Interim Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday criticised the rise in intolerance in India, and described it as the “antithesis of liberal, secular and democratic foundations” of the country, The Indian Express reported. On the same day, the Congress leader had accused the Centre of initiating what she called the “final assault” to dilute the Right to Information Act.
“Today, we see rising intolerance, rising violence. A skewed vision of our history and society is being imposed along with falsehood and unscientific ideas,” she said at an event in New Delhi, according to ANI. Gandhi said that fundamental ideas that guided the nation’s freedom struggle and inspired it after Independence were being questioned.
The Congress leader remembered former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, whose death anniversary was on Thursday, and said that national integration was among one of her passions. “But unlike those in the ruling establishment now, she [Indira Gandhi] did not equate unity with uniformity,” she said, according to The Telegraph. “On the contrary, she was deeply conscious of and proud of India’s many diversities.”
On the RTI Act, Sonia Gandhi said that the Centre was trying to “enforce its majoritarian agenda without being held accountable to the people”. Her comments came a week after the Narendra Modi-led government notified the rules of the amended RTI Act, reducing the tenure of information commissioners from five years to three years.
The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had passed the RTI Act in 2005. In July, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government amended the Act to introduce changes in the salaries and tenures of information commissioners, as well as in other service conditions. Parliament had given its assent to the amended Act.
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