Artistes, academicians come out in support of Modi govt

New Delhi: A group of writers, academicians and artistes today came out in support of Narendra Modi government and dismissed the protests over alleged rising intolerance as “much ado” about the declining clout of a “pampered section” which was now targeting the Prime Minister.

Hitting out at the intellectuals attacking the Centre over “the climate of intolerance”, they said a section of nation’s intelligentsia was dismayed by Narendra Modi’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls and “failure in the elections is now sought to be avenged by other means”.

Indian Council for Cultural Relations President Lokesh Chandra, author S L Bhyrappa, Kapil Kapoor, former pro-vice chancellor, JNU, Dilip K Chakrabarti, professor emeritus University of Cambridge and ICHR member and K Gopinath of IISC are among 36 intellectuals who lent their support to the BJP-led government in a statement and lashed out at the protesters.

Many of them have been sympathetic to Modi and have spoken in his favour earlier too.

“India has witnessed a curious spectacle these last few weeks. A section of the nation’s intelligentsia has expressed outrage at a perceived mounting intolerance in society. In the forefront are the usual pallbearers of Indic civilization – Congressmen of various hues, Marxists, Leninists, even a handful of Maoists.

“The target is clear and explicitly stated, none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who much to their dismay led his party to a clear majority in Parliament. Failure in the elections is now sought to be avenged by other means; it helps if the media (or sections of it) serve as cheerleaders,” they alleged.

Referring to the criticism of the government over the attacks on churches soon after Modi was sworn in, they said an initial joust was witnessed in accusations of attacks on Christian places of worship. “It fizzled out when the actual culprits were nabbed.”

They said the central government cannot be blamed for incidents like Dadri lynching. They said murders of rationalist N Dabholkar and Kannada scholar N N Kalburgi happened in Congress-ruled states.