DESPARDES — Renowned Indian lyricist-screenwriter Javed Akhtar has called Narendra Modi a ‘fascist’ in his latest attack on the Prime Minister.
Akhtar’s no-holds-barred comment comes back-to-back Noam Chomsky’s: The famed social critic and political activist dubbed the latest developments in India symptoms of fascism. “What we’re seeing in India is symptoms of fascism.
Akhtar was speaking to Aljazeera news channel along with his film industry colleague, director Mahesh Bhatt. Akhtar went on to add that fascist is a ‘thinking’.
To the question if Akhtar thought Modi was fascist, he replied, “Of course, he is. I mean, fascists don’t have horns on their heads. Fascist is a thinking. And thinking that ‘we are better than others and whatever problems we have, it is because of these people’… the moment you hate people in wholesale, you’re a fascist.”
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Last week, Washington-based South Asia analyst Husain Haqqani criticized Modi Modi govt saying it has left everyone disappointed. “First, western liberals, and now conservatives: Modi govt has left everyone disappointed”.
Bollywood Director Mahesh Bhatt was asked the next question, if India was Islamophobic, given that Muslims all over the world were calling India that. “Well, I think Islamophobia, the winds of Islamophobia blew through the world after 9/11 and I think the phobia here is manufactured, because I don’t think the average Indian is so frightened of a Muslim.”
Bhatt went on to say, “I mean, that kind of a fear has been crafted, has been structured; day in and day out, mediapersons out there, the pliable channels, are working round the clock to create ‘the other’. They need ‘the other’ to stay in power. And to hate the Muslim is the lifeline of the BJP. Let’s not mince our words.”
Javed Akhtar and Mahesh Bhatt have both been vocal critics of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and have, several times in the past, hit out at the ruling BJP government over the same.
The article originally appeared in IndiaToday