Expressing concern over the “burgeoning ban and fatwa culture” growing across India, the Congress on Wednesday held the Narendra Modi government responsible for making the world forget the country’s rich pluralistic, inclusive and liberal traditions and “make it look like its imploding neighbours”.
“We hold the Modi-led government, its lead party the BJP as also each of its shadowy constituents or allies, like VHP, Bajrang Dal or Shiv Sena as also regional political outfits, be it from Andhra Pradesh or Uttar Pradesh or elsewhere, responsible for making the world forget India’s culture,” the party said in a statement here.
“Is this the 21st century modern, forward-looking India of the dynamic young — with over 70 percent young — that Modi promises us all the time,” asked Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi in the statement.
“Is this the pseudo religiosity of the BJP, the RSS and all its so-called parivar units, which sees India, planet earth’s most diverse spot, through the prism of homogeneous uniform paradigms of religion, culture, eating and all other social habits and norms,” he said.
“The BJP and its numerous proxies has repeatedly told people (as by the Muthalik society in Karnataka) that they cannot hold hands or (as by Shiv Sena) that they cannot celebrate Valentine’s Day or (by right wing extremists in Karnataka) that they will kill academics who exercise free speech or (by the Maharashtra government) that criticism of the government is sedition or (by the information and broadcasting ministry) that artistic license in a film in Gujarat critical of the prime minister without naming him will lead to penal action against the producer/promoter or (by several right wing organisations) that social media ought to be controlled and circumscribed or (as by senior BJP/ RSS leaders in Tamil Nadu) that Rajnikant should not act in Tipu Sultan. The list is endless,” the statement added.
The nation seeks answers but gets only deafening silence from the prime minister, Singhvi said.