In the backdrop of writers, artistes and others returning their national awards to protest against the alleged 'growing intolerance' in the Indian society, the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has hit back at these people by saying that they have been practicing ideological intolerance towards BJP for decades.
Jaitley also appealed to "every well-wisher of India and the present Government" not to make statements that could vitiate the atmosphere and obstruct growth.
"While the Government led by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is trying to accelerate India's growth, there are many who have never intellectually accepted the idea of the BJP being in power. This obviously includes the Congress, many Left thinkers and activists. Over decades they have practiced ideological intolerance towards BJP," the Minister said in a Facebook post.
He further said that since 2002, "the Prime Minister himself has been the worst victim of this ideological intolerance.
"Their strategy is twofold. Firstly, obstruct Parliament and do not permit reforms which will bring credit to Modi Government. Secondly, create, by structured and organised propaganda, an environment that there is a social strife in India. They wish to project India as an intolerant society." The truth is otherwise, Jaitley said, adding the perpetrators of this propaganda had never allowed alternative viewpoints to grow in either universities, academic institutions or cultural bodies which they controlled. "Their intolerance extends to not accepting an alternative ideological pole."
As regards alleged lynching of a man in Dadri, Jaitley said that it was a 'stray incident'. "It was both unfortunate and condemnable. The guilty will be taken to task." Notwithstanding such aberrations, the Minister stressed "India remains a highly tolerant and liberal society. Our cultural values have imbibed co-existence. India has repeatedly rejected intolerance. It does not respond to provocations.
"It is, therefore, incumbent upon every well-wisher of India and the present Government to make sure that no action or statement of his provides a tool in the hands of those who want to obstruct India's growth story. The obstructers have a simple plan - if they can't fight politically, they fight with hostile propaganda," the Minister said.