2015 most polarised year after Partition: Chidambaram

P Chidambaram, Congress Leader

P Chidambaram, Congress Leader

The year past was perhaps the most polarised in India’s history after Partition in 1947, former finance minister P. Chidambaram said . “The year did not end with the narrative of the economy. Instead, it ended with the narrative of intolerance, of confrontation, with more and more people apprehensive and insecure,” Chidamabaram said at the launch of his latest book “Standing Guard — A Year in Opposition”.  “The year 2015 was perhaps the most polarised year of India’s history after Partition in 1947,” he said.

Declaring he was proud to be in opposition, which, however, did not mean “being an enemy of the government”, Chidamabaram cited Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar to say “a king without a critic will fail. A king must embrace his critic, listen to him and must fear the day when he has no critic”.

There have been only “three occasions,” when India has been most “polarised,” said former Union Finance Minister and Home Minister P Chidambaram  the Partition, the demolition of the Babri Masjid and now.

“How many of us realise how polarised the Indian society has become? Please talk to your Muslim friends, please talk to your Dalit friends. Please talk to people who have small farmholdings,” Chidambaram said, adding that there exists “great insecurity, great apprehension” among the poor, the marginalised. “We are heading towards a deeply divided and polarised society. How did this happen in one year?”

 Chidambaram’s book is  a   collection of his 51 columns in  the Indian Express and The Sunday Express (published by Rupa and part of the Express Book Series), Chidambaram said that in just one year, the narrative of this Government had dramatically changed from one of development to one of division.
The audience at the packed Teen Murti House also included  the former prime minister  Dr Manmohan Singh, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi,  Congress MP Shashi Tharoor,  CPI( M)  leader Sitaram Yechury, Kapil Sibal  among others .
(with IANS inputs)