election politics and trade is one of the significant factor which is fostering communism.”
Our task will be much harder as communal forces will be among us to provoke: Teesta