New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) The Shiv Sena on Friday charged that anyone speaking the truth is dubbed as a 'traitor' or 'anti-national' and that cases of sedition have been slapped against those criticising the government.
Participating in the debate on the Motion of Thanks on the President's address in Rajya Sabha, Sena member Sanjay Raut said farmers fighting for their rights have been branded as anti-nationals or Khalistanis.
He said the farmers, who were known as 'warriors' when they fought the Mughals and the British, are now dubbed as anti-nationals when they are fighting for their rights on Delhi's borders.
Raut said farmers from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, who are sitting on the borders of Delhi, are fighting for the peasants from across the country and demanded that their voice be heard and the farm laws be repealed.
'We heard minister Dharmendra Pradhan asking us to listen to the truth. For the last six years, we have been listening to the truth, even the untruth dubbed as truth. The atmosphere in the country today is such that anyone writing the truth is dubbed as traitor and anti-national,' he alleged.
'Cases of sedition are slapped on anyone asking questions from the government,' he charged, citing examples of MPs like Sanjay Singh and Shashi Tharoor and journalists and writers.
Raut said it seems that the government has changed the Indian Penal Code and replaced all its provisions with only those of sedition.
He charged that cases of sedition are being lodged against everyone these days and people are booked under the law even for domestic violence cases.
The Shiv Sena member further said that the government is trying to defame anyone trying to say something.
'Defaming the farmers' agitation is not a good thing for the country, for farmers and for all,' he said.
The Sena member said even though they respected the prime minister, who has got a majority to rule, 'but, the majority is not run by arrogance,' he said.
He said everyone was ashamed by the incidents of violence that took place on Republic Day and asked why those behind the incidents of disrespecting the national flag have not been nabbed so far.
'Why is Deep Sidhu, responsible for disrespecting the national flag, not been caught yet. At whose behest he is acting? 'Over 200 farmers are lodged in jail after being booked for sedition and not Sidhu. Over 100 youth are missing and whether they have been killed in encounters,' he asked.
Raut accused the government of sheltering those who violated the Official Secrets Act by leaking details about the Balakot strike while referring to a journalist and an actress.
On the President saying no one can stop India from progressing if the country unites, he said when thousands of farmers have united for their rights why is the government trying to 'break their unity and defaming' their agitation.
'When the farmers are uniting and fighting for their rights, you see anti-national acts in them and you term them as traitors. They are not anti-nationals or khalistanis.Till the time this movement is alive, the nation will remain alive and this 'andolan',' he said.
'If you would have built such barricades at the international borders, as those put up at Delhi borders, China would not have dared to come into Indian territory,' the Sena member added. PTI SKC DV DV