Mishra, Supriyo denounce ‘intolerance lobby’


Kolkata: Union ministers Kalraj Mishra and Babul Supriyo on Saturday rejected allegations about raging intolerance in the country, rubbishing the issue as politically motivated.

“India is such a country which thinks the entire world as a family. There is no place for intolerance in India,” said union Minister for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Kalraj Mishra.

Union Minister of State for Urban Development Babul Supriyo took a dig at those returning awards, saying it had become “more of a fashion” rather than a mark of protest.

“Where has this word intolerance come from? Who coined it? There have been some stray incidents, but how is the Centre to be blamed for law and order issues arising in states? The incident(s) mostly took place in non-BJP ruled states. Law and order is a state subject,” Supriyo told mediapersons here.

In an obvious reference to the Congress, Supriyo said the comments about intolerance were coming from those who were in power during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and the forced exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits.

Asked about some writers and intellectuals returning their awards, he said, “Interestingly, many people did not even know the names of the people who got these awards until they returned it.”

According to Supriyo, the awards were given by autonomous and independent bodies and returning them doesn’t mean a protest against the policies of the Centre.

“The Centre has welcomed the intellectuals and artistes to come and sit at the discussion table to resolve all issues,” he said on the sidelines of a programme here.