Opposition attacks BJP govt for doing nothing to stem intolerance

New Delhi: Opposition parties on Friday blamed the BJP-led government for doing nothing to allay the apprehensions of the people in the prevailing atmosphere of alleged intolerance and communal strife in the country, saying it also had “difficulty” with the word secularism in the Constitution.

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Participating in the debate on commitment to India’s Constitution in Lok Sabha, Congress chief whip Jyotiraditya Scindia referred to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s speech yesterday where he had said the word ‘secular’ was not in the Preamble when the Constitution was adopted but was incorporated through the 42nd amendment in 1976.

“This government has difficulty with the word secularism and that is why it was highlighted in the debate,” he said.
Scindia attacked the government for allegedly remaining silent over the protests by artists and writers over the “growing intolerance”, saying it had done nothing to remove the alleged fear psychosis of the people.

The Congress leader said when two Dalit children were allegedly burnt alive, a central minister gave the analogy of a dog. When someone questioned a Governor for his statement that ‘Hindustan is for Hindus’, he said that ‘Muslims are free to go to either Pakistan or Bangladesh’.
When artists were returning awards, a sitting MP compared them with LeT founder Hafiz Saeed and even President of a political party had said that crackers would be burst in Pakistan if BJP lost the Bihar assembly elections, virtually describing the people as traitor.

Scindia’s claim that RSS had burnt the effigies of B R Ambedkar when he talked about Hindu code thinking that it was an attack on the Hinduism, invited sharp reaction from ruling party benches.
When Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expressed doubts over what Scindia said about RSS whether it was correct or not, the Congress leader asserted that he was telling historical fact.

“Don’t show your intolerance to the historical facts,” he told the ruling party members when they objected.
Scindia said he is a Hindu and was married to a Hindu and that was a complete private issue. But his religion taught him to respect other religions, beliefs and other faiths.

Scindia also took a dig at the government for the way in which the land acquisition bill was being brought and cited incidents like those relating to the Ambedkar Periyar IIT study circle in Chennai to take a swipe at the Centre.

While AIADMK’s K Gopal wanted the government to “find solutions to the problems of intolerance and communal violence,” Trinamool Congress leader Kalyan Banerjee said secularism had found a pride of place in the Constitution.

with PTI