Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra once again lashed out at the Modi government saying that anyone who was not with the government was vilified and a “troll army” was unleashed on them.
Moitra also said that it was possible for people to be anti-government and not be an ‘anti-national’.
“Inske saath ho toh bhagwaan, na ho toh shaitaan. Yeh toh na insafi hai bhai (If you are with the government you are god, otherwise you’re the devil. This is unfair!)” Moitra said, adding that she had experienced first-hand how anyone who criticised the government was termed as an “anti-national”.
Moitra made the remarks while debating against the amendment to the UAPA bill in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
“Why are we in the Opposition at the risk of being called anti-national every time we disagree with the government on issues of national security, on issues of law and order and on issues of policing?” Moitra asked.
Moitra alluded to the online trolling of anyone who comments against the Modi government saying, “Every time we disagree this government, its troll armies, its propaganda machineries work overtime to call us terrorist sympathisers, to calls us ‘sickulars’, to call us ‘anti-nationals’.”
Moitra asserted that the people of India still appreciated nuance. “It still has people who have not degenerated into the mindless world of black and white — we can either be pro-government or be anti-country. All of India does not believe this, even if members of this house may. It is still possible to be anti-government and pro-India and that is the space I choose to represent today.”
Moitra’s speech was interrupted by MPs of the ruling party. BJP MP from West Bengal SS Ahluwalia said that Members of Parliament could not make allegations against the government without substantiating it. The chair, Meenakshi Lekhi, also a member of the BJP, read out from the rule book of the house that allegations or defamatory statements could be made against a member only after giving notice.
Moitra clarified that she was not making defamatory statements against any member of the House.
“I have not made any single thing against any member. I spoke about the propaganda machineries and troll armies,” Moitra said and was interrupted again. “It is unfortunate that you need three ministers of the treasury benches to stand up and fight me. I am sure Mr Shah (Amit Shah) will have the grace to hear me out.”
She also quoted Mahatma Gandhi and George Orwell and said, “The truth is the truth, even if I am a minority of only one.”