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Authors discuss India’s diversity in present times

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Copy Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India Observer, TIO: Author and journalist Syed Ali Mujtaba unveiled his new book, Changing Nature of Indian State, at Press Club today. The book launch was followed by a thought-provoking panel discussion featuring eminent personalities such as Jawhar Sircar, former IAS and Member of Parliament, Om Prakash Mishra, former vice-chancellor of North Bengal University, Snehasis Sur, president of the Press Club of Kolkata, and Prof. Gazala Yasmin from the department of mass communication, Aliah University.

Also Read, Tweet & Share: Book changing nature of indian state launched in Kolkata by Gazala Yasmin

The panel discussed India’s frightening trend of losing its multicultural ethos, with a focus on the creation of a regime based on religion.

Jawhar Sircar highlighted the impact of five significant Bills, including the Telecom Bill, IT rules, Cinematography Act, Data Protection Act, and Broadcasting Bill, on press freedom, stating that they have significantly reduced press liberty and enabled intrusion into private affairs.

Dr. Syed Ali Mujtaba

He also underscored the concerning statistic that the Enforcement Directorate’s success rate was merely 0.3%, with 99.7% constituting legitimate harassment.

Additionally, he criticized the Election Commission for taking four days to determine whether the Banswara speech of PM Modi in Rajasthan was communal or not.

O P Mishra emphasized the erosion of India’s diversity, particularly in regions like Manipur and Ladakh because of their limited Lok Sabha representation. He highlighted how laws like CAA claim to protect refugees but discriminate based on religion. “India has become one country where the respect for human rights and international law has rapidly deteriorated,” he remarked.

The panel discussion overall underscored how India, once acclaimed for its diversity, is now seeing a disturbing trend of homogeneity, with its unique tapestry of cultures and identities being suppressed.

Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai

First Published in The Statesman

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