Narendra Modi government has strongly rejected the claims of “rising intolerance” in the country. A day when principal opposition party held a peace march march to the Rashtrapati Bhavan taking up the issue of what is being said as “rising intolerance”, Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley questioned the rationale behind the claims.
“Where is intolerance?” asked Arun Jaitley at a press conference in New Delhi.
“There is complete peace. The nation is not and will never be intolerant,” the senior cabinet minister added replying to the questions which the incumbent BJP-led NDA government has been subjected to after the incidents like Dadri lynching, beef row and murder of rationalist thinkers.
Mr. Jaitley also stressed that “political opponents must fight political battle politically,” and it is “not fair” to create an issue due to political reasons and then link it to government even when incidents of crime are happening in states ruled by other parties.
“The atmosphere will not change only by talking. If some incident happens like the one in Karnataka, which is Congress-ruled, you cannot link it to the central government to attack. That is not fair,” he added.
The Union Finance minister had earlier too questioned the claims of “rising intolerance” accusing the opposition parties, in particular Congress and the Left front, of practising “ideological intolerance” towards the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mr. Jaitley had even gone to say that the “Prime Minister himself has been the worst victim of these ideological intolerance”.
“Their strategy is twofold. Firstly, obstruct Parliament and do not permit reforms which will bring credit to Modi Government. Secondly, create, by structured and organised propaganda, an environment that there is a social strife in India. They wish to project India as an intolerant society,” Arun Jaitley had said in Delhi on Sunday.
Several writers, multi-lingual authors, scientists and even historians have been strongly protesting and speaking out against the incidents reflecting “intolerance” to the dissenting opinions. Many of them have even returned their awards and honours in the last few weeks.
Though Prime Minister Narendra Modi had himself denounced these incidents pitching for peace and unity in the country, it has not been able to put a rest to the debate.
(With inputs from the PTI)