The political atmosphere of India is not exactly stable at the moment. There is this idea that many agree with, on how it is becoming more and more difficult to criticise the current government in any way or form.
Even if it might not be true that the government itself would take any action against those doing so, there are certain communities and groups which would go to any length to taunt a person for saying anything negative about the government, sometimes even causing physical harm. And the government definitely does not curb it.
That is not taking into account on how social media is getting regulated, with examples of posts that have been known to talk unkindly of the government being taken down, their accounts being suspended and more, false cases being framed against them, harassing them.
Which is why industrialist Rahul Bajaj’s question posed to Amit Shah and his team at the recently held ET Awards is exactly the question of the hour.
What Did Rahul Bajaj Ask?
On Saturday, Home Minister Amit Shah along with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Railway Minister Piyush Goyal attended The Economic Times’ ET Awards 2019 in Mumbai.
Over there, industrialist Rahul Bajaj got up to ask a question about the sensitive behaviour of the current government towards any criticism.
Bajaj in his statement essentially addressed how people are afraid of saying anything negative about Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his government.
He further compared it with the UPA government and how anyone could say anything during their reign.
Amit Shah as a response claimed how the very fact that Bajaj could ask this question in the first place belied this notion.
The Home Minister further denied any allegations that a citizen could not criticise the government. He also added that if Bajaj felt that way then the party would work to improve it.
Nirmala Sitharaman in a tweet applauded Shah’s response. She then took a dig at Bajaj and supposedly could be saying how Bajaj’s statements were against national interest.
Hardeep Puri, the current Civil Aviation Minister of India and Minister of Housing and Urban Affairs, further added, “That Mr Rahul Bajaj could stand up to Sh Amit Shah ji’s face, express himself freely [and] instigate others to join him clearly indicate that freedom of expression [and] democratic values are alive [and] flourishing in India.”
He finished by saying that, “This is exactly what democracy is all about.”
Piyush Goyal, the Minister of Railways and Commerce also reiterated Shah’s comments and stated that there was no fear of any kind.
Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumzar Shaw, in a tweet did side with Rahul Bajaj and commented on how the government needs to become better at hearing criticism of economy and social sector.
Frankly, even if the government itself might not be the one doing it, there are certain sectors more than willing to take up arms (digital or physical) if someone says anything critical of the government.
Hopefully, BJP is able to take some necessary steps and create an environment where a citizen of India can freely talk about their government in both positive or negative form.
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