Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on ex-Vice President’s remarks on ‘cultural nationalism’ – Reuters

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday slammed Hamid Ansari for his remarks on Hindu nationalism, saying what the former vice president said is “untrue” and as a member of the minority community he can proudly say that India is the safest nation.

During a virtual roundtable hosted by the Indian American Muslim Council on Wednesday, Ansari and four US lawmakers had expressed concern about the current human rights situation in India. “What Hamid Ansari ji said is wrong. I belong to a minority community and I can proudly say that India is the safest nation. Minorities facing problems in any of our neighboring countries prefer seek refuge in India because India is safe. Let’s be grateful to our great nation,” Rijiju said in a series of tweets.

Participating in the roundtable from India, former Vice President Ansari expressed concern over the growing trend of Hindu nationalism.

“In recent years, we have seen the emergence of trends and practices that challenge the well-established principle of civic nationalism and interpose a new and imaginary practice of cultural nationalism… It wants to distinguish citizens on the basis of their faith, giving free rein to intolerance, insinuating otherness and fostering anxiety and insecurity,” he alleged.

Against Ansari, Rijiju said some isolated incidents occur at individual and community level “but Indian culture is always inclusive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s mantra is sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prieas.”

Before 2014, communal riots and violence were regular, but India is more peaceful now, the Union Minister said. “Why do some people who enjoy the best freedom and privileges in India join in the anti-Indian propaganda peddled by anti-Indian forces based abroad? What satisfaction do they get from defaming India? At least people in remote villages without settlements are loyal to the motherland,” Rijiju said during a dig at Ansari.

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