13 opposition parties question Modi’s silence on communal violence
In a signed statement, opposition leaders express anguish at “deliberate attempts to polarize our society”; Shiv Sena, AAP stay away
Thirteen opposition parties came together on Saturday to question Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over the rising incidents of communal violence in the country while urging people to maintain “peace and harmony”.
The 13 parties which came together to issue the press release were the Congress, NCP, TMC, DMK, CPI(M), JMM, NC, RJD, CPI, AIFB, RSP, IUML and CPI (ML). Among the prominent parties which did not sign the statement were the Shiv Sena, part of MVA alliance in Maharashtra, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
“We, the undersigned leaders of political parties, have come together to issue this appeal,” the release read. “We are extremely anguished at the manner in which issues related to food, dress, faith, festivals and language are being deliberately used by sections of the ruling establishment to polarize our society,” the leaders wrote.
The letter questioned Prime Minister on his silence. “We are shocked at the silence of the Prime Minister, who has failed to speak against the words and actions of those who propagate bigotry and those who, by their words and actions, incite and provoke our society. This silence is an eloquent testimony to the fact that such private armed mobs enjoy the luxury of official patronage,” the leaders said in the statement.
“We are extremely concerned with the growing incidents of hate speech in the country by people who appear to have official patronage and against whom no meaningful and strong action is being taken.”
Referring to communal clashes in the country on the occasion of Ram Navami, opposition leaders said: “We strongly condemn the recent outburst of communal violence witnessed across several states in the country. We are deeply concerned, as reports indicate that there is a sinister pattern in the areas where these incidents have occurred. Incendiary hate speeches preceded the aggressive armed religious processions unleashing communal violence.”
“We are extremely pained at the manner in which social media and the audio-visual platforms are being misused with official patronage to spread hatred and prejudice,” opposition leaders further added.
The opposition leaders reiterated their “collective resolve” to “combat and confront the poisonous ideologies which are attempting to entrench divisiveness in our society.” They added: “We reiterate our firm conviction that our country will prosper only if it respects, accommodates and celebrates its many diversities in full measure.”
“We appeal to all sections of the people to maintain peace and foil the sinister objective of those who wish to sharpen communal polarisation. We call upon all our party units across the country to independently and jointly work for maintaining peace and harmony,” the leaders urged.