New Delhi: Accusing the Narendra Modi government of “manufacturing” intolerance, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Friday said that “intolerance grows from the top and percolates down to the states”.
“…you take the name of Lord Ganesh, and we say Bismillah… the person who shaped the Preamble, which comes in the beginning of the constitution… you don’t recognise his contribution. This is what is called intolerance,” Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha said recalling independent India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru’s contribution to giving a shape to the Preamble.
“We didn’t speak about Pandit Nehru even once. How is it possible that we are discussing the objectives of the constitution and we don’t mention Pandit Nehru. Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose, Sardar (Vallabhbhai) Patel are being pitted against each other even though they aren’t alive. This is what is called intolerance. The atmosphere in the country in the last one and a half years is against the constitution of India. The intolerance is being manufactured by the government itself,” the Congress leader said.
“They (BJP leaders) are doing politics in the name of these leaders. Freedom fighters are invoked for political gains. They are trying to usurp the Congress legacy and take its ownership. They are doing it because they don’t have even one to name. This is the divide-and-rule policy of the government. But they can’t appropriate the Congress leaders. They are the leaders of the nation,” said Azad.
As Leader of the House Arun Jaitley interrupted Azad by saying “Why do they have so much grudge against Ambedkar?”, the Congress leader retorted: “You can talk about German dictator (Adolf Hitler) in your speech, and we cannot at least talk about our first prime minister? This is called intolerance.”
About the observance of November 26 as the Constitution Day, Azad said the government was trying to “rewrite history”.
“Is there a proposal to change Republic Day from January 26 to November 26? If it is so, then the government should let us know.”
The notification on observance of ‘Constitution Day’ on November 26 was issued by the ministry of social justice.
“Where did this ministry of social justice come from? Who empowered them to issue notification? The education ministry brings out an order on November 10. This is violation of rules. Under the allocation of business rules, it is the home ministry which should issue this notification. Otherwise it stands null and void,” Azad said.
On the issue of terrorism, Azad said: “Whoever is a terrorist, belonging to any religion, must be treated like a terrorist. I have always said this as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir. I believe that if anyone comes from outside and points a gun against our people, his corpse must be sent back. But I request the government not to use pick-and-choose (method) between terrorists.”