'Hindu rashtra an assault on basis of nationhood': Tharoor says Hindi-centric 'national narrative' will make South, Northeast India 'irrelevant'
Kolkata: Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Saturday said the south and northeast of India will become "irrelevant" in comparison to the north, as the national narrative is increasingly becoming a Hindi-speaking one.
Tharoor, speaking at the Kolkata Literature Festival, said the idiom of the Indian narrative has "overwhemingly" moved to the north, "the so-called BIMARU states such as Bihar, MP, UP, moving from places like Bengal or Kerala". "The south and northeast will become irrelevant as compared to the north," he said.
Referring to a "trivial fact," Tharoor said in Parliament, BJP ministers reply in Hindi to questions asked in English, as "this is their audience".
"To create a primordially Hindu rashtra is a fundamental assault on the very basis of nationhood..." the MP from Thiruvananthapuram said during a session on 'Disorder, Darkness and the Tharoor way'.
Tharoor said the old idiom that when Bengal catches cold India sneezes, is no more true. "Instead, now if northern India catches the cold, Bengal, Kerala sneezes. It is their cold affecting us."
He said one magical thing about the country is that one can be a good Bengali, a good Muslim, but also a good Indian. "You are secure of your different identities because you are secure of your Indian identity guaranteed by the Constitution," the three-time Congress MP added.
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