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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

New heights of intolerance
Hindustan Times
August 12, 2013
First Published: 22:34 IST(12/8/2013)
Last Updated: 03:17 IST(13/8/2013)

It doesn't take too much to land you in the clink these days as intolerance in all spheres grows. In the political field, leading by a sizeable margin in intolerance stakes is West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the rough and tumble purveyor of poriborton.

Recently, her government sent Jadavpur University student Joyeeta Das to 14 days in custody after she protested against the brutal rape and murder in Kamudini.

Her crime — being an entity that Mamatadi cannot stomach, a Maoist activist. Even if we take the police's explanation at face value that "some incriminating documents" were seized from her possession, the allegations that the officials of the special task force and Dum Dum police station arrested Das without an arrest warrant and ransacked her home without a search warrant cannot be ignored.

Though the human rights commission has ordered a probe into this incident,  the fact that Ms Banerjee has done little to hide her intolerance of dissent suggests that we may never find out the real truth.

Following the footsteps of Mamatadi is the young CM of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Singh Yadav. Even as support for suspended SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal is growing on social networking sites, a well-known Dalit scholar Kamal Bharti was arrested for criticising the Samajwadi Party government and urban development minister Azam Khan over her suspension.

Bharti wrote on Faceboook: "…an old madrasa was bulldozed in Rampur and its operator was sent to jail for opposing it, and he is still in jail. Akhilesh's government did not suspend any officer in Rampur.

That is because Rampur is ruled by Azam Khan and not Akhilesh."  He was later released after a local court said that no criminal case could be made out against him. 

For a country that is hailed as the world's largest democracy this kind of illiberal turn is very worrying. A citizen is within his rights to criticise the government. Have we become so fragile as a nation that we cannot stomach even the slightest criticism?

It would seem that our leaders can criticise each other and the people but are not very good of taking it on the chin when fingers are pointed at them.It doesn't take too much to land you in the clink these days as intolerance in all spheres grows. In the political field, leading by a sizeable margin in intolerance stakes is West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, the rough and tumble purveyor of poriborton.

Recently, her government sent Jadavpur University student Joyeeta Das to 14 days in custody after she protested against the brutal rape and murder in Kamudini.

Her crime — being an entity that Mamatadi cannot stomach, a Maoist activist. Even if we take the police's explanation at face value that "some incriminating documents" were seized from her possession, the allegations that the officials of the special task force and Dum Dum police station arrested Das without an arrest warrant and ransacked her home without a search warrant cannot be ignored.

Though the human rights commission has ordered a probe into this incident,  the fact that Ms Banerjee has done little to hide her intolerance of dissent suggests that we may never find out the real truth.

Following the footsteps of Mamatadi is the young CM of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Singh Yadav. Even as support for suspended SDM Durga Shakti Nagpal is growing on social networking sites, a well-known Dalit scholar Kamal Bharti was arrested for criticising the Samajwadi Party government and urban development minister Azam Khan over her suspension.

Bharti wrote on Faceboook: "…an old madrasa was bulldozed in Rampur and its operator was sent to jail for opposing it, and he is still in jail. Akhilesh's government did not suspend any officer in Rampur.

That is because Rampur is ruled by Azam Khan and not Akhilesh."  He was later released after a local court said that no criminal case could be made out against him. 

For a country that is hailed as the world's largest democracy this kind of illiberal turn is very worrying. A citizen is within his rights to criticise the government. Have we become so fragile as a nation that we cannot stomach even the slightest criticism?

It would seem that our leaders can criticise each other and the people but are not very good of taking it on the chin when fingers are pointed at them.


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