Criticise government, not country and army: Naidu

Gandhinagar: Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting M Venkaiah Naidu today said one can criticise the government, but not the country and its armed forces.

“You can criticise the government, but not the army. We are simply saying that do not ridicule our armed forces, that is it. Otherwise, we do not have any problem,” he said addressing the ‘Urban Mobility India Conference and Expo-2016’ at Mahatma Mandir here.

“So much has been said against our prime minister. Someone talked about ‘khoon ki dalali’. But, did we say anything,” the BJP leader said while referring to the remarks of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

“Every four minutes, someone dies on the Indian roads. We cannot turn our roads into death traps. That is why, we need to have certain regulations. But then, some people will say that the regulations will put an end to their freedom.

“Someone came to me and said that art had no boundaries. I agree, but the country has its boundaries. If you want to dance naked, do it inside your house, not on a public road. No country gives the kind of freedom which the people enjoy in India,” he said.

“Our neighbour is funding and breeding terrorism to harm the nation. In such a scenario, wouldn’t you support your country? I told the media that there is total and absolute freedom. We have no problem if you criticise the prime minister,” Naidu said without referring to the one-day ban on television news channel NDTV India, which has been put on hold by the government.

The Union minister also slammed the opposition for accusing the Modi government of favouring corporate houses.

“Our government is in favour of private investment in metro rail projects as huge funds are needed for the same. We believe that there is nothing wrong in private investment under the PPP model. Those who want to criticise this policy are free to do so,” Naidu said.

“Why this bias against our own corporates? If they can do business with Pakistan and China, why are they not allowed to do the same in their own country? The opposition alleged in Parliament that this government is run by the corporates. Is it a sin to be a businessman in India,” he said.