Mahua Moitra, the Trinamool Congress lawmaker whose comments in parliament on “seven signs of fascism” went viral last week, has hit out at allegations on social media that her debut speech was plagiarized.
Expressing “great dismay”, she blamed the “troll army” of the BJP and “certain media houses owing allegiance to the ruling party” for the accusation.
A Washington Monthly article has been circulated in tweets that allege Moitra of lifting chunks of her speech in the Lok Sabha from an article on “12 early warning signs of fascism” in reference to Donald Trump’s America.
The lawmaker said the article quoted from the same poster that she had referred to in her speech.
“I quoted Dr. Lawrence Britt’s seven signs of fascism in my speech and told everyone that seven of these signs are applicable to a country like India as well,” Moitra said.
In the US Holocaust Museum.
I’m shook. pic.twitter.com/EeuHEXWusE
— sarah rose (@1SarahRose) January 30, 2017
In her ‘fascism’ speech Moitra lambasted the Modi government, which drew a lot of praise on the social media.
She clarified that her speech was original and from her heart. “My speech came from the heart and every Indian who has shared it did so from their heart. The hits were organic, not BOT controlled. I repeat — ‘Bandhney mujhey tu aaya hai? Zanjeer badi kya laya hai (you have come to chain me, are your shackles enough)?’” she said.
Moitra (42), a first time MP from West Bengal’s Krishnanagar constituency, was trending for two days after her speech on June 25 during a debate on the President’s address.
In her speech she said while she “humbly accepted” the mandate for the BJP, its very scale meant that the voices of dissent must be heard.
“You may say that acche din (good days) are here and that the sun will never set on the Indian Empire that the government is seeking to build. But then, you are missing the signs. Only if you open your eyes, you will see there are signs everywhere that this country is being torn apart,” she had said in her speech.
Her list of “7 signs” included “superficial” nationalism that’s “searing in the fabric of the country”, a “resounding disdain for human rights”, suppression of dissent, control of mass media, obsession with national security and intertwining of religion and government.