Climate of intolerance and hate is matter of deep concern: Ghulam Nabi Azad

New Delhi(PTI): Terming as “despicable act” the ink attack on a Jammu & Kashmir MLA and ransacking of BCCI’s Mumbai office, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad on Monday said the climate of intolerance and hate in the country is a matter of deep concern.

Ghulam Nabi Azad

The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha said that growing acts of intolerance and “hate-mongering” will weaken the social fabric and enfeeble the bonds of amity and brotherhood in the society.

“Either there will be climate of intolerance and hate or one marked by pluralism and composite culture, there can be no in between,” he said, adding that leadership of the BJP has to make a choice between the two to save this country from turning into another Pakistan.

Few activists allegedly belonging to a right-wing organisation blackened the face of Sheikh Abdul Rashid, an independent MLA from the state, here protesting against his hosting a beef party in Srinagar earlier this month. Rashid was attacked after his press conference.

“It is a despicable act on the part of such elements who are not comfortable with the language and spirit of democratic polity and pluralistic ethos”, said Azad, adding “climate of intolerance and hate in the country is a matter of deep concern for all the enlightened citizens who wish India to attain its rightful place in the comity of nations”.

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Azad said though he does not subscribe to many of the views of Rashid, however, to indulge in violence and hooliganism is not a way to oppose him.

“Law of the land is supreme and nobody can be allowed to subvert the rule of law and democratic ethos of the country,” he said.

He condemned he ink attack on Rashid and vandalism of the office of Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) in Mumbai “carried out by lumpen elements and hate-mongers”.

“Our country will soon turn into an anarchical society if the current trend is not reversed,” Azad said, adding that a small spark can take us back by decades, and our stature and esteem will be lowered at the international level.

He said that the entire leadership of freedom movement under Mahatma Gandhi has combated the menace of communalism with great commitment and created a unique socio-political architecture of modern India.

“We cannot squander the sacrifices made by our great leaders to preserve the multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual identity of our country,” he said.