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Congress today charged the BJP-led government of promoting a "spectre of intolerance" in the country to stifle any voice that has a contrary opinion and said anyone who is "anti-government is dubbed as anti-national and anti-BJP as seditious".
Without getting into the issue of what film-maker Anurag Kashyap had said, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said the larger context is that in past 28 months of this government a stamp a homogeneous narrative in this country is being imposed and minority opinion stifled, which is worrisome.
"We do not need to react to any individual point of view. That Mr Kashyap can answer the question. For us, the larger context is the growing spectre of intolerance, the attempts to stamp a homogenous narrative in this country, to stifle any voice which has a contrary opinion or even a minority opinion.
"So, this dominant discourse whereby anybody who is anti-Government is anti-National, anybody who is anti-BJP is seditious, anybody who raises legitimate questions of civil-military relations is treasonous. This is the larger environment which the BJP Government has created in the last 28 months and this is worrying," he said.
Tewari said this Government has promoted a spectre of intolerance over the past 28 months whereby today the creative community has started saying that we have a Censor in our head and we think twice before we say anything and that is the larger context.
He was asked to comment on Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju's remarks on Kashyap's statement that it has become a fashion to attack the Prime Minister in this country.
Tewari said he would not like to respond to Rijiju, but he had cautioned in 2013 at the International Film Festival in Goa on the "great evil that looms over this land".
"I had cautioned the creative community that there is a great evil which looms over this land. There is a spectre of fascism which will come to prevail and unfortunately the last 28 months of the NDA-BJP Government has really proven that to be correct.
"The question is that India's liberalism in creative spaces belongs to the people of India. They belong to the people who practice the liberalism and so, therefore if an attempt is made to try and put in a dominant narrative, which totally and absolutely tries to step out of a contrary opinion, that is not what creativity is all about. That is an assault on creativity," he said.
On the contentious issue of "Triple Talaq", Tewari said "there is a petitioner, there is a respondent and there is a Judge and the matter is subjudice."
On the Ram Temple issue, he said, "Whenever elections come, they bring it up. They do not have faith in the temple issue. They have no faith in Ram Temple. Since 1992, they remember Ram only when elections come and they remember.
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Tewari, however, brushed aside a query on JD-U claims that Nitish Kumar is a Prime Ministerial candidate and an alternative needs to be brought up against the current dispensation.
"Elections are in 2019 and a proper reply will be given at the right time," he merely said.