Narendra Modi said on a television show telecast Saturday that he would like to see Quran-carrying Muslim youth also use modern technology like computers.
“Main maanta hoon jinke sar topi ho unke ek haath men bhale hi Quran ho, doosre haath mein computer hona chaahiye,” he said on India TV.
He described the clamour among politicians to wear religious symbols of various communities as “appeasement”, and declared he would not do the same.
“Dar-asl Bhartiya rajneeti mein ek vikriti aayi hai ki tushtikaran ke liye kuchh bhi karo,” Modi said in response to a question about his reluctance to wear an Islamic skullcap offered to him at a public function.
The BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, however, stressed that he would not tolerate attempts by anyone to cause injury to any community.
“…Main topi pahankar, photo nikaalkar, logon ki aankhon mein dhool jhonkne ka kaam nahi kar sakta. Lekin koi kisi ki topi ya pagdi uchhalta hai to usey kadi se kadi sazaa ho, iska main maan rakhta hoon.” He described his outlook towards other communities as: “Mera kaam sab sampradaay ka samman karna hai. Sabki paramparaon ka samman karna, par meri jo parampara hai usko mujhe sweekar karna hai. Main meri parampara ko lekar jeeta hoon.”
The show, anchor Rajat Sharma’s popular Aap Ki Adalat, featured a studio audience that cheered on Modi’s answers and frequently chanted his name. At the end, they raised slogans of “Narendra Modi ki jai”.
Modi claimed his “puppy” remark to explain his sentiment about the 2002 riots were “wrongly interepreted”. He made light of SP leader Azam Khan’s apparent reference to him as a dog by saying dogs were known for their “loyalty”, which was a quality that he cherished.
To a question from the audience about minorities feeling insecure under a government that he might head, Modi said religious minorities need not fear him, but the “corrupt and wrongdoers” should be afraid.
He rejected suggestions that the election was a Modi show, and claimed that a galaxy of leaders in the BJP were working together.