A day after a cartoon featuring BR Ambedkar was withdrawn following uproar in the parliament, Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leader Shivanand Tiwari Sunday said taking away "right to disagree" was harming democracy.
Speaking at a special sitting to mark 60 years of Parliament, Tiwari expressed concern over growing fanaticism.
"Fanaticism is increasing a big challenge. We are not giving space to the right to disagree," Tiwari said.
"Every other day, they try to influence which book will one read, what essay will be written, and which cartoon will be drawn on the basis of power," he said.
"I want to ask if there is no right to disagree, how will the democracy function. It is the soul of democracy...," Tiwari said.
A cartoon featuring BR Ambedkar, which was published in a textbook of the National Council for Education, Research and Training (NCERT), had raised uproar in parliament, following which government assured removing it from the book.
While two members of the committee that approved the book, Yogendra Yadav and Suhas Palshikar resigned, Palishkar's office in Pune was ransacked Saturday by Republican Party of India workers.
The seemingly harmless cartoon features Bhimrao Ambedkar, considered the architect of the Indian constitution, seated on a snail that has 'constitution' written on it while the first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was shown standing behind whipping the snail, with a crowd in the background.