New Delhi: The Congress on Monday said an atmosphere of fear has been created in the country by the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre and demanded that FIR against “The Tribune” and its staffer for alleged breach of details of a large number of Aadhaar cards be withdrawn.
The party said if the government believed in the Freedom of Speech and Expression and the freedom of press, then the FIR must be unilaterally withdrawn by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which operates under the central government.
“An atmosphere of fear, terror, intimidation and coercion and stifling of democratic dissent has been systematically created, perpetuated and perpetrated by the NDA-BJP government,” said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.
Dissenting journalists were put to death and media organisations which dared to speak truth were systematically hounded and targeted, he said.
“NDTV was raided and the Wire has been subjected to systematic coercion and intimidation. The Tribune, which runs a story on Aadhar data breach, is rewarded with an FIR which names the journalist and the institution itself,” he added.
Tewari further said: “If this is not fascism, if this is not an attempt to muzzle dissent, if this is not gross abuse of state authority, then I am afraid, we possibly do not have a definition for this.
“That is why, the time has come for all progressive, right thinking and patriotic forces to stand united against this systematic repression which has been unleashed on democratic dissent by the Narendra Modi government,” he added.
The party also asked the people to introspect and decide on the kind of government they would want post 2019.
“They must seriously introspect, reflect and make a choice… Do they want a government which believes in the enlightened idea of India, where they can live without fear and intimidation, where they do not have to look over their shoulder before they utter the next sentence…
“… Or they want the country which is majoritarian, which is theocratic where the government is prepared to bite off your tongue the moment you utter a word. The time has come to make that fundamental choice,” said Tewari.
“That is our appeal to the people of India and they should make a choice ‘whether you want a liberal and democratic India or a theocratic and fascist India’,” Tewari added.