Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday said that India is heaven for minorities and Muslims and asserted that their social, religious and economic rights are secured in the country.
“India is heaven for minorities and Muslims. Their social, religious and economic rights are secured in India than any other country. If someone is saying this out of a prejudiced mindset then they must look at the ground reality of this country and accept it… Secularism and harmony is not political fashion but a passion,” Naqvi said at a press conference here.
“We are doing our work. Modi ji talks about the interest and well being of 130 crore people of India. Those who can’t see this, it is their problem. All sections of the country including minorities are happy. Those who are trying to vitiate the atmosphere cannot be friends of Indian Muslims,” he said.
The minister’s remark came after Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission (IPHRC) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) urged India to take “urgent steps” to protect the rights of its minority Muslim community and stop the incidents of “Islamophobia” in the country.
“1/2 #OIC-IPHRC condemns the unrelenting vicious #Islamophobic campaign in #India maligning Muslims for spread of #COVID-19 as well as their negative profiling in media subjecting them to discrimination & violence with impunity,” OIC-IPHRC tweeted.
“2/2 #OIC-IPHRC urges the #Indian Govt to take urgent steps to stop the growing tide of #Islamophobia in India and protect the rights of its persecuted #Muslim minority as per its obligations under int”l HR law,” it said in another tweet.
The minister emphasized that “secularism and harmony” is not “political fashion” but it is “perfect passion”.
“Secularism and harmony is not political fashion but it is a perfect passion. This inclusive culture and commitment have united the country with the fabric of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Constitutional, social and religious rights of all the citizens including the Minorities are secured,” Naqvi said.
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government has been doing inclusive development with the mantra of ‘development with dignity’ and ’empowerment without appeasement’,” he said.
The minister cautioned the people about “bogus bashing brigades” involved in peddling fake news.
“In these difficult times, bogus bashing brigades are involved in misinformation, fake news and misguiding people. We should remain cautious of such evil forces as it is part of a conspiracy to weaken India’s unity in diversity,” he said.
Naqvi appealed people to perform religious rituals at home during Ramzan in the wake of coronavirus.
“Holy month of Ramzan begins on April 24. All religious leaders, religious & social organisations have together decided and made an appeal to the Muslim community to hold prayers, Iftar and perform other customs at homes itself while maintaining social distancing. The Muslim community has itself taken this decision, just like they took for Shab e-Barat,” he said.
Naqvi also stressed that health workers, security forces, administrative officers, sanitation workers, who are on the frontlines, leading the battle against Covid-19 pandemic, should be “respected” and not “insulted”.