A “New India” is where people do not get lynched for the food they eat or for their faith, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Saturday, The Times of India reported.
“Four years ago, the prime minister had promised ‘Achhe Din,’” he said at the Times Lit Fest in New Delhi, criticising the Narendra Modi government’s idea of a “New India”, IANS reported. “Now, people openly say, ‘Bure din wapas lao’. No wonder the Bharatiya Janata Party is talking of a New India because they made such a mess of the Old India.”
“I want a New India, too,” he said. “It would be a New India where you don’t get lynched for the food you eat, marginalised for the faith you hold dear, criminalised for the person you love and imprisoned for making use of the fundamental rights guaranteed by your own Constitution.”
“We must look forward to a New India that celebrates and welcomes pluralism,” Tharoor said, and attacked the BJP saying today, “dissent is portrayed as seditious, protests as anti-national”.
“Their ‘New India’ is one where narrow-minded majoritarianism prevails.”
The Congress leader also targeted the government’s policies, including the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation.
“Demonetisation was like taking out 86% of the blood out of a person’s body and then asking him to dance,” he said. “All available data proves demonetisation was an unmitigated disaster – ill-conceived, unprepared and poorly implemented, a case of all pain no gain.”
On the GST, he said it would have been beneficial if it was really “one nation, one tax”. “Instead, the BJP took the United Progressive Alliance’s design for a sleek horse and produced an ungainly camel,” he said, referring the different tax rates under the new system.
Last week, Tharoor used a tweet to congratulate Manushi Chhillar, who was crowned Miss World, to criticise the government’s decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes in 2016. “BJP should have realised that Indian cash dominates the globe: look, even our Chhillar has become Miss World,” he had said on Twitter.