Kolkata: The level of intolerance has increased in Indian society, National Award winning lyricist and Urdu poet Javed Akhtar said in Kolkata on Thursday.
"Somehow the liberal space has shrunk and intolerance has increased in the society today. But I am happy to see that there is a rise in intolerance to this intolerance," said Akhtar at the second Kolkata Literary Meet.
Replying to media queries on author Salman Rushdie's cancelled Kolkata trip following protests by Muslim groups, he said the main problem is that the political fraternities have a low opinion of people.
"It happens frequently nowadays. The one who gives the reaction is the one who gets listened to.
"Political fraternities across the country have a very low opinion of people and believe that the the average Indian is regressive. Low opinion of people is the problem," said Akhtar.
Terming vote banks a "polite term", he said political parties are not appeasing only Muslim fundamentalists, they are appeasing every fundamentalist.
"They appease every fundamentalist. It is not narrowing down to person, narrowing down to region or state. This is a universal phenomena. This is how things are happening in the country. I think this time the message is becoming louder and louder that this will not do," he said.