NDTV | BRINDA KARAT
Why does the BJP think it is necessary to lecture its critics about India being “a tolerant nation?” Is it because they don’t get what’s being said, or is it because in their arrogance, they equate criticism of the Hindutva brigade as criticism of India, and thus any concern about the growing intolerance in India becomes an accusation of being anti-national.
When citizens express concerns about the environment of growing intolerance, it is not to criticize India, but to protect India from the forces who are straining every nerve to transform India into an intolerant authoritarian theocratic State.
There is a wide chasm between what the idea of India is and what some people want India to be. The idea of India is a tolerant nation with pluralist cultures, shared histories, diverse languages, ways of life, multiple cuisines, ways of dress, customs. These are objective realities which provide the material basis for a robust, secular and equality-based polity. Whether that idea will ever get translated in its totality is yet to be seen, but it was this idea that the Prime Minister laid claim to when he addressed the British Parliament and earlier…continue reading