BJP chief Amit Shah said the country will not accept anti nationalism in the garb of freedom of expression, but maintained that India’s democratic system allowed critique of any policy of the government or even the prime minister.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the India Ideas Conclave, organised by think tank India Foundation, the BJP president said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the most criticised in independent India, which is fine as long as anti nationalism is not promoted under the guise of freedom of speech.
“It (anti nationalism) cannot be accepted. There can be no democracy without dissension,” he said, noting that India has seen 16 peaceful change of guard since independence.
The BJP has been targeted over several issues since its government, the NDA, came to power in 2014. These include the suicide of a PhD student in Hyderabad, self-proclaimed cow vigilantes attacking people and the ongoing Kashmir unrest
The latest issue is over the directive to take a TV news channel off air for a day over its reportage of the Pathankot attack. Shah said the BJP government was taking criticism from rivals, activists and media professional for the order.
However, he praised the “decisiveness” of PM Modi, saying when the issue of triple talaq came before he Supreme Court, the government did not waste any time to take a position that strengthened gender justice.