Opposition parties in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday attacked the government over the JNU and Hyderabad University rows, alleging that attempts were being made to metamorphose the country’s secular democratic polity into a “fascistic set-up” as per the RSS vision.
Leaders of various parties including the Left also criticised the government over its handling of the economy, saying that “jumla-nomics”, a coinage indicating empty words, was being practiced and huge benefits being given to corporates and the rich at the cost of the social sector.
Intervening in the debate, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi alleged that the Opposition was raising issues like intolerance, return of awards and JNU “to scuttle government’s development agenda”.
He also maintained that seditious slogans would never be tolerated.
Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks to the President for his address, CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the “burning issues” affecting the people and those “dividing the people” had not been addressed.
He claimed that the recent developments including those in JNU and Hyderabad university fit into “a jigsaw where the aim is to metamorphose the country into a Hindu Rashtra ...and creating a fascistic set-up as per the vision of the RSS”.
Yechury said the sort of “intolerance” being displayed in higher education institutes was “chillingly reminiscent of the way Hitler used nationalism to establish fascism”, adding that there was no mention of the “serious situation” prevailing in higher educational institutions in the address, including the happenings at Hyderabad University, JNU, IIT Chennai, FTII, as also now in the Allahabad University.
Maintaining that his was not an “alarmist claim” but one based on reality, he said the approach of the government has emboldened those giving hate speeches.
'Poll promises not fulfilled'
Yechury also termed the economic policies as just “jumla-nomics”, saying “tall election promises have not been fulfilled” as he slammed the government of giving tax concessions of over Rs 5 lakh crores to big business and corporates.
If this tax was collected, the government would have had funds to expand three times the rural employment generation programme, he said, adding that the present policies were only benefitting the rich and the number of dollar billionaires was rising in India.
Yechury also raised questions regarding a US-India Business Council report which, he said, had mentioned that the government had “privately assured” that it would “not use compulsory licenses for commercial purposes.”