Following a letter by members of film fraternity, historians and authors to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over alleged rise in intolerance, the government has said that there is no factual basis for claiming that India is losing the image of being secular and tolerant nation.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that Prime Minister Modi-led NDA government at the Centre is committed to uphold Constitutional values and rule of law in the country.
This came even as Minister of State for Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday there has been decline in incidents of communal violence after 2014, when Prime Minister Modi was voted to power at the Centre.
Pointing that the country does not witness curfew-like situations any more, the minister said that as many as 823 incidents of communal violence took place in 2013 while it came down to 708 in 2018.
When Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad raised the issue of mob lynching, the minister countered him saying that there was no set pattern of such incidents. He claimed that incidents of mob lynching had taken place in West Bengal and Kerala as well, which are not Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states.
The statement by the government in Parliament counters the claims made by members of film fraternity and others in an open letter to Prime Minister Modi, wherein they have alleged that incidents like mob lynching has been rising. They urged the Prime Minister to take urgent steps to tackle the menace.
The letter cites a report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which states that there have been at least “840 instances of atrocities against Dalits in the year 2016, and a definite decline in the percentage of convictions”. They demanded that “lynching of Muslims, Dalits and other minorities must be stopped immediately”.
It also alleges that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has been turned into “a provocative war cry”, leading to law and order problems on various occasions. The letter has been signed by filmmakers Mani Ratnam, Anurag Kashyap, Shyam Benegal, actress Konkona Sensharma and historian Ramchandra Guha, among others.