Atmosphere of violence, hatred targeting one group being fostered in country: Digvijaya
Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Saturday said an atmosphere of violence and hatred was being fostered in the country to target a section of society.The Rajya Sabha MP, while speaking at a discussion on Journalism and Burning Issue organised by Central India Press Club here, also claimed politicians should have tolerance and thick skins in a democracy, as it helped them to scale new heights.
The Rajya Sabha MP, while speaking at a discussion on 'Journalism and Burning Issue' organised by Central India Press Club here, also claimed politicians should have tolerance and thick skins in a democracy, as it helped them to scale new heights. "Many a times an instance is given that when Partition was taking place Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru went in the midst of people and an old woman grabbed him by his collar and asked what she had got out of Independence. Nehruji replied what you have got is that you had held the prime minister by his collar. This democracy is missing nowadays,'' he said.
Taking a swipe at the ruling dispensation, without taking names, and the prevailing times, Singh said. ''Leave aside the collar, even if you say something from far off, people get upset. Sedition cases can be registered because you have become a threat to the nation.'' He said stand up comedians were now being seen as dangers to the nation, apparently a reference to some of them getting booked in the recent past, and asked how democracy would continue to be nurtured if politicians didn't have the strength to withstand criticism. ''An atmosphere of violence and hatred targeting a particular group is fascism's game plan. Identify an enemy and once your enemy is identified then declare him as anti-national and then anti-nationalism becomes nationalism of the day,'' he said.
He said branding one section as anti-national and then making the fight against them a symbol of nationalism can't be defined as democracy but dictatorship and fascism.
"The burning issues are what is nationalism and anti-nationalism, religion. Should religion be used in politics? Isn't the use of religion as a weapon unlawful? These are burning issues. Can't we criticize? Critics can't be anti-national. Stand up comedians can't be anti-national," he observed. Singh said tolerance and acceptance have been the tenets of Indian society, culture and Sanatan Dharma preached respect for all religions, and this aspect must never be forgotten, adding that the Constitution allowed all to put forth their views.
He said the National Security Act, which was used by the British to put down the Congress-led Independence struggle, was now being invoked even for ''petty things'' and it was unfortunate laws like NSA and sedition could not be withdrawn even after the country got freedom.
Stressing that the country's Constitutional statutory institutions were getting affected, Singh said impartial journalism had a major role to play if democracy was to remain intact.
''We have to stand with impartial journalism boldly," he added.
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