Modi asked to break ‘Deafening Silence’ on Religious intolerance

Tribune International Report

“What will it take for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to speak out about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities?” asked The New York Times (NYT) editorial published on Friday.

The deafening silence of Indian PM Mr. Modi on increasing religious intolerance has been troubling the local citizens of India since the attacks at Christian places of worship and recent mass conversion to Hinduism of Christians and Muslims who have been coerced or promised money. But his continued silence has compelled the international media to highlight the concern that the man (Mr. Modi) elected to represent and to protect all of India’s citizens “either cannot or does not wish to control the fringe elements of the Hindu nationalist right” commented NYT.

“More than 80 percent of Indians are Hindu, but Pravin Togadia of the VHP says his organisation’s goal is a country that is 100 percent Hindu. The only way to achieve that is to deny religious minorities their faith,” said the editorial.

“Mr. Modi needs to break his deafening silence on religious intolerance” insists the editorial.

The silence of Indian Prime Minister has been termed alarming by India’s Samajwadi Party (SP) which sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on acts of “religious intolerance” in the country since he came to power. “The PM should give a reply on increasing acts of religious tolerance in the country. The PM’s silence on the issue is alarming,” the Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said.

The spokesman further also highlighted that: “After Modi government was formed at the Centre, issues like conversion, ‘ghar wapsi’, Love Jihad, installation of statues of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathu Ram Godse took front seat while core issues like development were not addressed,” he said.

US President Barack Obama says religious conflict in India would have shocked Gandhi

President Obama on his recent visit to New Delhi also observed in his speech: ‘India will succeed so long as it is not splintered along the lines of religious faith'”.

On February 5, President Obama had said the “acts of intolerance” experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi. The comments by Mr Obama came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President’s public speech in New Delhi, in which he touched upon religious tolerance, was a “parting shot” aimed at the ruling BJP.

“Michelle and I returned from India – an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity – but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs – acts of intolerance that would have deeply affected Gandhiji who was the one behind India’s liberation,” Mr Obama said in his remarks at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast.

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