Teesta’s U turn in Kerala

published on May 3, 2009

Combating minority communalism


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Money, especially Gulf money, is the driving force behind the unholy nexus between mainstream political parties and minority communal organisations, Teesta Setalvad, human rights activist and co-editor of ‘Communalism Combat’, has observed.

 Addressing a meet-the-press programme organised by Kesari Memorial Journalists Trust on Sunday, Teesta said that it was highly disturbing to see the LDF clinching an alliance with PDP and the UDF with NDF in the Lok Sabha polls.

 “We were closely watching the activities of NDF, PDP and similar organisations. When the CPM calls Jama’at-e-Islami a cultural organisation, it is no different than the claim of RSS that it is a cultural organisation,’’ she said.

 Teesta said Jama’at has two different organisations, one for India and the other for Kashmir. “Do they think Kashmir is not a part of India?’’ she asked.

 When asked about CPM dropping its values and going ahead with the PDP alliance, Teesta replied that they had lost the moral authority to speak about communalism by doing so. “Minority communalism is equally dangerous because it breeds majority communalism,’’ she said.

 Regarding the recent Supreme Court orders on the Gujarat riot cases, Teesta said that there had been years of hard work by some good human beings behind that. “The base petition of Lakia Jafry that prompted the SC to deliver an order to inquire into Modi’s role was supported by 63 affidavits from police officers. There are 1,000 charges against Modi himself as per this petition,’’ she said.

 When asked whether she was happy over the decision of the Supreme Court to try 10 cases in Gujarat itself, Teesta said it would have been ideal if all cases were tried outside Gujarat. “But, the SC has taken the decision based on several factors, including logistics. These cases involve 2,000 witnesses and 3,000 accused. Language is also a problem,’’ she said.

 According to Teesta, the SC has tried to restore a responsible judiciary in Gujarat by doing so. “By trying the Bilkis Banu and Best Bakery cases outside Gujarat, the SC sent a strong signal. Now, the Gujarat courts have to try the cases properly,’’ she said.

 For Teesta and team, a Herculean task is ahead. Trial of ten more crucial cases means they have to protect hundreds of victims and save them from hidden pressures and provocations. 

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