In a no-holds barred political slugfest over writers returning their literary awards, Congress and BJP traded charges with the former approaching the National Human Rights Commission to seek a probe into the rising incidents of communal violence.
After Finance Minister Arun Jaitley dismissed the writers’ protest as a “manufactured paper rebellion”, Congress dubbed his remarks as “perverse and cynical” and alleged that the government was “encouraging” forces which were “intolerant, divisive”.
“It is a well orchestrated, planned campaign to polarise, to create conflict, to create divisions in furtherance of a diabolic agenda of the radical elements, the so-called ‘Hindutva’ forces to create an environment of fear and to suppress any dissent, not to allow any free discussion and debate and intimidate those who protest,” said senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, adding that the party expected no “corrective measures” despite the PM’s statement.
“The Prime Minister was complicit by his silence for long and it was because of the national pressure and the mounting international pressure and criticism that he has spoken….,” he added.
The BJP hit back by calling the protest a “Congress sponsored” move, alleging that the writers were doing a “new kind of politics” after their “patrons” lost.
“We respect their (writers’) intelligence, but if they stand in support of a party that has lost election, Anand Sharma will talk about it and then it will further clarify that it is Congress sponsored,” said Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.
He added, “Anand Sharma should answer where were these writers at the time of Tasleema Nasreen incident in Bengal. When Anand Sharma’s party imposed Emergency, then except Kuldip Nayar and Ramnath Goenka, where were these writers…where were these writers when atrocities were committed on Kashmiri Pandit women…”