BENGALURU : Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi on Monday said the government was forcing everyone into silence and that people were threatened and/or beaten up in case they tried to speak the truth. He said thousands of journalists in the country are not being allowed to write what they wish to write.
"Anybody who attempts to say the truth, or stand by truth, is pushed aside in different forms. The Dalits are beaten up; minorities are frightened; journalists are threatened; and bureaucrats are threatened," Gandhi said.
He was speaking along with Vice-President Hamid Ansari at the launch of a commemorative edition of National Herald newspaper here.
"Journalists told me they are not allowed to write what they want. The National Herald should open door to such people," the Congress leader said.
Gandhi said the power of truth is being completely replaced with the truth of power in the country under the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Recalling how he was prevented from entering Madhya Pradesh to meet the kin of farmers killed in a police firing on June 6 in Mandsaur, Gandhi said a police official told him he was forced to do something he didn't want to.
"I told him I am a citizen of India, I can go to Madhya Pradesh. On what basis are you stopping me? Is there any law which you are applying? He looked at me and said there is no law but he has been told to...," the Congress leader said.
Gandhi also recalled how he was stopped at the Uttar Pradesh border when he wanted to meet the Dalits who had borne the brunt of a communal clash in Shabbirpur village.
"Police told me I can't go to Uttar Pradesh. Everybody knows what the truth is but they are scared to say it," he said.
Speaking about the National Herald, Gandhi said: "The National Herald has a very strong spirit. It is not going to remain silent. Its Editor came to me some time back. I told him there may be times when you have to say things against the Congress, against me, against some of our ideas. I want you to be absolutely comfortable; I want you to say things because it is important that we hear them."