Prime Minister Narendra Modi has broken his silence on the intolerance remarks made by veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah implying that it was part of an agenda ahead of the elections.
Speaking to news agency ANI, Modi said, “Before every elections, some people start detecting intolerance. This is part of an individual agenda, I don’t need to comment on that.”
He also denounced the rise in lynchings of Muslims in the name of cow. He said, “First thing first. Such incidents don’t suit a civilised society. One should never support such incidents. This is utterly wrong and condemnable. Second thing, has it started only after 2014? Therefore, this is also an outcome of the shortcomings in our society. We should all make joint efforts to improve the situation on this front. I am not in favour of ‘this happened under this government or that government.’ Even if there’s one such incident, it’s wrong.”
Modi said that the country ought to respect the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and the Indian constitution. He said, “What Mahatma Gandhi said, what Acharya Vinoba Bhave said, what’s enshrined in our constitution must be respected. If we respect other’s sentiments, this will help others to respect our own sentiments. All intellectuals should strive towards creating a positive environment. A learned man from Arab country had said how people of different faith live harmoniously in India. He said that India should be proud of its values.”
Naseeruddin Shah had recently said that he felt angry over how the death of a cow was being given more importance than the murder of a police officer. He said that he worried about his children in the new India. This is had prompted the supporters of the BJP to attack the veteran actor with incessant trolling.