A shrill maiden Rajya Sabha speech by Trinamool Member of Parliament Mahua Moitra which earned high praise from the liberals is now facing charges of plagiarism.
In her speech Moitra made a pointed attack on the Narendra Modi led government using “7 signs of fascism”, which she claimed are:
- Nationalism searing into national fabric
- Disdain for human rights in government
- Subjugation and control of mass media
- Obsession with national security
- Religion and Government intertwined in the country
- Disdain for intellectuals and the arts
- Erosion of independence in electoral system
This speech was heavily praised by the critics of Prime Minster Modi and the usual suspects including the so called liberals and dissenters.
While the speech was already being criticised in various quarters for peddling hysteria and doomsday, a fresh charge of plagiarism has been levelled against Moitra.
As claimed by various social media users, the “7 signs of fascism” and how they apply to the Modi government, were not Moitra’s original thoughts but were merely lifted from a 2017 article in Washington Monthly, which compared “12 early warnings of fascism” and how US President Donald Trump was ticking the boxes.
JNU Professor Makrand Paranjape too questioned the speech by stating that the basic structure and ideas were lifted from the American article.
Incidentally, Moitra also didn’t quote the US Holocaust Museum prior to listing the “seven signs of fascism” and only mentioned the original source fleetingly at the end of the article, which could have resulted in any casual listener believing that the signs were part of Moitra’s own thought process.
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