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Shaw, Meghnad voice business leaders' concerns over intolerance


Echoing Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy's concerns over 'growing intolerance', another business leader Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and economist Lord Meghnad Desai on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi must correct India's image to prevent any threat to foreign investments.

Stating that she feels "very sad" about the current environment in the country, Shaw said it "creates a kind of concern about investing in (the) country." "Let us face it, investors want a sort of harmonious kind of environment to invest in. If they feel there is turmoil, there is unrest, that their investments are not safe, that's what Moody's is talking about... Therefore it is important that the government acts fast and corrects this image," she said.

"I think we are a country that has always celebrated diversity and unity in diversity. We have always celebrated our democracy as a very vibrant democracy, as a very tolerant society. And I think we must uphold all these values. I think that's what all of us are talking about," said the chairman and managing director of Biocon Limited. Lord Meghnad Desai said the country is experiencing a total change in political ideology of the government. "Now the problem is, is it actually different ideology or is it actually intolerance? The murders of rationalists have nothing to do with BJP because they happened before BJP came to power.

"I think what is true is that the tone of at least the junior ministers and MPs of BJP is very openly hostile to Muslims... It's basically the anti-Muslim tone of some of the BJP Ministers and MPs which is wrong and it is time that the leaders of BJP said so openly and clearly (on it)," he said.

Murthy had lamented that there is considerable fear in the minds of minorities in India and wanted governments to bring back the sense of confidence in them.
Joining the debate on growing intolerance, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan had on Saturday said that tolerance and mutual respect was necessary to improve the environment for ideas and physical harm or verbal contempt for any particular group should not be allowed.

Against the backdrop of growing intolerance in the wake of the lynching incident in Dadri and subsequent acts of violence, he also said protection of right to question and challenge was essential for India to grow.

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