Free Press Journal

Oppn asks govt to take steps to check intolerance


New Delhi: Opposition members today claimed there were rising cases of intolerance in the country and asked the government to take steps to ensure that citizens are treated equally and no one is targeted on the basis of religion, caste or creed. Members of BSP, NCP, Congress and other parties sought to corner the government in Rajya Sabha over alleged incidents of intolerance and its reaction in the society, as witnessed in the return of awards by intellectuals, writers and artistes, saying the majority should not discriminate against the minority.

Participating in the debate on ‘Commitment to the Constitution’, BSP chief Mayawati attacked the government on “intolerance, communalism and anarchy” in the country, saying the government was not paying attention to it. She said various incidents including Dadri killing, repeatedly raised questions over the government’s commitment to the Constitution.

She debunked Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reply to the debate in the Lok Sabha and dared him to take action against his own ministerial and party colleagues, who she alleged were making “provocative” remarks.

“People from BJP and affiliated Hindu organisations keep on making controversial indignified remarks. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is the head of the government, keeps silent,” Mayawati said. Praful Patel (NCP) said the administration cannot remain quiet saying these were “stray incidents” and added that individual views will be reflected as government’s views if these were not contradicted properly.

“Therefore you have to take care of them,” he said, adding that “the right balance should be drawn and the right steps be taken so that nobody witnesses intolerance in the country”.

Citing Ambedkar’s past speeches, Patel said “it is wrong for majority to deny minorities their rights” as all should be treated equally and it is “wrong on the part of ministers to perpetuate themselves”.

“A solution should be found so that all are treated as equals…. As Ambedkar had said ‘it is the duty of majority not to discriminate against minorities’…We will have to go back to history and see what he had said. If you do not espouse and live with the spirit of democracy, it will be a farce in the name of democracy,” Patel said.

Ashwani Kumar (Congress) said there was ‘intolerance and anarchy’ in the country as the “basic tenets of Constitution are challenged today’.