(From Press Trust of India)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday pitched for communal harmony and brotherhood in the country, saying Hindus and Muslims should work together to fight the common enemy of poverty and ignore “irresponsible” statements made by politicians, even if he himself makes any.
In his first comments amid communal overtones in the wake of Dadri lynching incident he referred to President Pranab Mukherjee, saying the countrymen should follow his (Pranab’s) message given Wednesday on preserving the core civilizational values of diversity, tolerance and plurality.
“I have said it earlier also. Hindus should decide whether to fight Muslims or poverty. Muslims have to decide whether to fight Hindus or poverty….Both need to fight poverty together…. The country has to stay united,” Modi said while addressing an election rally in Bihar.
“It is the unity, communal harmony, brotherhood and peace that will take the nation forward,” he added.
Asking people to ignore the “irresponsible” statements made by politicians, he said they are doing so for political interests and it should end.
“Some politicians are making irresponsible statements for political interests… Such statements should end… Do not pay attention to such statements, even if Modi himself makes any such statement,” the Prime Minister emphasised.
Referring to the President’s remarks, he said, “there is no bigger guidance, there is no bigger message, no bigger direction.”
“Small time politicians are hell bent on making irresponsible statements for their political interests. You should ignore those statements…. If you need to pay heed, it should be to the guidance given by the President,” Modi said.
“Yesterday, the President showed the path. Whatever the head of the country of 125 crore people has said, there can be no bigger message, no bigger direction, no bigger inspiration,” the Prime Minister said.
He said all the countrymen should tread the path shown by the President and “only then can India meet the expectations that the world has from us.”
Mukherjee, while addressing a function Wednesday, had said, “I firmly believe that we cannot allow the core values of our civilization to be wasted and the core values is what, over the years, the civilization celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality.”
3 plotted the lynching: Mulayam
Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav too broke his silence over the Dadri lynching episode Thursday by saying stern action will be taken in the matter “even if we have to sacrifice the (UP) government”, and claimed it was a “pre-planned” conspiracy hatched by “three persons of a specific party“.
Yadav said “a party delegation will be sent to Dadri after which it will become clear who these three persons were”.
He said it was a conspiracy “to oppress the people of a specific community. The SP will not allow this conspiracy to succeed”.
“I want to urge Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has given the slogan of ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ (with everyone for development of all) and is also an MP from Uttar Pradesh to think over it seriously,” he said.
Shades of Dadri in Kashmir assembly
Politicians from ruling Hindu nationalist party in Kashmir kicked and punched an independent member of the state assembly Thursday for hosting a party where he served beef.
The ruling party politicians were angry over a party hosted by Ahmed the previous night where beef was served. Hindus consider cows to be sacred, and slaughtering the animals is banned in most Indian states
Differences have deepened within Kashmir’s ruling coalition, with the BJP demanding a ban on slaughtering cows and selling beef. Since Modi, a Hindu nationalist, took office last year as Prime Minister, hardline Hindus have been demanding that India bans beef sales. Most beef sold across India is buffalo meat.