BY- NewsGram News Desk
New Delhi: The debate over ‘rising intolerance’ is taking a toll over Indian politics. With the recent demonstrations revolving against cow slaughter; and litterateurs, filmmakers and scientists returning their awards, the Congress party seems ready to take this agitation phase ahead.
Congress leaders took part in a march against intolerance on Tuesday that included party vice president Rahul Gandhi, members of the Congress Working Committee, party office-bearers and party MPs.
The march started from the Parliament House and party leaders gave a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee conveying their concerns on “rising intolerance”.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley asked the Congress party to prove their accusation of intolerance prevailing in India. He accepted that though some incidents weren’t best for the country, it didn’t exemplify the general state of the country.
“There is peace and harmony in the country. There have been incidents which should not have happened, but it is not right to turn them into an issue like this. Congress should tell us where there is intolerance. These incidents are taking place in states ruled by the Congress and other parties.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier responded to Congress criticism by accusing them of not being so tolerant in 1984 when the Sikh riots took place, post the assassination of India Gandhi by her Sikh bodyguards. “Doob maro (drown in shame)” he asserted, asking them to remember the 1984 riots when Sikhs were massacred in Delhi and all over India. There are serious charges against the Congress party and its leaders of instigating as well as taking part in the riots.
Ironically, it is the Congress party which is lecturing on tolerance, wondered PM Modi.
“Madam Soniaji, do you remember 1984? What happened in Delhi? Sikhs were killed. Serious charges were made against the Congress. Ironically, now the Congress talks of tolerance,” Modi said at an election rally in Purnea in Bihar.
The debate swirling around “rising intolerance” began after incidents such as the murder of rationalists, mob killing (and violence) over beef-eating or cow slaughter rumours.
Several writers and artistes protested against these incidents and over, what they called, the Prime Minister’s “silence”, by returning their awards. Protests that came to be known as ‘Award Wapsi’ have drawn support from several filmmakers, scientists and historians.