HYDERABAD: Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad today alleged that Union ministers were spreading communalism and expressed "fear" amidst the hue and cry over claims of rising of intolerance in the country.
"Fencing is erected to protect the crop from being eaten away by animals. If the fencing itself eats away the crop, where do we go? That is the fear. The ministers of the Union Government spread communalism today. They give such statements."
"Now, it is in the open. Because, the party president had to call them yesterday and say stop this," Azad said referring to BJP chief Amit Shah's reprimand to several top party leaders who made controversial comments over the Dadri lynching and beef row.
Azad was speaking at the historic Charminar here after receiving Rajiv 'Sadbhavana Award' presented to him to commemorate a 'Sadbhavana Yatra' undertaken from the same place by late Rajiv Gandhi in 1990.
Noting that India has always been a secular country, the Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha alleged that attempts are being made to "communalise" the people. Expressing that he "salutes" those returning awards in protest against alleged growing intolerance in the country, he said 99 per cent of such writers belong to the majority community.
Referring to the letter reportedly written by a UP Minister to the United Nations for "saving Muslims", he said the majority community which is secular would protect the minorities. "For people like me and crores of secular Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, the head rises when all Hindu writers, intellectuals and those transform the society are returning their awards one after another. This is our victory," he said. Those returning their awards are not "pleasing the minorities" but strengthening the country, Azad said.
He showered praise on Rajiv Gandhi for his "path-breaking" work in various spheres like promotion of science and technology, Mizoram, Assam and Punjab accords, judicial reforms, reducing minimum age for voting, agriculture and rural development and also foreign policy.
Taking pot shots at the NDA government, he claimed that foreign tours are more visible today than foreign policy. "Today, we see that foreign policy is not seen anywhere. But, foreign tours are seen more. We see hugging more. I say that it is not hugging but getting into the hug. Because, there is no tradition of hugging abroad. This tradition of embracing each other is there only in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India...," he said.
AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, who was also present on the occasion, alleged that the ideology which killed Mahatma Gandhi is ruling the country today. BJP wants to rule the country by spreading communalism and dividing the country, Singh said. He claimed that he is concerned over the so-called fall in good will and harmony in the country.
Congress always tried to unite the country and safeguard communal harmony, he added.