The Congress on Wednesday condemned the violence during Amit Shah’s roadshow in Kolkata while accusing the Narendra Modi-Shah duo of promoting “mobocracy” in the country and damaging the cultural identity of the states.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi also condemned the desecration of the statue of national icon and social reformer Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar during the violence, terming it a “shameful act”.
“A new politics where ‘mobocracy’ is being actively encouraged and abetted by the ruling party — the BJP — in the country has gained ground in the past five years. Prime Minister Modi and Amit Shah-led BJP are squarely responsible for systematically damaging the cultural identity of each state in India. The Modi-Shah duo is responsible for promoting mobocracy in the country,” he told reporters.
Singhvi alleged that the federal structure, respect for regional aspirations, culture, language, food habits and the identity of indigenous people are under attack by the BJP in every state of the country.
“This negative politics of ‘destruction, demolition and discretion’ are methodically vitiating the political atmosphere of the country. The BJP wants to exert its monolithic supremacy and bigoted agenda on each state, thus weakening the federal polity,” he alleged.
Singhvi said, “Federal fascism is embedded in the BJP’s DNA and the power-hungry Modi-Shah duo are hell-bent on bulldozing the cultural identity of states.”
He said the Congress strongly condemns the violent discretion of the statue of national icon Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, a great educationist who changed the Bengali alphabet, Sanskrit scholar and reformer who brought in the widow remarriage act and fought for women’s education.
“We are deeply pained that such a shameful incident took place,” he said.
Singhvi said Congress president Rahul Gandhi has taken upon himself to protect the culture, identity and language of the various states that make India.
“This is one of the strongest reasons why Rahul Gandhi is fighting elections from both north India (Amethi) and south India (Wayanad) so that all parts of India feel united under the common umbrella of the Congress party,” he added.
The Congress leader alleged that disrespect for national icons and hegemony of its own ideology was reflective of the BJP’s mindset and recalled how BJP H Raja had pledged to destroy the statue of social reformer Periyar in Chennai.
BJP general secretary Ram Madhav “actively justified pulling down statues, but no action was taken against him”, he claimed.
Singhvi alleged that a bust of national icon B R Ambedkar was found splashed with red paint in north Chennai and in February this year, members of a fringe right-wing group associated with the Sangh Parivar “shamelessly” re-enacted the scene of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by shooting his effigy with an air pistol after garlanding a picture of his assassin Nathuram Godse in Uttar Pradesh.
He said the current situation was the result of “condemnable policies” of the Modi government for various states, including not granting special status to Andhra Pradesh, and “systematic mauling” of the federal structure as had happened during government formations in Goa, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Manipur.
“The Modi government’s politics of division was in full form after it brought in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which was opposed tooth and nail in many states of the northeast. This was a direct assault on the indigenous people of the region,” Singhvi said.
In Jammu and Kashmir too, he said this government promised Rs 80,000 crore, but gave only 31 per cent of the package and so was the case in Bihar, where a total of Rs 1.25 lakh crore was promised but nothing reached the state.
“PM Modi, who paraded co-operative federalism as an ‘article of faith’, hasn’t even released the funds to states, with reports stating that the Centre has achieved only a third of devolution, thereby starving states of funds needed for vital welfare schemes like education and health,” he alleged.