Thane, Feb 12 (PTI) Rights of citizens enshrined in the Constitution are under attack and this poses a significant threat to the democratic fabric of the nation, Nationalist Congress Party-Sharadchandra Pawar chief Sharad Pawar said on Monday.
Addressing an 'Elgar Parishad' gathering in Ulhasnagar in Thane district, he said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in Parliament were superficial and trivial and decried attacks on Jawaharlal Nehru, the country's first PM, and Babasaheb Ambedkar, principal architect of the Constitution.
"Two days ago in Parliament, we heard Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech. In the entire speech, he criticised and attacked Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who had spent six to seven years in jail before Independence. After Independence, he took Dr Ambedkar along and built a democratic country. The attack was made on the policies and decisions taken by that person," Pawar claimed.
Such attacks are not merely directed at individuals but represent a broader assault on the foundational values and principles laid down by these stalwarts, Pawar said.
"This attack was meant to weaken the Constitution given by Babasaheb and this work is currently being done by Modi and his colleagues," the NCP-SP chief alleged.
"Remain vigilant and resolute in defending the Constitution against encroachments by those in power," Pawar said and emphasized the collective responsibility to uphold principles of democracy and rights of every citizen.
He credited the foresight of Dr BR Ambedkar for shaping the country's trajectory, including his contributions to environmental conservation.
Had Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar laid down fundamental rights, people would have met with the same situation currently witnessed in some neighbouring countries, he said.
"To avoid the situation which is prevailing in some countries such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, there is a need to ensure the Constitution which has given us fundamental rights is conserved," Pawar said.
He also touched upon escalating assaults on farmers and marginalised communities and cautioned against the perils of privatisation in education.
Pawar condemned the attack on journalist Nikhil Wagle, allegedly by BJP workers, in Pune last week and said power was being misused to shut those who raise their voices. PTI COR SPK BNM BNM