National

Minorities are patriots: Rajnath

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during the annual conference of State Minorities Commissions, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh during the annual conference of State Minorities Commissions, in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Terming Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s comments on conversion as a veiled message to minorities to confine themselves to their respective faiths and not interact with society, Prabha Joseph, member of the Andhra Pradesh Minorities Commission, said: “If the conversion propaganda against Christians was true then the community would have been larger than two per cent of the population as till very recently we ran a large number of private schools and hospitals in the country. Several BJP leaders studied in our schools; were they converted?’’

Apart from prising open the conversion debate — partially capped since Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month said “everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence” — Mr. Singh sought to assure the gathering at the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions here that the government would do everything to protect the minorities and allay the sense of fear gripping them.

In an oblique reference to some Sangh Parivar outfits questioning the patriotism of the minorities, he said: “I believe the minorities of our country are patriots and their patriotism should not be questioned.”

Further, he dwelt on India’s diversity; stating that this is a country which respects all religions and believes in peaceful co-existence. “We have all 72 sects of Islam living here peacefully,” he said. Without directly referring to Sangh Parivar propaganda of Christianity being brought to India by the colonial powers, he flagged the fact that Kerala houses one of the oldest churches in the world.

After the day-long deliberations, participants uniformly stressed the importance of India’s multi-religious character and emphasised the need for the country to develop as a whole.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jul 1, 2022 12:14:28 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/Rajnath-Will-go-to-any-extent-to-protect-minorities/article60131976.ece