TMC MP Mohua Moitra, who has been elected to the parliament for the first time from Krishnanagar, gave a fierce speech in the Lok Sabha win the hearts of the house, the public and social media. Her speech is being called the vital voice of opposition. Mohua Moitra made these seven powerful points.

She claimed that India faces a fascist regime as documented in a poster in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Her speech of the seven ‘signs’ came amidst desk thumping by opposition party members and at least one BJP leader. Here are these seven signs that Moitra spoke about in her iconic maiden speech:

  1. Nationalism

“There is a powerful and continuing nationalism which is searing into our national fabric.”

“It is superficial, it is xenophobic, and it is narrow. It has a lust to divide. It is not a desire to unite. Citizens are being thrown out of their homes and are being called illegal immigrants. People who have lived in this country for 50 years have to show a piece of paper to prove they are Indians. In a country where ministers cannot produce degrees to show that they graduated from college, you expect disposed poor people to show papers as proof that they belong to this country?

Slogans and symbols are being used to test religion. There is no one slogan, no one symbol that ensures any Indian that they are a patriot. There is no one test, Sir. No one test.”

  1. Disdain

“There has been a ten-fold increase in the number of hate crimes between 2014 and 2019.”

“This is like the valuation of an e-commerce start-up, Sir. There are forces in this country that are sitting there just pushing this number up. The lynching of citizens in broad daylight is being condoned. From Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan last year to Mr Ansari in Jharkhand yesterday, the list is not stopping.”

  1. Control of Mass Media and Subjugation

“Five of the largest news media organizations in India are today either indirectly controlled or indirectly debted to one man in this country. TV channels spent a majority of airtime broadcasting propaganda for the ruling party. Coverage of every Opposition party is cut out. Let the government come out with facts and figures to show ad-spend per media house. What are they spending the money on and which media houses are they blocking out? The Information and Broadcasting Ministry employs over 120 people solely to check the content on TV channels every day to make sure that there is no anti-government news being put out.”

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  1. Obsession with National Security

She said, “It is as though all of us in this country are today in fear of nameless, shameless kala bhoot.” Moitra claimed the achievements of the Army were being “usurped in the name of one man”. She also said, “New enemies are being created every day” while pointing out the irony that the number of killings of soldiers and terror attacks had increased since 2014. “There has been a 106 percent increase in the death of Jawans in Kashmir,” Mahua Moitra added.

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  1. Suppression of Dissent

“Funding is being cut for liberal education. But the spirit of dissent is integral to India”

“A complete disdain for intellectuals and the arts” and “the repression of all dissent” was the most dangerous sign of all – and it was “pushing India back to the Dark Ages”. “Funding is being cut for liberal education. But the spirit of dissent is integral to India. You do not even tolerate questioning let alone dissent. The spirit of dissent is integral to India. You cannot shackle us”

  1. Religion and Government intertwined in the country

Do I even need to speak about this? Need I remind you that we have redefined what it means to be a citizen? With the NRC and the Citizenship Amendment Bill, we are making sure that there is only one community that is the target of anti-immigration laws. Members of Parliament these days are more interested in the fate of 2.77 acres of land than in the 812 million acres of the rest of India.

Yeh sirf 2.77 acre janmabhhoomi ka mudda nahi hain. Yeh sara desh, 80 crore acres, ko akhand rakhne ka prashna hai. (It is not just a matter of 2.77 acres of birth land. It is the matter of the whole country, of keeping 80 crore acres together.)

  1. Erosion of Independence in Electoral System

The Election Commission was used to transfer key officials. Rs 60,000 crore was spent in this election; 50 percent by one party, Rs 27,000 crore.

There is a danger of fascism rising in India. It is incumbent upon all of us to stand up to it.

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In 2017, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum put up a poster in its main lobby and it contained a list of all the signs of early fascism. Each of the seven signs I have pointed to you featured in that poster. There is a danger of fascism rising in India. It is incumbent upon all of us to stand up to it. Let us, the Members of this 17th Lok Sabha decide which side of history do we want to be on. Do we want to be upholders of this Constitution or do we want to be its pall bearers?

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