Where is intolerance? India will never be intolerant: Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 3, 2015 (PTI): Asserting that India will never be intolerant, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today rejected Congress’ pitch on the issue, saying opponents must fight political battles politically, and wondered “where is the intolerance”.

Calling as “aberrations” some of the recent incidents including the beef row, Jaitley insisted that there is “no justification” in returning of awards and the national situation “is absolutely peaceful. India is fully committed as a liberal democracy to peaceful co-existence”.

 Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI File Photo.

“There is an atmosphere of harmony. This country has never been intolerant and will never be intolerant,” the BJP leader said.

He was replying to questions including about the protest march of Congress to President Pranab Mukherjee on the issue today and Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Sciences holding a seminar with ‘Leftist’ intellectuals on the issue.

Stressing that “political opponents must fight political battle politically”, the Finance Minister said that it is “not fair” to create an issue due to political reasons and then link it to government even when incidents of crime are happening in states ruled by other parties.

“Where is the intolerance? We are the most vibrant democracy. The atmosphere will not change only by talking. If some incident happens like the one in Karnataka, which is Congress-ruled, you cannot link it to the central government to attack. That is not fair.
“This is a crime and action should be taken against whoever commits crime. That is why people in the mainstream in the country have opposed it,” he said.

The Minister was speaking after unveiling the plans for the 46th International Film Festival of India. The IFFI is being held in Goa between November 20 and November 30.
BJP and Congress have locked horns over the issue of “growing intolerance” in society, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday saying the Congress president had no moral right to lecture the NDA on tolerance and it should “hang its head in shame” for the 1984 anti-Sikh riots where thousands were massacred.

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi yesterday met President Mukherjee ahead of the proposed march by party leaders to Rashtrapati Bhavan today to request him to invoke his constitutional powers to stem the “atmosphere of intolerance”.

Jaitley also expressed confidence that the issue will have no impact on the IFFI.
“I do not see any reason why anyone should try and disturb any event in India. It’s not a good practice. It’s not a good principle,” he said.

Replying to question on whether the government is talking to film makers who are returning awards, Jaitley wondered “when there is an atmosphere of peace in the country, what is the justification in returning awards”.

“There is no justification in returning awards,” he asserted adding that they are selected for awards by people from their profession for their work.

The Finance Minister downplayed film star Shahrukh Khan’s comments after he joined the chorus against “growing intolerance” in the country saying that “religious intolerance and not being secular…is the worst kind of crime that you can do as a patriot”.

Jaitley said, “Nobody is ready to say in this country that there should be intolerance. What is wrong if somebody says that there should be no intolerance in the country.”
Jaitley also refused to join issue with former Union minister Arun Shourie, a supporter-turned-critic of Narendra Modi who has attacked both the BJP leaders.

“I do not need to answer any personal comment on me,” he said.
The Finance Minister also declined to comment on a question about sulking BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha, who said that while Jaitley was responsible for the defeat of BJP in Delhi, Amit Shah has to take responsibility if BJP loses Bihar.
“I need not make a comment on that,” Jaitley said.

8 Comments

  1. Where is intolerance? India will never be intolerant: Jaitley.

    Yes! Jaitley asks where is intolerance in India, as his party leader in Simogga declares that he would behead the chief minister of Karnataka, MR. SIDDHARAMAYYA, for a statement made by him.

    The statement is “THE CHOICE OF FOOD IS A PERSONAL MATTER, AS LONG AS NO LAW IS VIOLATED. I HAVE A RIGHT TO EAT BEEF, IF I WANT”

    AND THE CULPRITS OF POST GODHRA KILLINGS SAY SONIA GANDHI OR RAHUL GANDHI HAS NO RIGHT TO TALK ABOUT DAADRI KILLING, FOR WHEN PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA, MRS. INDIRA GANDHI, WAS ASSASSINATED BY HER SIKH GUARDS IN 1984, SIKHS WERE KILLED IN DELHI!!! KILLING SIKHS IN 1984 JUSTIFIES ANY NUMBER OF KILLINGS UNDER THE BJP GOVERNMENT AS LONG AS THEY RULE INDIA!.

    SIKH VOTES ARE IMPORTANT AND POLARIZATION OF HINDU VOTE BANK IS IMPORTANT AND ANY THING DONE FOR THAT IS NOT INTOLERANCE!

    FOR RSS, THE END JUSTIFIES THE MEANS. FOR MAHATMA GANDHI, THE END SHOULD NOT JUSTIFY MEANS.

  2. Jailtley and other BJP leaders can be relied upon to make senseless statements and dishonest arguments. Jailtley refuses to acknowledge what is in front of his own eyes, that the RSS and its affiliates are terrorising writers, artists and minorities into conformity. RSS methods to enforce conformity do not belong in a civilized country.

    • Mr. Roy,

      Arun Jaitley just talks rot.

      I recall when he was the New Delhi Cricket Association’s President and a match was played by India against Sri Lanka at the Phirosha Kotla Grounds. The wicket was underprepared and the Sri Lankans had to bat first and the match had to be abandoned because the pitch was unpredictable and two or three Sri Lanka batsmen got injured due to unpredictable bounce.

      When the pathetic and deteriorating condition of the pitch was being discussed on which crores of rupees had been spent, Mr. Arun Jaitley was quiet and did not utter a word. He was just blinking like an owl. I wonder how many people pocketed how much money. Probably, Arun Jaitley may be knowing, as he was the President then.

      Again, when the electronic media exposed the nexus between Sushma Swaraj and Vadundhara Raje with Lalit Modi and when the media asked him questions, he stock answer would just be, “But they are not tainted.” In fact, they were …..ors, who allowed Lalit Modi to get off the hook and should have been prosecuted and tried.

      • Now Jaitley talks nonsense in his capacity as Minister of Finance. He excuses and rationalizes murders committed by RSS organizations as ‘aberrations’. He does not condemn BJP ministers who incite religious hatred.

  3. It’s hilarious to see the intellectuals of lowest order screaming about ‘intolerance’!! The same individuals were hiding under the table when the real acts of intolerance took place all these years – from Kashmeera genocide to Kerala lecturer who lost his hands!! The illiterates were hiding under the table when a peaceful group bullied everyone in Bharatha from drawing or publishing any pictures of 7th century religious figure. They had no issue when Taslima Nasreen was harassed, threatened and attacked by real intolerant groups. These guys see no religion when terrorism involves certain folks!! All of a sudden, these pro-Congress, communal-minded, jokers are making a big deal about ‘intolerance’ as if India was a paradise before 2014!!! Pincode Pai, Ravi alias Steve from Australia and Roy have as much credibility on this issue as a single random peanut does!! LOL LOL

    • It’s hilarious to see the intellectuals of lowest order screaming about ‘intolerance’!! – Mr. RampaNNA

      Well, you sure got that bang-on about Jaitley’s “intellect”. 😉

      • Clearly, our political illiterate has missed my point on ‘intellectuals of lowest order’!! LOL I was referring to intellectuals of lowest order which clearly excludes Arun Jaitley even though he is seen as a partisan hack on many issues.

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