New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday vowed to protect all religious groups stating that everyone has the right to retain or adopt religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence.
Addressing a gathering of Christian leaders on the celebration of Elevation to Sainthood of Kuriakose Elias Chavara and Mother Euphrasia at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi, the PM said that his government stands for personal freedom of religion.
“My government stands for personal freedom and religion is a personal choice,” said the PM.
He said the government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly. He said the government will give equal respect to all religions.
Invoking Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, Modi said, “Mutual respect of all religions must be in the DNA of every Indian and religious extremism is a global concern.”
“I condemn all incidents of violence where religious minorities were targeted,” Modi said.
The statements are being read in context with the concerns raised by minorities following incidents of vandalism at churches in Delhi in the run-up to the polls. The top BJP leadership remained conspicuously silent on the sensitive issue.