Former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Saturday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his silence over the ongoing controversy on intolerance and said it shows his “clear” support in these matters.
“Our biggest concern is that the prime minister’s silence on these issues shows clear support. Silence also speaks. Our prime minister is silent… who will show the way?” asked Chatterjee while addressing a gathering at the Academy of Fine Arts here.
“Can you even imagine that even after such incidences occurred one after the other and the prime minister said the incident (Dadri lynching) is unfortunate and it happened in a particular state. It isn’t a matter of one state or the peace process… it’s a question of humanity,” he said.
Citing the example of Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore who renounced his knighthood in 1919 in protest against the Jallianwala Bagh masscare, Chatterjee lashed out at a section of the central government for criticising and belittling the writers, historians and filmmakers who have returned awards as a mark of protest.
“Instead of acknowledging it, some people in the government are trying to belittle them and make accusations and controversial statements against them,” he said.
“Now the central government is answerable to the RSS on how their programme is progressing… what will people eat, what will they say and do… they are issuing orders (farmaan) over that,” he said.