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Gautam Chikermane @gchikermane
, 15 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
So much for free speech and its passionate supporters…

Apparently, to conduct or participate in #PondyLitFest you need to be ideologically aligned to the Left — this, from a gaggle of writers (yes WRITERS!) calling themselves, hold your breath, ‘progressive’…
Lieutenant Governor @thekiranbedi should ensure that there is no space for such festival (#PondyLitFest) in Puducherry, demand Progressive Writers Association — you read that right: ‘PROGRESSIVE’
The fact that the three Communist parties of India — @cpimspeak @cpofindia @cpimlliberation — want to smother alternative narratives shows the true colours of what these parties are: fascists, intolerant, anti-#FreeSpeech, wearing the honourable garb of politics.

Despite appearances and packaging, not for them the battles for ideas. The currency of their discourse is coercion, suppression of voices, any means to crush the ‘other’ by force physical, force politics. No other idea has the right to freedom.
Politics will do what it does. But when writers join forces with politics to end a LitFest, it exposes the depths to which they have fallen — a collective that should be supporting #FreeSpeech is attempting to drown it.

Those who chant the mantra of “...and then they came for me”, at the fringe of any and every incident, are leading the assault against their own fraternity.
Dear ‘progressive’ writers, you are a shame on progress.
An aside, if you want to see the true colours of ‘progressives’, read Aavarana, a magnificent book by SL Bhyrappa…
On the ‘intellectual’ side, the #PondyLitFest is being attacked for carting the Hindutva and BJP agenda, thereby typecasting all participants with a single-coloured brush.
There is so much wrong with this stance. I’ll explain two.
First, it presumes that in the 71st year of Independent India, Hindutva and BJP have no place.
Second, it presumes ALL participants in #PondyLitFest are followers of one of these.
Don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this sublime sense of entitlement and presumption.
Another aside: How many of these Leftists have read the Communist Manifesto — I have, and can hold all these worthies together on my own in a civilised debate.

[I have also engaged with the Mahabharata and can discuss the nuances of dharma with equal ease.]
I am not alone. There are several of us who function within the confines of civilised debate, make the effort to read and understand before we open our mouths.
We can’t be slotted, we can’t be coloured, can’t be boxed.
We can listen, we can change our minds.
We wont be coerced.
And since when did Sri Aurobindo become ‘right’ wing? He soars high above, beyond all labels. To hijack his ideas and frame him into a pathetic narrative, you will need to go through, if not read, the 37 (and counting) volumes of his work. Lazy allegations will not work here.
Because you are trapped in tiny ideological boxes of your own, you mirror your limited reality and forcefully transpose it on others to suit a narrative. That doesn’t make it a fact, leave alone a truth.
Work harder.
A final word for those attacking the #PondyLitFest: If you have a problem, debate is the path.
Otherwise, you’re only confirming what we know — the abuse you spew is an expression of who you are and the #FreeSpeech you claim to protect is a fig leaf to hide your fascist leanings.
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