Law Minister Kiren Rijiju on Friday hit out at Hamid Ansari for his remarks over Hindu nationalism, saying what the former vice president has said is "wrong" and as a member of the minority community he can proudly say that India is the safest nation.
At a virtual panel discussion organised by the Indian American Muslim Council on Wednesday, Mr Ansari and four US lawmakers had expressed concern over 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 safest nation. Minorities facing trouble in any of our neighboring countries prefer to seek refuge in India because India is safe. Let's be grateful to our great nation," Mr Rijiju said in a series of tweets.
Participating in the panel discussion from India, former vice president Ansari had expressed his concern over the rising trend of Hindu nationalism.
"In recent years, we have experienced the emergence of trends and practices that dispute 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, give vent to intolerance, insinuate otherness, and promote disquiet and insecurity," he had alleged.
Countering Mr Ansari, Mr Rijiju said some isolated incidents do take place at individual-community level "but Indian culture is always inclusive. Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji's mantra is sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas".
Before 2014, communal riots and violence were regular but India is more peaceful now, the Union minister said.
"Why some people who enjoy the best freedom and privilege in India join the anti-India propaganda peddled by foreign based anti India forces? What's the satisfaction that they acquire by defaming India? At least, people in remote villages without facilities are loyal to motherland," Mr Rijiju said in a dig at Mr Ansari.
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