A day after an FIR was filed against nearly 50 celebrities who wrote an open letter to the prime minister on incidents of mob lynching, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the Bharatiya Janata Party government, saying anybody who says anything against Narendra Modi or the government is put behind bars.
Gandhi said the country was moving towards an authoritarian state and it was not a secret anymore.
"Everybody knows what is going on in the country. It's not a secret. In fact the whole world knows it. We are moving into an authoritarian state. It's pretty clear," the Wayanad MP, who is in his constituency to express solidarity with the protests against the night traffic ban on the highway passing through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, told reporters.
"Anybody who says anything against the prime minister, anybody who raises anything against the government is put in jail and is attacked. Media is crushed. Everybody knows what's going on. This is not a secret," he added.
An FIR was filed at Muzaffarpur in Bihar on Thursday against nearly 50 celebrities, including Ramchandra Guha, Mani Ratnam, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Aparna Sen, who had written an open letter to Prime Minister Modi, raising their concern over growing incidents of mob lynching.
The case was filed after a chief judicial magistrate passed an order on a petition filed against the celebrities before his court.
The petition had claimed that the celebrities allegedly "tarnished the image of the country and undermined the impressive performance of the prime minister" besides "supporting secessionist tendencies".
Gandhi said there were two ideologies in the country in which one nurtures the idea that the nation be ruled by "one man, one ideology".
"On one side, there is the idea that the country should be ruled by one man, one ideology and everybody else should shut up. On the other side, there is the Congress party and the Opposition who are saying no (to this) and that this country has many divergent views, different languages, cultures, many different expressions and those voices should not be crushed. That's the main battle going on in the country," he said.