The BJP government has often been accused of remaining mum on the Hindutva agenda and discriminating against minorities. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been accused of turning a blind eye when churches are attacked or minorities are subjected to violence but on Monday, in a strongly worded message, he finally spoke out on the issue of discrimination against minorities.
Modi sent a message to the ‘Sangh Parivar’ and said that the discriminatory comments and hate speech made against minorities will not be “tolerated”.
“Hate speeches and discrimination against any community won’t be tolerated.” Modi said, taking a stern stance, in an interview to news agency UNI, as reported by DNA.
“Our Constitution guarantees religious freedom to every citizen and that is not negotiable,” The Indian Express quoted him as saying.
PM is deeply concerned about the incidents in Hisar, Haryana and Nadia, West Bengal.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) March 17, 2015
Re-iterating his speech in Mathura on the day the government completed its first year in office, Modi also hit out at the opposition and accused them of belittling the government’s achievements.
“Acche Din have arrived but some people are trying to belittle the work done by us.”
Modi also addressed the controversial Land Bill issue. “Opposition to the Land Bill is politically motivated, but I am open to suggestions,” IBN Live quoted him as saying.
Modi had tweeted out his concerns when a 72-year-old nun was raped in West Bengal and and under construction church was attacked in Haryana in March.
“The prime minister has said earlier in parliament also that Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti’s comments were not right. He had said that he would not tolerate this and in the next week itself many such statements were made,” Congress spokesperson Rajeev Gowda told the media here.
“His statement is intended to camouflage what goes on as a routine business by his government and Sangh Parivar acolytes,” he said.
“His aim is to pacify those who are outraged by the kind of communal tension, the kind of communal harmony and the kind of communal violence that has been in place over the last one year,” Gowda said.
On religious discrimination, he said: “Unfortunately this government is known for tremendous double speak and basically these statements are intended to divert attention from what is happening on the ground.”
“We had a debate in parliament about unleashing of communal violence across India and all this government can do is essentially to say that it is not happening. They are turning a blind eye. These communal tensions have worsened and all this is because the perpetrators of communal violence, people who threaten another community, people who deny housing,” he added.
The Congress spokesperson said Modi needed some economics lessons. “Poverty is something UPA has made various efforts for.”
“He is accusing the opposition of being anti-poor when it is his government that has slashed social sector spending,” he said.
Picking on Modi’s claims that “achche din (good days)” have arrived, he said, there was no issue left to discuss if it had already happened.