Intolerant citizens have no right to be Indians, says Naidu

New Delhi: Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday asserted that intolerant citizens violating the freedoms of fellow citizens have no right to be ‘Indians’ as it goes against the core values and ethos of India.

Now, the threat to individual freedoms was from some misguided citizens, Mr Naidu said speaking on the occasion of the 43rd anniversary of Emergency that shook the nation at the release of the hindi, kannada, telugu and gujarati versions of ‘Emergency: Indian Democracy’s Darkest Hour’ authored by Prasar Bharati Chairman A Surya Prakash.

Asking the people to guard against intolerance on the part of these misguided citizens, he warned ‘we have been occasionally witnessing some such words and deeds of intolerance by some citizens in the name of so-called cow protection, love jihad, eating habits, watching films, etc.

Such incidents lead us to the point that individual freedoms can be in full play only when every citizen respects such freedoms of fellow citizens.

Post Emergency, the state apparatus would think twice before riding roughshod over the liberties and freedoms of citizens. But it is enlightened citizens who would enable fuller manifestation of such liberties and freedoms.”

Mr Naidu stated that the core Indian values and ethos had no place for intolerance due to which all the major religions of the world were flourishing in India.

“On the 43rd anniversary of Emergency, I would like the
message to go out that any citizen who violates the freedoms of fellow citizens would have no right to be called an Indian. It is because he is hurting the Constitution of India and all that India stood for.”

Referring to the medieval period of about a thousand years that destroyed democratic traditions of ancient India and the British Raj finding a place in the text books and not the Emergency in post-Independent India.

The Vice President said “Its time, the dark days of Emergency becomes part of the curriculum, so that present generations are sensitised to the dreaded events of 1975-77 and they learn to value the democratic freedoms they enjoy today.”

He expressed confidence that no sensible government would repeat what was done during the fateful night of June 25, 1975, which he termed as ‘clearly a state-sponsored intolerance to democracy and individual freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.’

Referring to his own imprisonment of more than 17 months during Emergency, Mr Naidu listed 33 aberrations of that period, which he said sterilised democracy in the country, destroyed the Constitution and deprived the citizens of their right to life and liberty.

He expressed concern over the way the executive became dictatorial, Parliament abdicated its responsibility to the executive and judiciary sank to its lowest during the Emergency.

While dwelling on strangulation of media, Mr Naidu expressed particular concern over the Supreme Court accepting the Government’s position that citizens had no right during Emergency to seek remedy and not
opposing the 42nd Constitution amendment that went against the doctrine of ‘basic features of Constitution’ propounded by the apex Court in the famous Keshavanand Bharti Case in 1973.

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