Udayavni Special

Rename schemes to shut down India, sit down India, shut up India: Shashi Tharoor


PTI, Feb 5, 2020, 9:25 AM IST

New Delhi: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday said in parliament that the government was responsible for the “Partition of India’s soul” in 2020 and said it should “rename schemes to Shut Down India, Sit Down India and Shut Up India”.

Alleging a fundamental assault on the democratic and secular structure of the country, the Congress MP from Kerala accused the ruling BJP of dividing the country into “Hindus Vs Muslims”, “Us Vs They” and “Ramzade Vs I Won’t Say”.

Tharoor, a former union minister, made the comments during a debate on the President’s speech at the start of the budget session outlining the government’s policies, achievements and path ahead.

Referring to the restrictions in Jammu and Kashmir, he said the government was “abrogating” its moral responsibility of dealing with the “constitutional and political crisis” facing the country.

He questioned the term ”tukde tukde gang’, used by the BJP and its supporters to describe leftists and activists.

“In 1947, India witnessed partition of its soil and in 2020, the government is giving partition of India’s soul,” he said.

“Lip service” was paid to Skill India, Digital India and Startup India and no mention was made of Standup India as “you are so busy banning stand-up comedians”, Tharoor remarked, referring to the airline ban on stand-up comedian Kunal Kamra.

Describing the government as “men of straws with limited vision”, the Congress MP said even if it “hijacked” names from history, it would not succeed.

The Congress member said there was a dearth of solutions and ideas to take India forward and attempts were made to “mask” failures of various schemes launched by the government.

Mahatma Gandhi, he said, was quoted to defend “draconian” laws like the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He also flagged the detention of leaders from Jammu and Kashmir and said the country had seen the largest number of internet shutdowns, including that in the Valley.

He added that India could not reach its goal of a USD 5 trillion economy without a 12 per cent per annum growth and so far, it remained a “pipe dream”.

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