New Delhi: Drawing a comparison between German dictator Adolf Hitler and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indian Overseas Congress chief Sam Pitroda on Saturday said the Prime Minister, too, made nationalism an issue like Hitler.
Pitroda’s remark came in response to a question on paradoxical statements regarding the apparent destruction of the idea of India by Modi and the BJP versus the saffron party making nationalism a key issue in the ongoing polls. “No, I don’t think it’s paradoxical, you could be a dictator and make nationalism as an issue. You know who did that – Hitler. Let’s not confuse what I am talking about – attacking the idea of India from the viewpoint of firstly democracy which I believe has been hijacked. Secondly, freedom, of the fact that people are afraid to speak up bothers me. Thirdly, the truth that you start lying, you promote lies when you attack everybody individually,” he said in an interview to ANI.
Taking a pot shot at Modi’s “56-inch chest” remark, Pitroda said the nation wants a Prime Minister who has some dignity, respect for others, a big heart and not a big chest. He went on to say that a Prime Minister should be one who is accommodating, loving, caring, and compassionate and not somebody who lies, twist facts and creates fear among people.
“How can the Prime Minister of a country who represents 1.3 billion people just lie openly and live with it and keep repeating it? It is a shame for me as a citizen that my Prime Minister had to get to that level. Why would my Prime Minister get personal? I am a proud Indian and I want my Prime Minister to have some dignity, some respect for others, big heart and not a big chest. The Prime Minister should be one who is accommodating, loving, caring, and compassionate and not somebody who lies, twists facts, and creates fear,” he said.
Pitroda, a confidant of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, said that a person who has a contrasting opinion on a particular matter cannot be tagged as “anti-national.” “When we talk about nationalism, everybody is a nationalist, just because I criticise something you can’t say I am not a nationalist, we are all nationalists. You may have a different opinion on something that’s perfectly alright in a democracy. Just because you have a different opinion I can’t start attacking you saying you are anti-national. The nationalist idea is overdone and people now know that. People know that the facts are very different, fact is you have not delivered,” Pitroda said.
When asked if BJP has made nationalism and national security the main issue in the ongoing polls, he said, “True, but BJP made it (nationalism and national security) a national issue because they have nothing else to talk about. They should talk about jobs, the economy, women’s safety, farmers’ issue. They are talking about national security but are they actually doing well in terms of security? I think we need to ask questions that people want to ask. Whenever you ask questions like we did last time, people react and the Prime Minster tweets and head of the BJP holds a press conference to answer.” “In a democracy, you must ask questions,” he emphasised.