New Delhi : Backing veteran leader L.K. Advani’s assertion that there was no question mark on the freedom of expression in the country, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said that everyone had the right to speak their mind as it was a ‘constitutional’ right but must not see the contradictory opinions in a negative light.
“I completely agree with what Advani ji has said. The BJP as a party and the leadership in particular appreciates values and cherishes the importance of freedom of expression and speech. That has been something we have been true to, particularly with regard to people having a counter view point,” BJP leader Nalin Kohli told ANI.
Adding that expressing opinions were a regularity in society, he said the people need to understand that if one person has a view then the Constitution allows the other to have a contrary view point.
“This is part of society and people need to look at it from that perspective,” Kohli added.
Advani had earlier strongly denied that were not freedome on expression in the nation.
“I do not know who are the people saying that there is no freedom of expression in India. This right (freedom of expression) has always been there… Such a question does not arise today,” Advani had said.
However, the Congress has been alleging that there is an atmosphere of intolerance, intemperate behaviour, violence and communal polarisation in the nation for which the NDA-led Government is responsible.
The grand old party has also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of doing ‘lasting damage’ to the country’s social fabric by ‘selective targeting of the minority community’
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had earlier this month trained his guns on the Centre, saying there is a contradiction in pushing for start-ups and being ‘intolerant’.
“The ruling dispensation, particularly the RSS, has a clear idea on what the world should look like. They have a vision for India which in my opinion is a very rigid vision. This country requires flexibility, openness and movement of ideas. You will fail on the economy and start up front if you are intolerant. The BJP has categories: There’s a Hindu for them, a Muslim for them, a woman for them. I don’t categorise. That’s the difference between us and them,” Rahul said.
President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to the nation of the eve of Republic Day said that the nation must guard itself against forces of intolerance and unreason. (ANI)