Generalising ‘stray incidents’ may damage our image: Naidu

  • PTI, Hyderabad
  • Updated: Oct 19, 2015 08:15 IST
Union minister for urban development Venkaiah Naidu made the comments in the backdrop of the wider protest by writers and intellectuals against recent attacks on free speech in the country. (HT Photo)

Union minister M Venkaiah Naidu said on Monday that the quality of tolerance was genetically ingrained in Indians, and that the intellectual class should avoid generalising “stray incidents of violence” which may damage the country’s image.

Taking a jibe at some writers and the media, the urban development minister also said that intellectuals could condemn some of the unfortunate incidents but they should also keep the country’s image in mind while doing so.

“Some people try to generalise some of the stray incidents (of violence) occurred in the country. They try to magnify it. They try to proclaim that the tolerance levels have come down in the country. It will bring disgrace to the country. We may condemn the act but not the country per se,” he said.

“We see a new trend in the country nowadays. They say tolerance in this country is coming down. India is the only country in this world where tolerance is observed, if not 100% at least 99%,” Naidu said after releasing the book ‘Nayaka Trayam’ penned by former Rajya Sabha member Y Lakshmi Prasad.

“If you go back to history, India was invaded by many foreign countries but there was not a single instance where India invaded any country. Indians do not have that kind of attitude also. We respect all religions. That is the greatness of India. Tolerance is genetically ingrained in Indians’ blood,” he added.

The minister also advised some writers to be constructive while criticising the Government and alleged that some people have adopted a malicious campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Referring to the arrests made during the Emergency in 1970s and the killings of Sikhs after former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Naidu said that, save for a few writers and intellectuals like Khushwant Singh, most of the writers had remained silent at that time.

“(MM) Kalburgi incident is condemnable. (Narendra) Dabholkar is incident is condemnable. We should not politicise the issues. Writers should not combine these issues with politics,” he said.

Without mentioning any names, Naidu said some newspapers have become “views papers” with biased writings.

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