Modi urges India to reject violence in name of religion
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged India to reject religious violence, after a series of attacks on minorities has sparked a debate over whether an outbreak of Hindu nationalism would undermine the country’s secular ideals.
In a speech from the Red Fort walls of Delhi marking the 70th anniversary of India’s independence, Modi has also listed his government’s achievements, including the fight against corruption.
The speech was the light in foreign policy, not to mention the rival Archipelago Pakistan or China. India has practiced for almost two months, hundreds of soldiers along its northern border with China due to a territorial dispute.
Modi spoke out against Hindu right-wing attacks, many claim his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against minority Muslims and low caste Hindus accused of killing cows, considered sacred by the majority Hindus.
But the establishment of his complaint of violence Tuesday was significant.
“We do not tolerate violence in the name of faith,” Modi told a crowded crowd at the fort and a large television audience.
Modi has made much of the progress made by India since independence from British rule in 1947.
But it also expresses the grief over the deaths of 60 children in a state hospital last week amid a shortage of supplies – a reminder to be made in India’s journey to development.
Since coming to power in 2014, Modi has struggled to balance the demands of his Hindu groups with the nationalist base base and the Indians who were trying to build a modern, secular country that matches their growing economic influence.
Manoj Joshi, a colleague of the Observer Research Foundation’s expert group says that he played Modi “good cop, bad cop” who condemns community violence, but doing little to contain the elements of his party in power.
“There’s a clear difference between the slogan and the application. It’s a deliberate breach and that’s just for the record,” he said.
Modi also spoke at length about the publication of a “new India” by 2022, underlining his confidence in winning the next general election scheduled for 2019.
Strong growth and economic reforms have strengthened the popularity of Modi and his party helped sweep the states elections in recent years, which prevented the opposition to weaken.
However, to meet the needs of the 1.3 billion people in India, the government must create millions of additional jobs per year, it is difficult to do.
“A certain level of complacency … brought Modi into power,” analyst Ajai Shukla told NDTV. “Now he realizes that people are waiting for answers. He felt the need to convey an aura of progress.”