Idea Exchange With Najma Heptulla

Belonging to a Congress family and a long-time Congress leader herself, Heptulla crossed over to the BJP in 2004 and was the party’s candidate for vice-president in 2007. She is now one of the two Muslim ministers in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, both of them in the Minority Affairs Ministry. A five-time Rajya Sabha MP, she served for long as deputy chairman of the House. Heptulla dismisses claims of fear among minorities, saying that the Prime Minister’s focus is only development —“sabka saath, sabka vikas” NAJMA HEPTULLA: When I joined the ministry two years ago, I had before me the question, ‘How to start?’. Everybody knew about the situation of minorities in the country, from the Sachar Committee report and otherwise too. Minorities have always been translated, for many years, as Muslims. But my ministry reaches out to all communities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists. When the Prime Minister was campaigning in Patna and a bomb went off during his rally, he didn’t leave the stage. He did not even change the focus of the speech. He asked both the communities, Hindus and Muslims, ‘Is your fight against poverty or each other?’. And everybody said that their fight is against poverty. So I knew that he is very focused on development — sabka saath, sabka vikas. Everybody understands that if in a country, any one section of the society is backward, then development is lopsided, it isn’t real development. So this was my focus. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/najma-heptulla-narendra-modi-development-bjp-minister-minorities-comment-2812859/#sthash.UgUgUsp7.dpuf———————————————————————————————

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Belonging to a Congress family and a long-time Congress leader herself, Heptulla crossed over to the BJP in 2004 and was the party’s candidate for vice-president in 2007. She is now one of the two Muslim ministers in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, both of them in the Minority Affairs Ministry. A five-time Rajya Sabha MP, she served for long as deputy chairman of the House. Heptulla dismisses claims of fear among minorities, saying that the Prime Minister’s focus is only development —“sabka saath, sabka vikas” NAJMA HEPTULLA: When I joined the ministry two years ago, I had before me the question, ‘How to start?’. Everybody knew about the situation of minorities in the country, from the Sachar Committee report and otherwise too. Minorities have always been translated, for many years, as Muslims. But my ministry reaches out to all communities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists. When the Prime Minister was campaigning in Patna and a bomb went off during his rally, he didn’t leave the stage. He did not even change the focus of the speech. He asked both the communities, Hindus and Muslims, ‘Is your fight against poverty or each other?’. And everybody said that their fight is against poverty. So I knew that he is very focused on development — sabka saath, sabka vikas. Everybody understands that if in a country, any one section of the society is backward, then development is lopsided, it isn’t real development. So this was my focus. - See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/najma-heptulla-narendra-modi-development-bjp-minister-minorities-comment-2812859/#sthash.UgUgUsp7.dpuf——————————————————————————————— Subscribe for more videos: http://goo.gl/RjJrX0 Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indianexpress Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/indianexpress Download the Indian Express app at http://indianexpress.com/apps/ Watch more videos at http://www.indianexpress.com/videos