India is now a country with just “black or white” as choices and no space in between for tolerance, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Saturday at the Pune International Literary Festival.
He blamed this “polarisation” of politics on the actions and choices of the “ruling party”.
Speaking at a session titled ‘Truly Yours’, the author of the book ‘Why I Am A Hindu’ went on to state that there was “no Hindu way”, though there is “my or his or her” Hindu way.
“There is my Hindu way. There is his or her Hindu way and everyone has their own Hindu way. That’s the magic because Hinduism does not prescribe any rigorous prescriptions.
“I can worship Ram, I read Hanuman Chalisa, therefore I am a Hindu…But suddenly if someone says I do nothing of these things and I am still a Hindu, then they both are right, and this the BJP and Sangh Parivar have not understood,” he said.
“I believe I have a truth and you believe you have the truth….I will respect your truth and please respect my truth….For me, this is the fundamental spirit of Hinduism,” he said, adding that “acceptance” goes beyond “tolerance”.
Tharoor claimed Hinduism is not only the strength of Indian society, civilization and culture, but it has been the strength of Indian democracy as well.
“It is not only limited to respecting each other’s religious ways or practices, but it is about respecting political views,” he said.
Hitting out at the BJP, Tharoor said politics in India stood polarised particularly because of the actions and choices of the ruling party.
“As a result, the people
of the country have been divided into black and white and there is no shade in
between which is called tolerance,”