Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairperson of Indian pharma major Biocon Limited, on Saturday joined Infosys founder N R Narayana Murthy in expressing concern over fringe elements not being reined in by ruling political forces.
“I am very disturbed by fringe elements trying to disturb communal harmony. Communal harmony has to be preserved for economic progress to happen. When fringe elements disturb the peace, it leads to unexpected consequences. If we don’t deal with it, it has the potential of going out of control,’’ Shaw told The Sunday Express.
“If we ignore the fringe elements then we will have a situation like in Pakistan or the Islamic State. All countries where national harmony has broken down have huge problems,’’ she said.
Earlier in the day, Shaw had indicated her support for Murthy’s views on intolerance by tweeting a link to his interview, titled “considerable fear among minorities in India”, that was aired on NDTV on Friday. “Powerful words for every citizen of India,’’ she had stated.
Murthy and Shaw are among the first business leaders to express concern over intolerance, joining dozens of writers, filmmakers, scientists and historians.
“The reality today is that there is considerable fear in the minds of minorities in India,” Murthy told NDTV. “There is considerable fear in the minds of people of one region living in another region, for example like we had in 1967, when South Indians were treated very badly by Shiv Sena in Mumbai — today there is a lot of that worry,” he said.
“The first priority of this government, or for that matter any government, both at the central level and state level, is to bring back the confidence, the energy, the enthusiasm, the trust in the minds of every Indian that this is our country, I have all the rights here, I am very safe here and therefore I will work towards the betterment of India,” he said.
He said economic progress can happen only if “there is no distrust, no fear’’ and “if the majority community doesn’t oppress the minority community, doesn’t want the minority community to do what it wants.’’
Weighing in on Murthy’s remarks, Shaw said: “If people think these are stray incidents, then it is wrong. It must not be viewed as stray incidents.’’ She said “it is important to know that peace and harmony in society is essential for economic progress to happen.”