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Swami Agnivesh to lead peace march from Dadri against 'intolerance'

By Ians English

Kolkata, Nov 7: Terming Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "deafening silence" on the raging issue of "intolerance" as an endorsement of the "communal statements" of union ministers and BJP leaders, social activist Swami Agnivesh on Saturday announced he would lead a peace march from the house of the Dadri victim on November 27.

The march, in which religious leaders and peace activists of all communities would participate, is set to conclude at the Gandhi memorial at Rajghat in the national capital on November 29 and a peace meeting would be held on November 30.

Agnivesh to lead peace march on Nov 27

The march would start from the house of Mohammad Akhlaq, who was lynched by a mob in village in Dadri area of Uttar Pradesh's Greater Noida following rumours that he ate and stored beef.

"Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, everybody would be there in the march," he said, denouncing the killing of rationalists Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare and M M Kalburgi, and the Dadri lynching.

"On the one hand, these killings have taken place in India. And on the other, secular bloggers are being killed in Bangladesh. At is time we speak up, stand up and be ready to be counted," said Agnivesh, who was in the city as a speaker on inter-faith dialogue at an international conference organised by Council for World Mission (Singapore) and Bishop's college.

Targeting Modi, he said: "Our prime minister, who claims to be the prime minister of 125 crore Indians, is in complete silence even as various BJP leaders and Hindutva activists have been making communal statements.

"His deafening silence is an endorsement of the statements. It is an orchestration. An orchestra is on and the cabinet ministers and leading MPs are saying so many things. But there is no action. So I am saying prime minister's silence is an endorsement of such statements."

Referring to scientists, literary figures and artists returning their awards, Agnivesh said that "the sort of intolerance we see around us in unacceptable".

Assailing the RSS, he said: "The Hindutva lobby has found itself in the seat of power now with Narendra Modi as prime minister. The RSS is feeling uncomfortable and they can't just wait to declare India as a 'Hindu rashtra'. This is height of intolerance."

Agnivesh said the BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha election slogan of "Sabka Sath,Sabka Vikas" now seemed hollow, saying its real meaning as come out in the RSS resolution recently passed in Ranchi, which clearly states that the word 'sabka' means those religions which have originated in India like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism and leaving out Islam and Christianity.


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