Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said recent hate speech – as happened at religious conclaves in Haridwar and Delhi – should be “denied and given no weight”. In such cases, the law should be allowed to run its course, he told NDTV in an exclusive interview.
So far, only five people have been named in the Haridwar hate speech case, where calls to arms against Muslims and genocide have been openly launched.
“In my opinion, Swami Vivekananda said it all at the Chicago religious conclave – that our religion is based on tolerance, simplicity, inclusiveness … Our kings have never broken anyone’s place of worship. We are not expansionists. We want the good of everyone – of the world, of every living creature. This is our heritage and our point of view, “Gadkari told NDTV.
“So whoever opposes it is not our point of view. It must be denied and be irrelevant,” he added.
When asked if action should be taken in such cases, where efforts are made to create community divisions and tensions, he said the law should run its course.
“We must remain tolerant, respectful of all religions, must not hurt anyone and make everyone move forward,” he added, invoking the slogan “Sabka Saath” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked about his views on the Bulli Bai app, used to ‘auctioning off’ Muslim women, he said that “the actions of certain individuals should not be seen as a reflection of a society. The law will follow. its own course “.
Asked about the opinion that the lack of action of the dispensation from power in such cases allows the atmosphere of hatred to flourish, Mr Gadkari said: “This is 100% false. We have never supported such discrimination. we don’t respect it either ”.
The arrests at the Haridwar event – the video clips of which have been widely disseminated – came after nationwide public outrage. Activists and civil society openly condemned the speeches.
Five former chiefs of staff of the armed forces and over 100 others, including bureaucrats and prominent citizens, wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Modi about the “open appeal. to the genocide of Indian Muslims, calling on them to protect the integrity and security of our country “.
But since then, videos of local police officers sharing a laugh with religious leaders have raised questions about police action in the case. In the video, Yati Narasimhanand, one of the religious leaders, is heard saying “Ladka humare taraf hoga (he will be on our side)”.
After further outrage over the video, he was named in the case. No arrests, however, were made in the matter.