On Saturday, Australian sociologist Dr Salvatore Babones participated in the India Today Conclave in Mumbai, Maharashtra to opine that India is being wrongly portrayed as a fascist state by the global media, which is affecting its image internationally. He also cornered the left-liberal ecosystem in India who usually keeps on targeting the BJP-led government and called them ‘anti-India.
In conversation with journalist’ Rajdeep Sardesai, Babones, who is an associate professor at the University of Sydney, stated that the organizations and the so-called ‘liberal intellectuals who build their opinions against the government are anti-India. “India’s intellectual class is anti-India. There is also a class of society who is anti-Modi and anti-BJP, as a class, not as an individual,” he said.
He added that the left-liberal intellectuals base their criticism on the aspect which probably is never going to change. “Suppose that the UPA government comes into power. Is it going to take down the Ram Mandir, is it going to get rid of the UAPA? So the basis on which the criticisms are made, that basis will probably remain in place. If they do, the same criticisms will apply to them”, he noted
Sardesai, who meanwhile seemed upset during the conversation, tried defending the anti-India brigade, saying questioning the government is an act of patriotism. “Patriotism, as separated from nationalism, is questioning your government. So the intellectuals you are demonizing are the intellectuals we should be celebrating because, unlike others, they are at least raising a few red flags. This is India’s greatness. Why not celebrate these instead of calling them anti-India?” he asked
To this, Dr Salvatore Babones said that these intellectuals’ need to analyze first that are they questioning the government or the BJP-led government only. “The issue is, is this tied to the BJP government or will it continue inevitably to any other government who will come to power at some point in time? Will there be a recalibration of opinions then?” he responded
“India has problems. And activists, journalists, and intellectuals absolutely have a role to call out the problems. But the problem is that they allow internationally to colour the overall evaluation of this system,” he said He reiterated that India is not a fascist country and that it is being wrongly portrayed as a fascist state by the global media.