Kolkata: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor Wednesday asserted that in the absence of any development agenda, what the Bharatiya Janata Party wants is to create a “Hindu rashtra”.
Speaking at the Kolkata Literary Meet here, Tharoor also claimed the real tukde tukde gang is the ruling party which is dividing the country into “bits and pieces”.
“With no development on its agenda, the ruling party is making a complete exposition of its agenda to create a Hindu rashtra,” Tharoor, also an acclaimed author, claimed.
The present central government does not have the mentality for development, the Congress leader alleged. “The real tukde tukde gang is the ruling party which is dividing the country into bits and pieces. The party wants to divide us further the way the British Raj did through the divide and rule policy.” he said.
Tukde tukde gang is a term often used by the right-wing parties to attack those who they think are out to divide the country. The term was coined and used against the Left and Left-backed outfits during the campus unrest at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in 2016.
“Should religion be a determinant for nationhood? Mahatma Gandhi went for a secular India, unlike Pakistan which went on to become an Islamic state.
“Our Constitution reflects dignity and equality for all. The Constitution reflects that and also essentially rejected the idea of religion-based citizenship,” Tharoor said.
For the first time in India, religion is considered as a determinant for citizenship and excluding one religion, Islam, the former Union minister said. “The onus will be on us to prove that we are Indians,” the Thiruvananthapuram MP claimed.
BJP leaders often quote Swami Vivekananda but the monk in his famous Chicago speech had greeted people of all faiths of the world as brothers and sisters, he said. “But BJP has reduced this to six faiths and three nations,” Tharoor said.
He was referring to the amended Citizenship Act that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis entering India on or before December 31, 2014 from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after five years of residence here.
Referring to the proposed nationwide NRC, Tharoor said 65 per cent of people do not have documentation. “This is what the present government has burdened us with.”
On the economic front, he alleged that the BJP has destroyed the economy and brought in demonetisation “in Tughlaqi style”.
“There is high level of unemployment, record number of farmers committing suicides. There is food price inflation,” he said.
Even investors’ confidence is shattered as seen the way the BJP sneered at Amazon’s proposal of USD one billion investments in India, he said at the Question and Answer section after taking part in a session — “When The Lions Write Colony in Indian Ink”.
Earlier during the session, Tharoor said it is regrettable that no British politician has so far apologised for the colonial exploitation of India during the British Raj. “The British were complicit as the colonial exploitation of India was done by an enterprise, the East India Company, where a large number of British Parliamentarians had held shares. They ran a collective extoortion racket in a political mafia kind of operation,” he said.