India has been witnessing intolerance debates and discourses at a national level recently with ripples of heated discussions felt in both houses of the Parliament over the last few days.
In the wake of the atmosphere of hate intensifying all over the country, the Opposition had demanded the Prime Minister to intervene in the matter. The Opposition had targeted the Modi government over the intolerance issue saying that instead of ‘developed India’, a ‘divided India’ was coming to the fore. PM Modi spoke in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday repeating the same statements echoed by the BJP on the issue of intolerance. Modi had said that despite having numerous reasons to divide a pluralist country, the parties should overcome the disparities and look for reasons to unite people for promoting unity and harmony. He also urged the people to rise beyond all the religious and communal matters. While speaking in the Lok Sabha, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had said that Prime Minister Modi was the biggest victim of intolerance in the country. According to him, there weren’t any such issues going on in the country. The BJP has always defended their stance by pointing out the incidents of intolerance that has been taking place in the country for decades. There aren’t any arguments on things being stable earlier. But the present crisis is that the person entrusted with the responsibility of the nation is himself endorsing intolerance and hate propaganda. The fact that the government which should be representing all the citizens has been encouraging alliances and splits in the society is perilous. That was the reason for the cultural uprising in the country where writers, litterateurs, academicians and scientists came forward to protest against the religious intolerance. Similar to what the Home Minister had said the protests were strong enough to complain to the PM about the rising intolerance. The authorities concerned should realize that the voices of dissent stems from the extreme cautiousness against the decline of the nation.
It is true that Modi and his party have had an aversion towards the surfacing of controversies and debates related to communal incidents. Modi likes to be branded as a ‘development man’ and his party has been trying to promote the ‘developed India’ image before the world. But neither the PM nor his party have been able to curb those triggering such controversies. It’s because they have achieved power by spreading communalism, contempt for other religions and hatred for the minorities. Modi himself is a perfect example for that. Therefore, it is tough to bring a large section of his party that has been raised with a similar temperament on to the path of progress and development straight away. It is also hard for the intolerance debates to subside immediately and for the ‘development’ discourses to be held everywhere just as the PM and his party anticipates. The efforts may also lead to internal conflicts within the Sangh Parivar. It’s his party that should be doing the homework if it has to follow Modi’s statements of focusing on development and putting aside the differences. The efforts would only benefit the nation if the party is willing to do that. And one of the most important step towards that direction is to sincerely recognize the equal rights of all citizens.