NEW DELHI: With President Pranab Mukherjee expressing his concern on rising incidents of intolerance in the country, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday hit out at NDA ally Shiv Sena and said that there was an extremely disturbing trend where ‘some people have resorted to vandalism as an instrument to convey their views.’
Condemning the incidents of intolerance, Jaitley said that it is against the traditions of our culture.Indirectly referring to Shiv Sena’s attack on BCCI office and the ink attack on Sudheendra Kulkarni, Jaitley said, “Past few days have seen extremely disturbing trends where some people resorted to vandalism as an instrument to convey their views. Hope we can conduct debates in public space in a more graceful manner.”
He further added, “Incidents of intolerance are condemnable. In democracy there could be differences, but restraint should be exercised and vandalism should be criticised. No place for violence in democracy.”
“In large country like India there may be divergent views, but we have had a tradition of civility in conveying those different opinions. Some of these issues are extremely serious, some can reflect on inter-community relations, others can reflect on sensitive areas such as J&K. Therefore, there has to be a proper civilised mode of discussing and debating these issues,” he said.
Jaitley also confirmed that party chief Amit Shah had indeed met with several party MPs asking them not to make any controversial statements.
“I don’t think anybody in the BJP has resorted to these methods(vandalism). Few made statements on sensitive issues. But party president (Amit Shah) has very strongly taken it up with them,” he said.
A day ago, Shiv Sena attacked BCCI office, while last week smeared ink on BJP ideologue Sudheendra Kulkarni, for hosting the book launch of ex-Pakistan Foreign minister Khurshid Kasuri.
President Pranab Mukherjee had on Monday expressed apprehension whether tolerance and acceptance of dissent are on the wane and said that humanism and pluralism should not be abandoned under any circumstances.