New Delhi, Oct 8 : Congress MP Shashi Tharoor appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday declaring himself “deeply disturbed” by the FIR filed against the authors of an open letter to the PM in July. .
Since when has writing a letter of concern to the elected leader of the country… the trigger for an FIR? Is the ‘Naya Bharat’ (New India) you wish to create one where citizens shall not be heard and their concerns not addressed?” Mr Tharoor asked the PM.
Tharoor urged the Prime Minister to “affirm the constitutional principle of Article 19” and guarantee freedom of speech and expression. In a two-page letter he posted on social media, he also reminded PM Modi of a powerful speech made before the US Congress in 2016, in which the Prime Minister called the Constitution a “holy book” and said “… freedom of faith, speech… and equality of all citizens, regardless of background, are enshrined as fundamental rights”.
“As citizens of India we hope that every one of us can fearlessly bring to your notice issues of national importance, so that you can take the lead to address them. We would like to believe that you too would support the right to freedom of expression, so ‘mann ki baat’… does not become ‘maun ki baat’,” Shashi Tharoor wrote.
Our great country is built on the bedrock of coexistence of diverse and often diverging views and ideologies. This is what makes India a successful and vibrant democracy. Those who criticise or have opposing views to yours should not be deemed enemies or anti-national,” he said.