- Mahua Moitra's debut speech in parliament last week went viral
- However, it has been alleged she lifted chunks of speech from an article
- Expressing "great dismay", she refuted the allegations
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 that Ms Moitra had lifted 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.
"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 signs relevant to India and spoke at length about each of them," Mahua Moitra said in a statement.
"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)? "
Mahua Moitra, a first time MP, trended high for two days after her speech on June 25 during a debate on the President's address.
The 42-year-old lawmaker from West Bengal's Krishnanagar is a former investment banker.
She said in that speech that 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 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.
Her list of "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.
The "superficial, xenophobic and narrow" nationalism, she said, is a "lust to decide, not a desire to unite".