A year after the Dadri lynching, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Tuesday claimed incidents of communal tension have reduced “substantially” under the NDA government and stressed on the Prime Minister’s message of “empowerment and not appeasement” of Muslims.
“Over the past two-and-half years, the number of incidents of communal tensions have gone down substantially.
“We want such incidents to be zero. We are working on that,” he said in remarks which come on the eve of completion of one year since the lynching of Mohammad Aqlakh in Uttar Pradesh’s Dadri over suspicion of beef consumption.
The Minister of State for Minority Affairs said it was a “very unfortunate” incident and an act of people “who are bent on dividing communities”.
“But there has been no repeat of such incident over the past one year,” he said.
The Ministers was responding to queries from reporters on the sidelines of launch of Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) at the annual conference of state channelising agencies of National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC).
The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre had come under attack over the September 28, 2015 killing of 50-year-old Aqlakh with some Union Ministers and BJP MPs making controversial statement regarding it. The incident also led to a section of artistes and litterateurs returning their awards in protest against the alleged intolerance.
Naqvi did not specify the data on communal incidents, but stated that there is an “atmosphere of confidence and development” among all including minorities and added the government’s agenda of development can only “defeat the agenda of destruction”.
He also defended Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s reported “parishkrit” remark relating to Muslims, which has stoked a controversy, saying that the PM was right in asserting that there should be “no appeasement, but empowerment” of the community members.
“Prime Minister has said it rightly. He has said that appeasement of minorities should be stopped and work on their empowerment should begin in the spheres of education and employment,” Naqvi said.
Modi had while addressing BJP’s national council in Kerala recently had quoted party ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay while reaching out to Muslism to say, “don’t reward, don’t rebuke them; but empower them”.
Naqvi said that only politics of development will work in the country and not of vote bank.
“Minorities, especially those from Muslim communities have remained below poverty line over these years. I don’t think the so-called secular merchants of vote politicians ever discussed it. Today, we need to eliminate poverty and unemployment. We are trying to help them through different institutes,” he added.
During his speech at inaugural session of the conference, Naqvi said that more concerted efforts are required for creating awareness among target groups about the schemes and programmes of NMDFC.
He also stressed on the need for simplifying the procedures and reducing the waiting time for sanctioning of loans given by the financial body.
AADHAR and KYC norms for selection of beneficiaries, self-attestation of certificates by applicants and direct transfer of loan in the bank account of beneficiary are some of the steps taken by NMDFC to make implementation of its schemes more transparent and hassle free for the beneficiaries.
On the occasion, Naqvi also launched a toll-free number to provide information regarding programmes and schemes of NMDFC. He also released the first Urdu edition of NMDFC’s magazine “Parwaz”.
(With inputs from PTI)