Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party did not allow economist Jean Dreze to finish the speech he started to give at an event in Ranchi on Sunday, seemingly because they disagreed with his views on communalism, The Indian Express reported. A video of the incident shows party members, including Union Minister Radha Mohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh and Urban Development Minister CP Singhare, getting up from their chairs and shouting at Dreze to get off the stage.
Referring to advertisements issued by the Jharkhand government that allegedly misquoted Gandhi and targeted Christian religious institutions, Dreze said that communalism was dangerous when it was sponsored by the state itself. Immediately, the leaders began shouting and demanded that Dreze get off the stage and apologise.
“I was interrupted when I argued that communalism was most dangerous when the state itself created antagonism between communities,” Dreze told The Indian Express.
Randhir Singh told the newspaper that he had only objected when Dreze began talking about the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. “I told him that he doesn’t know about RSS,” Singh said.