On 25th June, Mahua Moitra, All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) leader and a first time Member of Parliament (MP) sparked a row over her maiden parliamentary speech on “the seven signs of fascism in India”.The speech received applause as well as criticism in social media and was widely shared in Twitter and in YouTube.
Zee news’ Editor-in-chief Sudhir Chaudhary alleged that the “hate-filled speech” delivered by Mahua Moitra was plagiarized. The speech was alleged to be plagiarized from an article written by Martin Longman, criticizing US President Donald Trump of fascism.
However, Mahua Moitra had made it clear that her speech was inspired by a Holocaust poster in the United States museum. In her speech she pointed out seven signs of early fascism in India which she believes, prevails. Those were:
Sudhir Chaudhary accused that the speech was plagiarised. Mahua Moitra, in return, filed a criminal defamation case against the Zee news’ editor-in-chief in the Patiala House Court, New Delhi.
The counsel appearing for the MP (Shadaan Farasat and Adit Pujari) contended that Mahua Moitra’s speech was, indeed, inspired by the holocaust poster in the United States museum and was not plagiarized or copied from Martin Longman’s article. They also brought to the attention of the court that Martin Longman himself had conveyed via twitter that the MP had not plagiarized or copied from his article.
Further, the counsel appearing for Mahua Moitra contended that the Holocaust Poster in the United States had 14 signs of fascism and that Mahua had chosen the 7 signs which she felt were accurate for the condition prevalent in India.
Mahua Moitra had earlier released a statement which said, “Plagiarism is when one does not disclose one’s source. My source as mentioned categorically in my speech was the poster from the Holocaust Museum created by the political scientist Dr.Laurence W Brit pointing out the 14 signs of early fascism. I found 7 relevant to India and spoke at length about each of them.”
Metropolitan Magistrate Preeti Parewa had posted the case on July 20. Mahua Moitra’s statement will be recorded on the 20thof July.
Mahua Moitra also released an official statement pursuant to the allegations made against her.