Prime Minister Narendra Modi while assuring Parliament of his commitment to religious equality and tolerance claimed that the only religion of my government is India first on February 27, 2015.
He vehemently added that nobody has the right to discriminate on the basis of religion. My government has only this ideology – India and the Constitution above all else he said. He said this amidst concerns and criticism that religious minorities are being targeted by Hindu extremists.
His reassurance comes after a series of attacks on Christian institutions and churches in Delhi; a church in Mangalore in Karnataka was vandalized this week. A week ago, at an event organized by Christian leaders in Delhi, Modi had said that no religious group can incite violence. He added that his government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith.
However, opponents claimed that after coming to office, Modi has failed to rein in affiliate groups of his party, the BJP, from suggesting that the government will follow a Hindu agenda. The last Parliament session was stalled with a united opposition protesting against ghar wapasi, a campaign by hardliner Hindu groups to convert Christians and Muslims to Hinduism.
President Barack Obama, during his visit to Delhi last month, had stated that India’s success depends on its not splintering along religious lines. Back in America, he said that Mahatma Gandhi would have been astounded by recent acts of religious intolerance in India.
Senior Minister Arun Jaitley while retaliating sharply declared that India has a huge cultural history of tolerance; any aberrations will not alter that history.