New Delhi, Oct. 15: The RSS today lashed out at writers who are protesting against "growing intolerance" in the country, questioning their "honesty and integrity" in comments that echoed Union minister Arun Jaitley's statement yesterday.
Speaking at the Sangh's Nagpur headquarters, general secretary Suresh Bhaiyaji Joshi said the "honesty" and "integrity" of the writers must be gone into because they were "vitiating the atmosphere by their action".
Jaitley had described the writers' protest as "politics by other means".
More than 30 authors have given up their Sahitya Akademi awards or posts this month in protest against the murders of rationalists and the lynching in Dadri of a man over unsubstantiated rumours that he had eaten beef. The writers have questioned the government's silence on these horrific killings and demanded a condemnation from the Prime Minister, which is yet to come.
Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma today said: "The government is not willing to discharge its constitutional duties. The responses from the RSS, senior BJP leaders and a senior minister like Arun Jaitley show they are not ready to digest dissent and differing views.
"The government failed to act or assure the writers. If they are talking about fundamental rights, freedom of speech, tolerance, the government should have listened to them. Instead, they are being insulted and ridiculed. This is nothing but harassment of very eminent people who have no political affiliations and have contributed a lot."
Sharma regretted that Jaitley had, "instead of taking action against the people who create conflict in society", chosen to "ridicule" the writers.
RSS member Rakesh Sinha has created the hashtag #Comrade Intellectual on Twitter where trolls slammed the writers.
Sinha, who teaches at Delhi University and helms the RSS-aligned think tank India Policy Foundation, alleged that writer Uday Prakash, who was the first to give up his Akademi award in September in protest against the murder of rationalist M.M. Kalburgi on August 30, was a "full-time CPI worker" for 16 years.
One tweet said: "These slaves now paying back dues to their masters".
Sinha charged the "Left elements" with sponsoring a "political and ideological project" because "they cannot tolerate Modi as the PM and the RSS ideology as the dominant ideology".
In Calcutta, Bengal governor Keshari Nath Tripathi also condemned the writers' protest.
"The return of samman is unfortunate. But it makes one wonder. As there is a small group of persons who are lobbying to return those sammans. One has to find out why. Because in the meantime, from the day they received the samman and they returned the samman, several incidents have happened. But none of them returned the samman. Why now?" he said.
The Congress has dismissed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement on the rising intolerance as "insensitive and inadequate". "Incidents like Dadri and the protest against the Pakistani singer (Ghulam Ali) are sad. But what is the Centre's role in them?" Modi had been quoted as saying.
Sharma today said: "A planned conspiracy to create divisions in society in furtherance of a diabolic agenda of the RSS and intimidate those who dissent cannot be described as a state's law-and-order issue."
Journalists on poll duty fight 'false' case
|Our Legal Reporter|
Calcutta High Court on Thursday issued a
directive asking Nimta police station in North 24-Parganas not to take
any "coercive measure... till further orders" on the basis of a
complaint lodged by a Trinamul Congress leader against journalists of
The Telegraph and ABP Ananda covering the civic elections in Bidhannagar
and related developments.|
Appearing for the ABP Group, barrister Samaraditya Pal said the "assault" on journalists for doing their job and the "fabricated" molestation case on them amounted to "butchery of the Constitution".
"In front of police, the journalists were beaten up (on October 3, the day of the polls). Not just that, a fabricated molestation case was slapped on them. It is not only an infringement on their fundamental right and attack on the freedom of the press but also amounts to butchery of the Constitution," Pal argued.
A molestation case was slapped on Tamaghna Banerjee of The Telegraph for tracing one of those from the group, who was photographed hiding her face with her sari on election day, to her house in Birati, 15km away. Banerjee had not met the woman in person but had spoken to her over the phone on October 4.
In the same case, ABP Ananda was named too.
"As they (the journalists) could identify the persons helping the false voting, false police cases were lodged against them and they have been apprehending arrest," Pal told the court.
"A lady was identified as an outsider through a photograph. As her photo was published in the next day's publication (The Telegraph), she, provoked by leaders of a particular political party, lodged a false case against the journalists.
"And the police, instead of arresting the actual culprits, is threatening the journalists. The journalists are apprehending arrest and the court should pass an interim order asking the police not to take any coercive action against the journalists concerned," Pal added.
Following Pal's submission, Justice Dipankar Datta said: "The police are directed not to take any coercive measure against the accused persons (journalists) on the basis of a complaint lodged with Nimta police station on October 5 till further orders."
Barrister Pal later termed this a "triumph of the judiciary".
The case will be heard again in January. By December 11, the police and the state government will have to file affidavits and apprise the court about the progress of the investigation in the assault case and the allegation of molestation.
Additional advocate-general Lakshmi Gupta appeared for the state. On Wednesday, when Justice Datta had asked Gupta about the progress of investigation in both cases, he had sought time to reply. On Thursday, Gupta told the court investigation into both the cases was in progress.
I have put the above news items together just to show that although they may be 2000 km apart when Modi is not abroad, there is not much difference between the two Ms - Mamta and Modi. Both are dictatorial and as with all dictators their behaviour cannot be explained.
The general public in India are fed-up of what the RSS and its many organisations are doing and the authours just express the feeling of Indians when they resign in frustration at the inaction of the central government or rather the encouragemnt the central government is givng to these elements.
In West Bengal too, the reporters highlighted the plight of the voters in Bidhannagar who could not vote. The police, instead of taking action on the illegal voters, have filed FIRs against the reporters.
Is this what is meant by shooting the messenger?
I am sure most people living in Bengal are now regretting having voted for TMC.
But now they have no choice.
She is giving Rs Two lakhs every year to all existing and non exisiting clubs - read group of hoodlums- who will do the vote rigging during the elections as was done in Biddhannagar, recently.
No industry will come to Bengal, but she will continue to win elections.
The saddest part is that the Bengal voters have no choice.
The CPM has not changed at all.
The same old faces of Biman Bose and his group greet you when you read of the CPM agitations and hence their policy remains the same.These are the people who destroyed Bengal in the first place.
The BJP is useless as noted above for it is only interested in creating divisions and fissures in society.
Cry my friends cry. Maybe your tears may make the Almighty send us al alternative.