Mufti Hails PM's Assertion On Religious Freedom

18 February 2015
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Jammu: Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's response to divisive policies did not come too soon. However, his assertion on inclusive and pluralistic character of the country should help send the right signals to the world about peaceful coexistence of communities and ethnicities. Mufti expressed hope that the assertion would prove a turning point in silencing the 'loose cannons of extremist schools of thought'. 'Most of the people within the country and its well wishers outside have had a sense of unease for the past many months over the divisive practices followed by some fringe elements, which had created apprehensions among the minorities and a large section of the majority community', Mufti said in a statement from Mumbai today. 'The inadequate response, so far, from the ruling party top brass had added to the feeling of scare and unease,' he said. The affirmation from the Prime Minister, though belated, had come as a breather for the minorities, he said. He said by its very nature, India was an inclusive country and had established itself as the only civilisation outliving others in terms of diversity and cultural vibrancy. 'No matter which party forms the government, the core of the country will always be composed of countless cultural and linguistic diversities. The regimentation of thoughts and attempts at enforcing a single religious code is an antithesis of the ethos of India,' Mufti said. The Prime Minister had earned his current status as head of the world's largest democracy on the promise and vision that India would soon grow into a global power. For that to happen, it was necessary that internal differences were harmonised into a creative energy and external challenges met with boldness and understanding, the PDP patron said. He said India was in a unique position to offer leadership to the world but for that it had to neutralise divisive forces within and emerge as a genuine regional power wielding moral influence over its neighbours and helping them tap energies and resources of the region. He expressed hope that Modi's message to trouble makers would go to the ground level and would be followed up with action against the trouble makers. The minorities were an essential part of the country and they could not be browbeaten into a particular mould under any circumstances, he said. 'Indian civilisation is distinguished from others in respect of its continuity and heterogeneity, its accommodating ethos and its composite character, he said.