Bangalore(PTI): Infosys founder Narayana Murthy has come out in support of writers and intellectuals who have returned their awards to the Modi government, following a perception of ‘growing intolerance’ against minorities.
“I am not a political person, I am not at all interested in politics. But I sense there is a considerable fear among minorities and migrants in this country”, Murthy said to NDTV.
“Just as the Shiv Sena in Mumbai created fear amongst South Indians in the 1960s, now some elements are creating fear among both minorities and within communities”, he added.
There is first a need to create an atmosphere of trust among the people, said Murthy, adding that only then economic growth would follow.
Stating that trust between communities and lack of fear was essential to India’s development, Murthy said there was no society in the world which thrived in spite of communally charged atmosphere of intolerance. He said that if India had to overcome its problems like farmer suicides and other issues, ideals like tolerance and secularism and respect for people’s rights was necessary.
Murthy is one of the first business leaders to speak out in support of those protesting. On Friday, dozens of scientists, historians and filmmakers had spoken out against the ‘vitiated atmosphere’ in the country. Leading names like Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, KN Pannikar and Mridula Mukherjee had issued a joint statement raising their serious concerns over increasing incidents of communal violence and intolerance in the country under the BJP government. Filmmakers like Dibakar Banerjee and Anand Patwardhan among others have also returned their awards to the government.
Recently, a Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in Dadri, UP for allegedly storing and consuming beef in his house. There has been a spate of attacks on Dalits, including children. Rationalists and reformers like Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and MM Kalburgi have been killed, and far-right organisations like the Sanatan Sanstha are under the scanner for these murders.
The Modi government has adopted an aggressive stand against the writers and intellectuals who have returned their awards, claiming it to be a political conspiracy and questioning why these individuals did not do the same during Congress rule.