Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leader Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said Indian Muslims practised real Islam because there was tolerance in Hinduism and lashed out at those who responded with calls of “go to Pakistan” every time there was an ideological disagreement.
She was speaking in the Lok Sabha during the discussion commemorating the Constitution and its architect, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.
“To those who ask [Muslims] to go to Pakistan, I want to say that the nation owns us and we own the nation,” she said. The statement was made in reference to recent incidents where those protesting against what they perceived as rising intolerance in the country were asked to go to Pakistan by right-wing elements and in some cases, even by members of the ruling BJP.
She was, however, generous in her praise for the country’s pluralistic ethos compared to other countries like Pakistan and Syria, where she said, “Muslims are killed but no one can open their mouth.”
Ms. Mufti cited the incidents of scientists, authors, artistes and historians returning their awards in protest as the biggest proof of India’s tolerance. “Indian Muslims follow the real Islam. This is also because the Hindu majority [community] is very tolerant. Babasaheb must have taken tolerance from Hinduism. The way Hinduism has the tolerance, perhaps no one else has. The historians, authors and scientists have been protesting and returning their awards. The way they came out in protest keeps the nation alive,” she said in an impassioned speech.
Referring to the Dadri incident, where Mohammad Akhlaq was lynched over rumours of eating and storing beef, she said it reflected systemic failures and not the spirit of the people.
Former Lok Sabha Speaker P.A. Sangma also spoke during the discussion and demanded that the Constitution be amended to ensure that only a person elected to the Lok Sabha was eligible to be made the Prime Minister. “Only an elected member of the Lok Sabha should be allowed to be the Prime Minister,” he said.
He is the third person, after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Biju Janata Dal MP Baijayant Panda, who have spoken of Constitutional reforms with regard to the powers of the Rajya Sabha.