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India has become a deeply polarised society: Chidambaram

P Chidambaram

Former Union Minister P Chidambaram today expressed serious concern over the “deep polarisation” that is prevalent in the country now and the way debate has come to be framed on communal and other lines.

There were only three occasions when India was deeply polarised — 1947 partition, 1992 after Babri Masjid demolition and 2015, one of the most polarised years, he said.

“2014 was a year of acrimony and I thought 2015 will be a year of acronyms but at the end of 2015 it is a most polarised year. Today the year has turned out to be deeply polarised. How polarised the Indian society has become.

“Please talk to a Muslim, dalit, or a man of small land holding. There is great insecurity and fear as to where we are heading, towards a deeply divided polarised society. This is what we want we you to think about,” he said at a function here.

Chidambaram was speaking after the release of his book “Standing Guard–A year in Opposition”, a compilation of his Sunday columns published in the Indian Express in 2015.

The function was attended among others by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, former Ministers Kapil Sibal, Jairam Ramesh, Shashi Tharoor, former Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, CPM leaders Sitaram Yechury and T K Rangarajan and leading lawyers.

The Congress leader said that debate in Dadri was not whether a man had beef or mutton in his home but whether a mob has a right to lynch. It was not whether Rohith Vemula was a dalit or not, but how insensitive a university was in dealing with him.

The debate in JNU is whether a bunch of mis-guided youth allegedly raised anti-national slogans

“What is a university. University is not a monastery. At my age, I have a right to be wrong. In a university I need not be profound, I could be ridiculous also. But how are you framing the debate in this country in a perverse manner,” he said in an apparent reference to the BJP and the Sangh Pariwar making it a nationalism versus traitor debate.

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