New Delhi: Amid widespread criticism of the lynching of a Muslim man after rumours that he ate beef, Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said religious and social rights of minorities were safe in India.
He also said “politics of hatred” of “professional and traditional hate mongers” needs to be defeated through unity and harmony.
Naqvi, who met a large number of Muslim clerics and members of the community, said the government will protect the safety, dignity and prosperity of minorities from becoming victims of “narrow-minded politics of self-proclaimed champions of secularism”.
According to a ministry statement, Naqvi assured members of the Muslim community that “religious and social rights of minorities were absolutely safe in India”.
The meeting took place over a week after the lynching of Mohammed Akhlaq in Dadri area of Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he ate beef. His family has denied the allegations. His 21-year-old son Danish was left critically injured and is in hospital.
Naqvi said some unfortunate incidents cannot affect the peace, unity and harmony of the country.
“The conspiracy to block the country’s progress has been exposed. Those elements who want to destroy the nation’s harmony, prosperity and security can be defeated by our unity only,” Naqvi said, without taking any names.
He said people should not fall into the trap of anti-national and anti-social forces.
Naqvi said the time has come to “stop hurting sentiments for votes” and that people of the country have repeatedly given this message to “political champions of secularism”.
“It is the responsibility of all to protect the safety and the socio-economic concerns of people of the country especially the minorities. Narrow political interests should not be allowed to come in the way of fulfilling this responsibility,” he said.
Naqvi said steps taken by the government for development of weaker sections including minorities has created an atmosphere of trust among them.
“Some merchants of votes are not able to digest this positive environment,” he said.
Naqvi said the government was moving ahead with its commitment to inclusive growth and good governance.
“India’s unity is strength for (its) progress and if this unity is broken, this will destroy the fabric of development. We can’t compromise with safety and social harmony of the country,” he said.
Naqvi said the Bharatiya Janata Party wants to take the country ahead on the path of development.
“We believe in politics of development, positive politics. We condemn divisive politics which create confrontation in society. We will have to fight unitedly against those forces whose intentions are to destroy the country’s social harmony,” he said.