Politicians becoming intolerant

In India there is growing case of intolerance by the political leaders cutting across the party line. In recent past several people including journalists have been arrested for their views and comments. A 26-year-old journalist freelance journalist Prashant Kanojia was recently arrested for sharing a video on Twitter and Facebook where a woman is seen speaking to reporters of various media organisations outside the UP Chief Minister, Yogi Adityanath’s office, claiming that she had sent him a marriage proposal. In UP another journalist was beaten up on Tuesday on camera by a group of GRP personnel while on reporting duty.
Last year Kishorechandra Wangkhem, an Imphal-based journalist, was arrested under the National Security Act (NSA) for criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state and calling CM N Biren Singh a “puppet of PM Modi and Hindutva”. The journalist was arrested after his video criticising the government and abusing Biren Singh went viral. Since the BJP came to power at the centre there is growing intolerance against its critics which include journalists and intellectuals. However such intolerant behavior by political leaders is not limited to BJP only. On Tuesday two men were arrested and remanded to judicial custody in Karnataka for allegedly posting a video abusing former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and his family on social media. Last month a BJP woman leader was arrested in West Bengal’s Howrah district, for allegedly sharing a morphed picture of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on social media. Even in the left ruled state Kerala several people have been booked for derogatory posts against the CM on social media. The politicians cutting across the party lines are trying hard to stifle the voice of critics. Being the occupant of public chair they should be ready to accept both praise and brickbats. The constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression to the citizens.