New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said mob lynchings in the name of cow protection were “totally condemnable,” saying such incidents do not reflect well on a civilised society.
At the same time, he appeared to reject the contention of actor Naseeruddin Shah that minorities were feeling unsafe in India due to lynchings, saying “some people” sense insecurity around the time of elections because of “agenda.”
In an interview to ANI, Prime Minister Modi questioned whether such incidents had started only after his government came to power in 2014.
He said everybody’s sentiments should be respected and for creating such an environment, everyone will need to contribute.
“Any such incident does not reflect well on a civilised society. No voice ever should support such incidents. This is totally wrong and totally condemnable,” he said when asked to comment on incidents of lynching in the name of cow protection.
On actor Naseeruddin saying that minorities were feeling unsafe in the country, the Prime Minister said, “before elections, some people do see insecurity. Some people have an agenda.”
He went on to add, “Did it (mob lynching) start after 2014? This is a result of ills within society. For improving this situation, we should all work collectively.”
Prime Minister Modi said his government believes in ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (cooperation with all, development of all).
In this context, Prime Minister Modi said that when his government went on electrifying 18,000 remaining villages of the country, it did not ask the villagers which religion they belonged to.
Similarly, when the government implemented the Ujjwala scheme to provide subsidized LPG connections, it did not discriminate on the basis of religion, Modi said.
He said he did not want get into a debate that such things happened during any particular government as “even one incident is condemnable.”
“There should be no such incident in the society. But we should understand what the main fabric of the society is,” he added.
The Prime Minister said people should listen to what sentiments Mahatma Gandhi and Vinobha Bhave had expressed or take note of the sentiments enshrined in the Constitution.
“It is the responsibility of every citizen to respect those sentiments. If you honour those sentiments, our sentiments are also respected. To create this environment, everybody should contribute,” he said.
Talking about harmonious existence in India, he said a Muslim scholar based in the Gulf had written about India’s harmony in diversity whereas in their region people of the same faith attacked each other.
“India should take pride in this compliment. India should take pride that we have been living in harmony for ages,” he said.
The Prime Minister also decried political violence that has been taking place in some parts of the country, apparently referring to West Bengal and Kerala.
“As a worker of the BJP, I strongly condemn it. We have suffered a lot,” said Prime Minister Modi.
“In West Bengal, BJP is not even allowed to exercise its democratic rights. During elections, the way our workers are killed, it does not reflect well on democracy. In Kerala, our workers are killed every day,” Prime Minister Modi added.
He said BJP workers have been also killed in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir.
“The question is not whether our workers are killed or not, but this political violence is not good for our democracy and all political parties will have to think about it,” he said.
“I want to assure BJP workers and their families that the government does not tolerate any form of violence, be it by any party. We are committed to ensuring justice to everyone,” the Prime Minister added.
“We appeal to the state governments also ….Some day the truth will come out. Today, some people may be enjoying protection but someday the truth will come out. Political parties should train their cadres how to behave in a democracy,” the Prime Minister said.