Divergent views, but we have had a tradition of civility in conveying those different opinions
GN Bureau | October 20, 2015
After president Pranab Mukherjee expressed his concern on rising incidents of intolerance in the country, finance minister Arun Jaitley today hit out at 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.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s former players and TV commentators Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar are unlikely to be available in the commentary team for the fifth ODI between India and South Africa ODI in Mumbai due to security concerns.
Akram and Akhtar pulled out on their own and their was no pressure from anyone as it was about threat perception. Both of them will return to Pakistan a day after the 4th ODI in Chennai on Thursday.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced that it has withdrawn Pakistan umpire Aleem Dar from the remaining matches in the ongoing India versus South Africa series.
Aleem, a member of the Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, had officiated in the first three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and was also scheduled to umpire in the fourth and fifth ODIs in Chennai and Mumbai on 22 and 25 October, respectively.
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