Atmosphere of hate prevailing in country: Rahul Gandhi in Kerala

Updated on Jul 02, 2022 04:15 AM IST

The Congress MP’s remarks came against the backdrop of the top court pulling up former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma over her remarks on Prophet Mohammed.

Rahul Gandhi attended a rally in Sultan Bathery in Kerala protesting against the recent directive of the Supreme Court to earmark one-km buffer zone around forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries. (HT Photo)
Rahul Gandhi attended a rally in Sultan Bathery in Kerala protesting against the recent directive of the Supreme Court to earmark one-km buffer zone around forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries. (HT Photo)
By, Thiruvananthapuram

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said the prevailing atmosphere of hate and anger in the country was not created by a single person but the party in power at the Centre and the ideology driven by it were equally responsible for this.

Talking to reporters in Wayanad, his Lok Sabha constituency in north Kerala, Gandhi said there was no point in blaming one person.

He was referring to former spokesperson of the ruling BJP, Nupur Sharma, who was pulled up by the Supreme Court on Friday for stoking fire after her comments on the Prophet. He said the government in power, Prime Minister and home minister played their role in creating such an environment in the country.

“The Supreme Court said this. It is not the single person who made this statement but the PM, Home Minister and the RSS created such an environment in the country. The atmosphere of anger and hatred is not good for the country and its people,” he said, adding the ruling party at the Centre was out to denigrate every institution in the country. “Such an atmosphere was created by the ruling party and they continue to do this. This is against the interest of the country,” he said.

During a television debate on May 28, then BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammed and party leader Naveen Kumar Jindal tweeted some objectionable comments on June 1. Amid outrage over the remarks, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal on June 5.

The statement triggered diplomatic furore with nearly 15 countries, including Oman, UAE and Indonesia, expressing their indignation. The Indian government later issued a statement, maintaining that the remarks by individuals denigrating the religious personality “do not, in any manner, reflect the views of the government of India”.

Gandhi, who is on a two-day visit of his constituency, also deplored the attack on his office last week allegedly by a group of Students Federation of India (SFI) activists. He said it was “an irresponsible act on the part of kids.

“Everywhere in the country you see the idea that violence will resolve problems. But violence never solves any problems. They acted irresponsibly but I don’t harbor any anger or animosity towards them,” he said.

He said it was not his office but the office of the people of Wayanad and what the students of the left wing did was most unfortunate. But he made it clear that he was not harbouring anger or hostility towards them. He spent some time at the office allegedly vandalized by the SFI workers on June 24. He expressed the hope that students will realize their follies and behave responsibly.

Later in the evening he attended a rally in Sultan Bathery protesting against the recent directive of the Supreme Court to earmark one-km buffer zone around forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries. Many areas in Wayanad and Idukki districts have been witnessing a series of shutdowns against the order. People fear they will be thrown out their habitat once the buffer zone is earmarked.

The attack on his office last week by the SFI was fuelled by the buffer zone issue. Student activists alleged that the MP failed to react on the issue. After the attack Gandhi tweeted two letters he wrote on the issue to the PM and CM drawing their attention towards the plight of inhabitants living near forests. The state government has announced that it will move a review petition in the apex court against the three-member bench verdict.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ramesh Babu is HT’s bureau chief in Kerala, with about three decades of experience in journalism.

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