New Delhi: Amid the ‘intolerance’ debate, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said any incident of “atrocity” is a “blot” on the society as well as the nation whose “pain” should be felt by all and asserted that harmony is the only way to take the country forward.
He said no questions can be raised over patriotism of any of the 125 crore Indians and nobody needs to produce a “certificate of patriotism”, a statement that assumes significance as some people have make controversial remarks like asking dissenting people to ‘go to Pakistan’.
Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Constitution, Modi underlined the ‘mantra of ekta’, saying there can be “many excuses for disintegration” in a diverse country like India but ways should be explored to keep the country united.
Adopting a conciliatory approach towards the opposition at a time when some crucial Bills are stuck in the House, he pitched for bipartisan approach to all issues and decried attempts to introduce partisanship or politics in any issue concerning the nation.
In his 40-minute reply to the debate during which the government came under attack over ‘intolerance’, Modi said, “if there is any incident of atrocity against anybody, it is a blot on all of us, for the society as well as the nation. We should feel the pain and take this to ensure such things do not happen.”
Though he did not specify any such incident, the statement may be seen a reference to the Dadri case where a Muslim man was lynched over beef-eating rumours. “Unity and harmony is the tradition of India. We have to continue to explore reasons for strengthening the unity of the country. There will be many excuses for disintegration in a diverse country like India. It is our responsibility to unite people,” he said.
“Nobody can raise questions over patriotism of the 125 crore citizens of the country. Nobody needs to give certificate of patriotism every now and then,” he said. This comes in the context of recent cases where some people, including from the ruling BJP, said those feeling unsafe like Aamir Khan should leave the country.
Asserting that the nation can be taken forward only through unity and harmony, Modi pitched for “equality and affection”, saying, “There is a lot of strength in equality and affection... We have to recognise that the amount of power we have, others also have the same.”...