Intolerant person not ideal Indian: Naidu

Intolerant person not ideal Indian: Naidu

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday cautioned against "certain misguided citizens" who show intolerance in the name of cow vigilantism and moral policing in the name of 'love jihad' and they could not be identified as "ideal" Indian.

His comments came at the release of Hindi, Kannada, Gujarati and Telugu translation of Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash's book Emergency: Indian Democracy's Darkest Hour where he described the 1975 Emergency as "state-sponsored intolerance" to democracy and individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

However, he expressed his displeasure over the casual use of the word emergency, in a veiled reference to Narendra Modi critics, who claim there is an "undeclared emergency" in the country under his regime.

Emphasising that the resounding pro-democracy verdict in 1977 has ensured that no sensible government would dare to repeat imposing Emergency, Naidu said, "but we need to guard against intolerance on the part of certain misguided citizens. We have been occasionally witnessing some such words and deeds of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so-called cow protection, love jihad, eating habits, watching films etc.

"Such incidents lead us to the point that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects such freedoms of fellow citizens. Post emergency, the state apparatus would think twice before riding roughshod over the liberties and freedoms of citizens. But it is the enlightened citizens who would enable fuller manifestation of such liberties and freedoms," he said.

In his speech on the 43rd anniversary of the imposition of Emergency, he said any citizen who violates the freedoms of fellow citizen would have no right to be called an Indian.

"It is because he is hurting the Constitution of India and all that India stood for ages," he said.

Demanding that "dark days" of Emergency should become part of the curriculum, he said, "our country had passed through the dark medieval era of about a thousand years. This was followed by about 200 years of colonial rule. As independent India was finding its feet, then came the dark era of the Emergency.

While our history books and textbooks talk of those medieval dark days and the British Raj, the fallacious causes and consequences of Emergency are not made a part of the learning of the young."