Prime Minister Modi Condemns Religious Violence in India

ModiAfter a series of attacks on churches in Delhi, India’s Prime Minister Modi addressed the nation on Tuesday in the capital to condemn religious violence in India (NY Times). He expressed that his government will not tolerate any violence against any religions and prosecutions will be in effect for these crimes. Church officials have prompted him that religious minorities like Christians, Muslims and Buddhists have a growing sense of insecurities after the recent attacks (NY Times). Events such as the vandalism of churches like St. Sebastian’s Church damaged in fire and Muslims forced to convert to Hinduism in Agra have prompted protests by religious minorities (BBC). There is also criticism against Modi as he has been blamed for not stopping the 2002 anti-Muslim riots while he was Gujarat’s chief minister (BBC). Now, he is making efforts to avoid such conflicts as his speech warned his right-wing Hindu party to protect the rights of minorities. While his electoral base is majority Hindu, most religious minorities tended to vote for the Aam Aadmi, or Common Man party during the last election in New Delhi rather than the present governing Bharatiya Janata Party that is majority Hindu (NY Times). During his visit to India last month, President Obama also the raised the issue of religious tolerance to the nation emphasizing that India will succeed as long it does not remain divided along the lines of religious faith (NY Times). Hindus constitute about 80 percent of India’s populations in which conservative Hindu politicians tend to corrupt positions by favoring the Hindu population and disregarding the religious minorities (NY Times). Some church officials plan to install surveillance cameras and guards in order to protect Christian civilians (NY Times). The prime minister also mentioned that he hopes for the development of India, as the country has allowed the coexistence of various religions for thousands of years (NT Times)

NYTimes, BBC, NYTimes 2