National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said on Saturday “there are a few people who in the name of religion or any other belief system resort to violence and create mistrust between different communities.”
Speaking at an interfaith meeting in New Delhi, Doval called on participating religious leaders to reach out to their followers with the message of a united India where “every Indian is safe”.
He said one of the reasons for the rise in radicalism and violence is that the majority of people are “not raising” their voices as much as they should.
The All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council (AISSC), which organized the meeting, passed a resolution later, calling for the banning of the Indian Popular Front (PFI) and any religious organization involved in radicalism or incidents like murder recent from a tailor in Udaipur.
Doval told the rally: “If we are to challenge this atmosphere (of animosity), then the greatest need is that we in our country, in our own home, must be vigilant and keep our unity intact, and make progress. as a unified country. The country has made rapid progress over the past two years, and the benefit of this progress will be reaped by all religious communities.
“But there are many forces trying to create an atmosphere of negativism which hinders the progress of the nation… There are some people who, in the name of religion or any other belief system, resort to violence and create distrust between different communities. This affects the whole country – within the country as well as internationally,” he said.
According to the NSA, the reason behind radicalism and violence is that its counter-power is not strong enough. “Such animosity is led by a minority of people. But the majority of people, people like you, don’t raise your voice as much as you should. This gives the impression that the voices of this minority represent the whole of India.
“If we have to fight against this, we can no longer be silent spectators, but work at ground level. Strengthen our voices and organize ourselves. If there is a misunderstanding between us, we must clear it up. If there are people making mistakes, then the mistakes should be rectified,” he said.
“We must make everyone feel that this is our country, of which we are proud and where any religion can be followed freely,” he said, adding that different religious communities in India have coexisted for centuries and each community has played an important role in the progress of the country.
Doval said people from all religious communities have also made “great sacrifices” for the nation. “It is our collective responsibility to rectify this atmosphere.”
Speaking on the centuries-old tradition of Sufism in India, Doval said, “You cannot allow these people who have their own interests and agendas to carry out acts of violence and discord in the country.”
“We have to reassure people and create the emotion, the belief that every Indian is safe. And if an Indian is threatened, then every Indian will stand by him. We will stay together, or we will sink together,” he said.
AISSC founding president Hazrat Syed Nasiruddin Chishty said the religious leaders discussed four major issues with the NSA, after which the organization adopted a resolution.
“We raised the issue of hate speech and slogans like ‘sar tan se juda’, ‘goli maaro saalon ko’.
banned. And if there is anyone making such speeches then they should be prosecuted according to the law of the land,” Chishty told the Sunday Express.
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The AISSC passed a resolution calling for the banning of PFI.
“We very strongly condemned all radical forces. In the Udaipur incident, investigations revealed the involvement of the PFI. So we said that the PFI, or any other organization like the PFI, involved in such violence or perceived to be involved in radicalization should be banned,” he said.
He said the leaders had discussed measures to counter radicalism in the country and that the AISSC would soon launch a national movement.
“Social media has been a means by which radicals reach our youth and our children. They send videos of violence and hate speech. We have asked the government to crack down on these platforms and prevent this from happening,” he said.