BJP has weaponised fear, alleges Congress

New Delhi: Accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “weaponising fear”, the Congress on Friday said liberty under the Narendra Modi regime has got significantly eroded with people of all classes living in fear.

Participating in an interactive programme “Is India Being Redefined” here, former Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram claimed people in the country were apprehensive of talking over phones fearing they might be tapped.

“People are afraid of talking over phone, everyone fears that their phone has been or could be tapped. Liberty has been eroded significantly in the country,” he said.

Lamenting that anti-government stories were not carried by the media, Chidambaram said that “dozens of media persons cited fear of job loss and danger to their family” for not carrying stories against the BJP or the Modi regime.

“Which are the four-year period when editors are sacked, news anchors are pulled out, interviews are blacked out at the last minute? When editorials in online edition disappear from print edition?

“Fear is being instilled in everyone… Dalits living in fear, minorities, women, academics, all are living in fear. When private citizens are living in fear, then we are way down and it will take huge efforts to rescue the country. Which mind is without fear today?” he said.

Speaking on the occasion, senior Congress leader Manish Tewari said anyone raising their voice against the establishment was a target.

“If you question the BJP, you are anti-national, if you question the government, you are seditious, and if you question the establishment, you are downright treacherous.

“They have weaponised fear, and when you do that it becomes easy to intimidate and change the narrative and impose your idea on the people,” said the former Union Minister.

Party leader Kapil Sibal said even businessmen were living under apprehension and leaving the country out of fear.