New Delhi: Senior Congress leader A K Antony has criticised the Modi government for not accommodating Rohingyas and cited the example of former prime minister Indira Gandhi who “insisted on protecting” refugees from Bangladesh.

The former defence minister yesterday accused the government of pushing out around 40,000 Rohingyas when they were seeking help and care.

“When more than one crore refugees came to India from Bangladesh in the 70s, former prime minister Indira Gandhi insisted on protecting them by disregarding the mighty seventh fleet of the US,” he said.

She mustered courage to wage a war and carved out a new nation for them, Antony said.

He was speaking at the launch of the Kerala Union of Working Journalists (KUWJ), Delhi.

According to him, Indian pluralism and freedom of expression were under attack.

“There is no freedom even for eating the food you like, watching movies or writing books. The ethos that existed for centuries is facing challenges,” he said.

India, he added, was losing its culture of debate and discussion.

“In the present situation, nobody can express themselves without fear. Also, it is not a good sign that the Indian media cannot express its opinion,” he added

PTI