The BJP in Delhi has accepted that Hindutva fringe groups are not only hurting the religious sentiments of the minorities but also making the party uncomfortable. However, it has assured the minorities that they need not worry since saffron affiliates are not policy makers. It also asked the minority groups to rise above identity issues and talk about their development, education and other basic issues.
The remarks came after the participants at a meeting organised by the Delhi BJP Minority Morcha on Saturday asked the party to control the high-handedness of the RSS affiliates and stop their controversial programmes.
Addressing the minority groups, BJP’s parliamentarian Vijay Goel said, “I wonder why Muslims always raise the issue of identity crisis and religion. Are development, education, health, poverty, social backwardness and basic necessities like water and electricity not an issue for you?”
Asking Muslims to rise above the politics of religion, he said, “You will have to change yourself. No one is going to stop you from offering prayers. Think about the future of your children. Never feel that you are being discriminated; we want to empower you, not appease you.”
Accepting that saffron affiliates have gone out of control, Goel told the gathering, “Koi yeh dawa nahin kar sakta ki uske sare bache control men hain (No one can claim that his all children are in his control).” But at the same time he said that controversial statements and activities are not harming anyone individually. “Is there anyone in this gathering who can claim that such statements adversely affected him individually? If not, then why are you bothered about it? Why don’t you always talk on behalf of the community?” he asked.
“The Narendra Modi-led government wants to take everyone along. Do not pay heed to controversial remarks as they (fringe elements) do not decide our policy. We will ensure religious freedom…Demands are being made to ban Aamir Khan-starrer PK but the government did not bother and the movie is still being screened in different theatres,” he added.
Complaining that Muslims do not vote in favour of the BJP and making an emotional pitch to garner the minorities’ support, Goel said, “As you feel discriminated, we also feel disheartened when you stereotype us as if we divide and rule. Give us your love and support, we will reciprocate.”
Speaking on this occasion, East Delhi MP Maheish Girri stressed on the need to hold more such interactions so that the voice of minorities can reach to the party leadership and the prime minister.
“There is a serious lack of communication between the minority community and the government. Therefore the party organised such a programme. This dialogue process should continue then only all confusions will go,” he said.
Talking about the RSS-supported programmes that allegedly target minorities, he said, “The government will never tolerate any act or statement that hurts the religious sentiments of people. The government is trying its best to deal with such elements. Once we will start involving people through such talks, their mentality will change.”
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Updated Date: Jan 05, 2015 12:27:22 IST