West Bengal Assembly adopts resolution on the issue of intolerance

Kolkata: The West Bengal Assembly on Wednesday adopted a resolution on the issue of "intolerance".

In a rare show of unanimity, the ruling Trinamool Congress, Opposition Left and Congress adopted the resolution which stated that the Constitution believes in a pluralistic and democratic set up.

 West Bengal Assembly adopts resolution on the issue of intolerance

West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. AFP

However, lone BJP MLA Shamik Bhattacharya opposed it.

Moving the resolution, state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Partha Chatterjee called for creating unity among the masses.

"Irrespective of caste, religion and creed every citizen has equal rights. But there are growing trends of violent intolerance and efforts to create division among the people. This not only creates problems in economic progress but is also a threat to national unity.

"The most unique factor of our country is tolerance and unity in diversity. But this unique factor is facing big challenge today. It is beyond doubt that only secularism, communal harmony and unity can make this country strong," the resolution stated.

It said the assembly calls for shedding of "political mean mindedness", racisim and communalism and creating unity among all sections of the masses and demanded that the government take stern steps to stop political, religious and social intolernace.

State Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said all steps should be taken to stop sinster plans to create divison among the masses. "We are all sons of this soil. We are Indians first."

Stating that there should be zero tolerance on the issue, Leader of Opposition and CPI-M leader Surya Kanta Mishra said, "We are against the division of masses and we will continue our fight against it. We are against all of kinds intolerance whether it is political or religious."

Senior Congress leader Manas Bhunia alleged that RSS and BJP are trying to destroy the country's secular fabric.

"The Constitution allows equal right to every people of this country and nobody has the right to snatch it away from the citizens based on religious lines. The RSS is trying to destroy the secular fabric of our country," he said.

Bhunia also mentioned how questions were raised about rising intolerance in India during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the UK.

Opposing the resolution, Bhattacharya said the issue has become a "sickness syndrome" in the country.

"It is really a matter of concern that certain stray incidents have been put up in a such a way so as to paint the entire country as intolerant. It is a matter of concern. Where was the issue of intolerance when Taslima Nasreen was sent to exile from this state?" he asked.

Hakim said those who try to decide what one will eat or not "should be banished from the country."

"No one has the right to decide what one will eat or not. It is (a matter of) individual choice and right. Those who try to question that right are against the very idea of India, they should be thrown out of the country," he added.

Bhunia said those returning their awards in protest have done it to ventilate their inner pain.

"In the state too, incidents of communal violence are increasing. The state government should take steps to check it," he said.

Mishra said that never before has the country faced such a threat since Independence.

"Earlier too there was BJP government at the Centre. But now the one running the government is a pracharak of RSS. This is a grave danger. We have to protect democracy in our state, if democratic rights are under threat then you can't protect communal harmony," he added.

PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 16, 2015 20:51:11 IST