Setting the BJP up for major embarrassment, business leader and Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy has now joined the chorus against intolerance and backed the protesting writers, scientists, historians, filmmakers and academics. Speaking on the show 'The NDTV Dialogues', Murthy said, "I am not a political person, I am not at all interested in politics. But I sense there is a considerable fear among minorities in the country."
He added, "There is considerable fear in the minds of people of one region living in another region. For example, like we had in 1967, when south Indians were treated very badly by Shiv Sena in Mumbai. Today, there is a lot of that worry. I get a lot of letters, a lot of people talking to me even though I stay at home because of my leg..."
He then explained what the focus of the government should be. He said, "The priority of this government, or for that matter any government, both at the Central level and state level should be to bring back the confidence, the energy, the enthusiasm, the trust in the minds of every Indian... that this is our country, I have all the rights here, I feel safe and therefore, I will work towards the betterment of India."
He then said that a country cannot make progress if the citizens are not living in peace. He explained that he has read several books and articles on the internet, which has made him realise that a country cannot make any economic progress if there is strife and unrest in it.
"There should be no distress, fear. There will ne no progress unless the majority community doesn't oppress the minority community... it doesn't matter which government is in power," he said, summing up his argument.
While answering a question posed by the anchor he added in an agitated voice, "What happened to Mr Kalburgi is an example. I doesn't matter if it's the UPA or the NDA, Congress or BJP... "
"The reality is, we have to first create an environment of peace, harmony, trust, enthusiasm and energy. We can then get to economic development.
"I can assure you, unless we are able to sort this problem out. I don't think we will be able to bring back growth, I don't think we will be able to solve the problem of poverty, I don't think we will be able to eliminate the sad cases of poor farmers committing suicide... the first priority should be to create an environment of positivism."
Narayana Murthy's comments comes close on the heels of 12 filmmakers returning their National Awards, a host of historians protesting the atmosphere of hostility and intolerance and renowned scientist PM Bhargava returning his Padma Bhushan in protest.
He is the first business leader to have spoken up against the atrocities and it resonated with several others. For example, Kiran Majumdar Shaw tweeted out his comments.
'Considerable Fear Among Minorities in India': Narayana Murthy -powerful words for every citizen of India https://t.co/HXTTASc3Cs— Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (@kiranshaw) October 31, 2015
The government and the BJP has till now dismissed these protests as acts of 'manufactured' angst. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had hit back at the protesters saying, "There is no such climate in the country that the central government should be held responsible for. If some unfortunate incidents have happened in some states, it's extremely shameful and the lawbreakers should be punished. But this is a disproportionate political reaction. How many of them spoke up in last 10 years when there were scams worth lakhs and crore? I have already called it a manufactured rebellion, I stand by my phrase. I think the events as they are unfolding only indicates that the manufacturing is now at a faster speed."
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