NEW DELHI--In a sharp attack, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor blamed the government for the 'rising intolerance in the country' on Tuesday.
Addressing the Lok Sabha, Tharoor said, "It is safer to be a cow than a Muslim in India." Tharoor said that a Bangladeshi friend told him that fundamentalist leaders in his country attacked India in this fashion.
The Congress MP said that India was built on the premise of respecting diversity, and it is the responsibility of the government to uphold that premise. “Hate at home and Make in India abroad cannot go hand in hand,” he said.
Tharoor also pointed out that foreign publications were talking about growing intolerance in India. "We are shamed with the reputation we gaining abroad."
Tharoor also reminded of the the Kerala House raid that was conducted last month, at a time when African delegation was in India. "What would they have thought about the intolerance in the country," he asked.
Attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and reminding of his election promises, Tharoor said, "Has the Prime Minister forgotten that he's a leader and he is supposed to walk with people belonging to all caste, class and religion?"
Tharoor also demanded abolition of death penalty, describing it as an "aberration in a healthy democracy".
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, he said hanging people does not deter crime and there is a lot of subjectivity in application of death penalty. "It (death penalty) is an aberration in a healthy democracy," Tharoor said, adding that instead preventive and reformative measures should be strengthened to prevent crimes.
Contending that death penalty has mostly affected the marginalised people, the Congress leader said the state should not become killer. "We should abolish death penalty to uphold the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi," he said.
According to him, around 70 per cent of the UN member nations have abolished death penalty.
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