POLITICS-Emphasis being made that uniformity is integral to unity: KhurshidPTI | New Delhi | Updated: 13-07-2019 00:58 IST | Created: 12-07-2019 23:18 IST
Flagging concerns of the minority community, senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid Friday claimed that as against the traditional idea of diversity, an emphasis is being made on "uniformity" being "integral" to the unity of the country. At an event held here for the launch of his book 'Visible Muslim - Invisible Citizen: Understanding Islam in Indian Democracy', he said there isn't any particular reason to become pessimistic, but there are concerns when it comes to the minority community.
"If in a democracy there is no room for disagreement and dissent, then that democracy is questionable. Inability to exchange opinion on a disagreement or dissent is a tragedy of democracy," Khurshid said. He was speaking in a panel discussion on the book, with Lok Sabha MP Asaduddin Owaisi, BJP national spokesperson Nalin Kohli among the co-panelists.
"There is an emphasis being made on uniformity as being integral to unity. We believe in the traditional idea, as many of you would, that diversity is essential for the unity of the country," Khurshid said. Owaisi also said a country should not have uniformity, and its "diversity should be celebrated".
Their comments come in the wake of incidents of alleged thrashing or harassment of some people belonging to a minority community, and forcing them to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'. Kohli said that incidents related to cow vigilantism or planting of IS flag somewhere tend to get more spotlight. He claimed that in this age of social media, "louder voices" get noticed more as the "majority don't articulate" their views.
The panel discussion was anchored by a journalist of a leading TV channel. Owaisi also took a dig at TV channels, saying they like "man with a beard and skull cap as it is good for their TRPs".
Asked if he was a Muslim leader, he quipped, "I'm not a Muslim leader... People assume wrongly that I am one. The struggle of my life is to work for constitutional rights to the minority".