Terming US president Barack Obama’s statement over religious tolerance as an “eye opener” for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Muslim clerics and scholars today said he should control elements who with their hate speeches were hurting his development agenda.
Secretary General of All India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Nizamuddin told PTI, Obama has not said anything new, “but it is an eye opener for Modi government”
He asked Modi to pay attention to the prevailing situation in the country in the wake of Obama’s statement.
“The PM should take into consideration the fact that senior leaders of his party were speaking in a language which was creating hatred in the society and hurting his government’s slogan ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas,” he said.
“Scholars say that a society makes progress only in a just and peaceful environment, and it can be achieved only when efforts are not made to flare up communal passions. No person should have the freedom to speak against a particular section,” Nizamuddin said.
“Obama has left with a message, instead of being impressed with all your welcome the US President has highlighted your shortcomings and faults. He has given his reply in just one line,” he added.
Professor Ishtiyaq Ahmad Zilli, Director Professor of prominent Islamic Research Institute ‘Darul Musannefeen Shibli Academy’, said the remarks were an example of how due to the statements of some BJP leaders and associated Hindu organisations, the country was earning disrepute.
“It is a fact that the country progresses only when there is intention to take everyone along. The biggest problem with Modi is that he doesn’t say a word against these statements. He should have reacted strongly,” Zilli said.
On February 5, US President Barack Obama had said the “acts of intolerance” experienced by religious faiths of all types in India in the past few years would have shocked Mahatma Gandhi.
The comments by Obama came a day after the White House refuted suggestions that the US President’s public speech in New Delhi in which he touched upon religious tolerance was a “parting shot” aimed at the ruling BJP.
“Michelle and I returned from India – an incredible, beautiful country, full of magnificent diversity – but a place where, in past years, religious faiths of all types have, on occasion, been targeted by other peoples of faith, simply due to their heritage and their beliefs – acts of intolerance that would have shocked Gandhiji, the person who helped to liberate that nation,” Obama said in his remarks at the high-profile National Prayer Breakfast.
Spokesman of All India Shia Personal Law Board Maulana Yassod Abbas also said that Modi should control the people making inflammatory statements related to religion.
“A series has started wherein so called Hindu organisations give statement on ‘ghar vapasi’ and ‘love jihad’. This is disturbing communal harmony,” he said.