'No mention of stand-up India because Govt busy banning comedians': Shashi Tharoor's jibe in Lok Sabha
Photo: ANI

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday suggested that the current government should name his schemes as "sit-down" "shut-down" and "shut-up India".

While participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President's address, the Congress MP alleged that the government was "partitioning India's soul" and dividing the country into "Hindus Vs Muslims", "us Vs they", "Ramzade Vs I won't say".

"Lip service" was paid to Skill India, Digital India and Startup India and no mention was made of Stand-up India as "you are so busy banning stand-up comedians", he said referring to the airline ban on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.

For the uninitiated, comedian Kunal Kamra was banned from travelling with four airlines for heckling Arnab Goswami aboard a Mumbai-Lucknow IndiGo flight. Later, he sent a legal notice to the airline demanding an unconditional apology, revocation of the ban and Rs 25 lakh compensation.

In the notice sent to the airline, Kamra's lawyer stated that his client has suffered "mental pain and agony" due to "illegal, arbitrary and high-handed decision" of the airline.

Recently, Kamra also took to Twitter to share a message for all those who thought he was "a congress employee". This particular tweet, in the format of a meme, was posted as a response to Rahul Gandhi's tweet condemning the ban on Karma by four airlines.

"Those who use their "news" cameras as 24x7 tools of propaganda, should show some spine when the camera is turned on them," Gandhi had written.

On Tuesday, Tharoor also alleged that the government has criticised institutions such as the CAG and has turned Parliament into a "notice board" for the ruling BJP.

Dubbing the government as "men of straws with limited vision", he said even if it "hijacks" names from history, it won't succeed. The Congress member said there was a dearth of solutions and ideas to take India forward and attempts were made to "mask" failures of various schemes launched by the government.

He said Mahatma Gandhi was quoted to defend a "draconian" law such as the Citizenship Amendment Act. He said Gandhi had also said during Partition that India should not drive out Muslims as it was against ethos. But that part, he said, was left out of the President's address.

He also flagged the issue of "prolonged" detention of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir and said the country has seen the largest number of internet shutdowns, including that in the Valley.

He said India cannot reach the USD 5 trillion economy target without a 12 per cent per annum growth and dubbed it as a "pipe dream".

(With inputs from agencies)

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