RAJNATH'S ASSURANCE India

Minority bashing issue rocks LS again

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government wanted a sense of fear in minorities to be replaced by confidence.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday that the government wanted a sense of fear in minorities to be replaced by confidence.

For the second day running, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was forced to assure the Lok Sabha, amid noisy scenes, that the government did not endorse the anti-minority views aired by various right-wing organisations. “We want the sense of fear in minorities to be replaced by a sense of confidence,” he said.

A veiled threat

However, in the same breath, he issued a veiled threat to the Congress that had raised the matter during Zero Hour on Wednesday. “I am beginning to see a pattern in the way this issue is being deliberately raised, even bringing up incidents that took place four months ago. If I am given permission, I will come to the House with a full-fledged statement on how many anti-minority attacks took place during UPA rule, and how many during ours,” he said.

But when the Congress demanded that it be allowed to respond to the Home Minister’s statement, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan refused permission, saying issues raised during Zero Hour could not be converted into discussions.

Indeed, the Minister, she stressed, need not have responded. After a few minutes of heated exchanges between Congress and BJP benches, the Congress, led by party president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, staged a walkout.

Earlier, the Speaker had even admonished the Congress for repeatedly raising the issue of communal statements and attacks on places of worship: “Day before yesterday also you raised the same issue. Every day it should not be,” she said even as she expunged some remarks made by K.C. Venugopal of the Congress on the lack of response from the Modi government to such episodes.

Mr. Singh’s response came after Mr. Venuogopal, who had raised the matter, pointed out that in the wake of the vandalisation of churches in North India, the Hindu Mahasabha general secretary had said: “Attacking a church is not illegal and violates no law”; “Narendra Modi-led NDA government should award and provide legal and administrative protection to Hindus who attack churches across the country”; and that churches were no longer places of worship “but factories for conversion of Hindus into Christianity.”

Mr. Venugopal said the Hindu Mahasabha leader had said his organisation would reward and protect Hindu youths who attacked churches and married Muslim girls. But despite such statements, and continuing attacks on churches, the BJP-led government had not taken any deterrent action.


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Printable version | Aug 9, 2022 4:55:56 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Minority-bashing-issue-rocks-LS-again/article60146020.ece