We will win the day: Teesta Setalvad on the battle for the idea of India

As journalist and human rights defender Teesta Setalvad spends another night in Gujarat’s Sabarmati jail, Sabrang India looks back at some of her most powerful work (and words) over the last thirty years – work and words deemed dangerous enough to be imprisoned. This is the struggle of our memory against forgetting, against the white-washing and clean-chitting of violence.

In November 2001, Teesta Setalvad gave an interview to filmmaker Shaina Anand and anthropologist Nikhil Anand in the backdrop of the 9/11 terror attacks in New York. In this excerpt (the full interview can be accessed here) she talks presciently about a concerted effort by the forces of Hindutva to undermine the very idea of a multicultural, multireligious India.Her predictions were to come tragically true three months later. A carnage was unleashed in Gujarat, putting Indian democracy on a long, violent road to majoritarianism. And Teesta herself was propelled to the frontlines of the ‘battle’ for the idea of India. Twenty one long years have gone by. Teesta Setalvad is still fighting on the frontlines, and we may yet, ‘win the day’.



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