New Delhi: CPI (M) member P. Karunakaran, who initiated the debate on intolerance in the Lok Sabha, today accused the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led NDA Government at the Centre of disrespecting those voicing concerns over growing intolerance.
Another CPI (M) leader Mohammed Salim later joining the debate and said there is growing intolerance in society, and added that India is a democratic nation and not a Fascist one.
“Many people say that such incidents are small. I disagree, it is a serious issue. In fact, the term intolerance is also mild,” he said.
Salim told the Lok Sabha that democracy is all about debate, discussion and dissent.
“But if someone is not agreeing with you, then democracy gives you the right to do so. Nobody is calling the country intolerant or insulting it. These allegations are manufactured,” said Salim.
“This is not a Fascist country. This is a democratic country. We got the Constitution after 200 years of fighting for independence. We want a rational India. We want a secular India,” he added.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu had earlier accused the Congress of raising the issue of intolerance only for political gains.
Naidu told reporters outside the Parliament that the government has nothing to hide on the issue and ready to discuss it at length.
He suggested the Congress to look into its past instead of blowing the matter out of proportion. Naidu said few incidents have taken place in states and for those the states should take responsibility.
The opposition had been seeking a discussion on the issue of intolerance for quite some time.
At the all-party meeting held on November 25, opposition parties made a strong pitch for an early discussion on the issue, insisting that returning of awards by writers, artistes and filmmakers should not be taken lightly.