Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday quoted some “Bangladeshi friend” to contend that a “cow is safer in India than a Muslim” to suggest “growing intolerance” in the country.
Participating in the debate on intolerance in the Lok Sabha, he said the Modi government cannot promote ‘Make in India’ while there is “hate in India”.
Targeting Narendra Modi for his “silence”, Tharoor said he was a “different person” before becoming the Prime Minister as cited how he had avoided resorting to “divisive” politics unlike any “clever politician” when bombs exploded during his rally in Gandhi maidan in Bihar in the run up to the Lok Sabha polls.
“The government must know you cannot promote ‘Make in India’ abroad while condoning ‘hate in India’ at home,” he said.
India cannot sell itself to the world as a “land of pluralism, tolerance and Gandhianism while encouraging intolerance, communal hatred and minority insecurity within the country,” Tharoor said.
In this context, he said a Bangladeshi friend of his on a visit told him that “Islamic fundamentalists in his country were having a field day attacking India as a place where it is safer to be a cow than a Muslim.”
The member from Kerala said Modi was “silent” even when his party colleagues are resorting to “political polarisation” in the country. “They are such explosives who can destroy Indian ideology,” he said as he went on to recite urdu couplet ‘Mazhab nahi sikhata aapas mein bair rakhna (Religion does not teach animosity against each other)’.
Tharoor said he had seen a “different” Modi before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections when bombs exploded in Gandhi Maidan in Patna during his election rally.
Modi had not used divisive politics or provoked, he said. “He (Modi) continued his speech peacefully and so no one in the crowd of 3-4 lakh came to know of the blasts that had killed six people.”
His positive message at the rally was that Hindus had options of fighting either poverty or Muslims.
“In such a situation a clever politician could have said that his rivals or a terrorist from a particular community has tried to distrupt the rally.
But Modi knew that if he said that it would provoke communal violence in which innocent people would be killed.
At the end of the rally, Modi asked people to go home peacefully so there is no stampede,” Tharoor said.
“Modi did not try to reap benefits of divisive politics,” he said. “But what has happened to Modiji now. Where has he lost is voice. After he became Prime Minister, he has forgotten the policy of taking along everyone. His senior party leaders are using political polarisation but he is silent.”