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‘Communal incidents mar efforts to project new India’s image’

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Former Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister and BJP leader Shanta Kumar today condemned the “rising” incidents of communal conflict and said they negate the efforts of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to project a new image of India abroad.

Dubbing these incidents as unfortunate, Kumar said, “Some leaders speaking for Hinduism are unaware that it is not a one god, one book religion but a sea of thousands of streams ofways of worship and even the Supreme Court had acknowledged that Hinduism is a philosophy of life.”

In a statement issued here, he said the litterateurs who returned their honours should not have taken such an extreme step to express their resentment but added that alleging they were part of a conspiracy was not right and their feelings should be respected.

Kumar said both Hindus and Muslims should respect religious sentiments of each other as emotions can’t be weighed against logic and if Hindus consider cow as their mother then their feelings should be respected.

However, he said, taking the law into your ownhands and killing someone in an emotionally charged situation cannot be justified.

He said BJP President Amit Shah had counselled some party leaders to exercise restraint but the step came too late. Had such steps been taken at the beginning the situation would not have reached the present state.

He urged the government, party and leaders to make efforts to restore communal peace and revive the spirit of religious tolerance.

Stressing that “tolerance” was inherent and rooted in Hinduism, the BJP MP from Kangra said ancient philosopher Charwak was opposed to traditional Hinduism and even Lord Buddha was opposed to ritual and both of them were respected.