NEW DELHI: Tearing into the BJP-led, government, Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad Monday said under the 'New India', humans are afraid of humans, those glorifying killers of Mahatma Gandhi are in the ruling party and hatred and lynchings are at its peak.
Speaking on the motion of thanks to the President's address in Rajya Sabha, leader of the opposition, Azad, said unemployment is at all time high and heinous crime like rape on minors are abnormally on the rise.
Launching a scathing attack on the government and its policies, Azad said a party could win elections on divisive policies but the "Nation stood defeated".
He demanded: "Keep your New India to yourself but return our old India where there was a culture of love and where there was no lynching and no hatred. Where Hindu and Muslims used to feel the pain of each other."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present in the House during Azad's address. Referring to the President's speech on Mahatma Gandhi's 150th-anniversary celebrations, Azad said unfortunately a candidate of the ruling party called the killer of the Father of the Nation a patriot and no action was taken and the candidate was a parliamentarian now.
"My tongue will burn. I cannot repeat the remarks. I have a complaint to the Prime Minister, why didn't you take action. Mahatma Gandhi may be Congress President but he was Father of the Nation. I would not have mentioned it here but President's speech mentions his birth anniversary celebrations. BJP should take action. It still has time till October," Azad said.
Azad, while attacking BJP for defending 2008 Malegaon blast accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, however, did not mention her by name and said: "How is this possible and how someone can defend this? Though it doesn't make any difference to us, this is a blot on the face of the ruling party which cannot be wiped out".
He also referred to how former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru on complaints about a Congress candidate in 1952 had instead urged people to vote for an Independent candidate who had a clean image.
On New India, he said it was full of hatred where people were afraid of people and not afraid while being in Jungle.
"In old India, there was no hatred, anger or lynching. New India is one where humans are enemies of each other. You won't be scared of animals in a jungle but you'll be scared of humans here. Give us India where Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians live for each other".
He added: "I request you to keep the 'New India' to yourself and give us our old India where there was a culture of love. Hindus used to feel the pain when Muslims and Dalits used to get hurt. When something used to get into the eyes of Hindus, Muslims and Dalits used to shed tears for them".
About Jharkhand, he said it has become a lynching factory where Muslims and Dalits were lynched and attacked routinely.
Reacting to a recent case of lynching in the state, he said, "Jharkhand has become a factory of lynching and violence. Dalits and Muslims are being killed there every week. PM Modi, we are with you in the fight of 'Sabka saath sabka vikas' but it should be there for people to see it. We can't see it anywhere".
In a recent lynching incident, Tabrez Ansari, 22, died in a Jharkhand hospital on Sunday, days after he was brutally thrashed by a mob at Dhatkidih village in Seraikela district on suspicion of stealing a bike.
The lynching was reported days after similar incidents in other parts of the country. Azad said the BJP government banked on tall promises and publicity and failed to translate things into reality.
"We prefer to remain in opposition for 1,000 years but cannot adopt your path. We cannot run government through TV. We can afford to be out of Parliament. A party can win on decisive policies but the Nation has lost. We want victory of the country," he said.
He said rapes were at an all-time high including heinous crimes like rapes on minor and that "Beti Padhao and Beti Bachao" was just plain talking.
Azad said crime against women have risen manifold and urged the government to ensure 50 per cent reservation to women in Parliament as it was having an absolute majority.
He said Congress's attempts were thwarted last time through the Women's Reservation Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha.
Unemployment, he said was at its peak with the government trying to curb reports by various agencies and that the youth who voted for BJP needed justice.
He said as per NSSO report, the unemployment was highest in the last five years.
Azad said the efforts to make MSME and small industries flourish were throttled in the name of "demonetisation" and poor implementation of GST and alleged the government benefitted only a few industrialists.
He also added that 73 per cent of the wealth was concentrated in the hands of 8 per cent people.
Azad said National Crime Bureau records 2016 data show that crime against women increased 83 per cent with 39 crimes in an hour and that there was 63.
79 per cent increase in incidents of rape during NDA rule. He alleged a new trend has been set by this government by curbing independent reports and the practice of reports being laid in Parliament being done away with.
Also majority of the funds of "Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao" were spent on publicity, he alleged, and added that the government failed to empower women.
He asked it to stop "shedding crocodile tears" and do something to ensure women's empowerment.
On triple Talaq legislation, he said, the Opposition was also in favour but the government's intent should be clean.
Azad said that rays of hope for communal harmony were not visible under the new regime as the Ministers who issued statements against minorities and Dalits were not changed and cited an example of how former PM Rajiv Gandhi had removed a party general secretary for a statement against communal harmony then.
He also attacked the BJP saying if the former Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri and Rajiv Gandhi did not do anything then who laid the foundation of power plants, dams and hydro-elctric projects, and cautioned the government to not be so callous.
He said cooperative federalism has been demolished and alleged how in Arunachal Pradesh the Congress government which had 3/4th majority was toppled with Assembly speaker election held in a restaurant and CM election in a bar.
He also cited examples of Manipur, Goa, Tripura, Gujarat and Karnataka governments.
Azad said no state was left and it left swords of Income Tax, Enforcement Directorate, CBI etc hang on them.
He said that the success of the Economic Offenders and Fugitive Bill could be understood from the fact that big offenders had left the country and small joined the party.
About Jammu & Kashmir, he said that ever since militancy was curbed 15 years ago, it witnessed highest deaths of army personnel and civilians and dared the government to hold elections in Jammu & Kashmir, alleging it had continued President's Rule for its convenience.