Lit fest debate turns into Cong- BJP battlefield

Lit fest debate turns into Cong- BJP battlefield

Lit fest debate turns into Cong- BJP battlefield

A fiery debate on “Are we heading towards an intolerant India today?” at the fourth Bengaluru Literature Festival, which ended here on Sunday, left the audience exasperated with political representatives on the panel turning it into a “BJP vs Congress” political spat.

Much to the chagrin of the audience, politicians representing the BJP and the Congress began listing out the “mistakes” of each other. So much so that a member of the audience stood up to tell the politicians, “You are worse than kindergarten kids”. Not just the audience, even a section of the panelists, too, felt that there was over-politicisation of the debate. Author Siddharth Dhanvant Shangvi, who was part of the panel, was forced to intervene, asking the two parties to cut it out.

Educationist Mohandas Pai, who also shared the dais, flatly told both parties that it was in their vested interests that they were raking up the issues.  He said people in India were by nature tolerant. “Let the BJP and Congress fight. Don’t bring India and Indians into it,” he said.

About the larger debate itself, Pai said that at this point of time, the issue of tolerance and intolerance was an ideological debate. “We are mistaking lack of rule of law with large social movements of discrimination,” he said, adding that if the judiciary process sped up, it would curb violent incidents.

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