Updated: August 28, 2021 7:25:50 am
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Friday said talks about the Constitution, secularism and the law will last as long as Hindus are in the majority, and once the community is in the minority, “nothing will remain”.
Patel made the remark at the Bharat Mata Mandir in Gandhinagar, considered the first temple of Mother India in the state.
Speaking at the Murti Pratishthha Mahotsav (idol installation ceremony) at the temple, organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Patel said, “In our country, some people talk about the Constitution, secularism. But I tell you, and if you want to video record this, then do it…Note down my words. Those talking about the Constitution, secularism, law etc will do so only till Hindus are in majority in this country… The day… the number of Hindus decreases, of others’ increases, [there will be] no secularism, no Lok Sabha, no Constitution. Everything will be (tossed) in the air and buried. Nothing will remain.”
Gujarat Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja, along with top VHP and RSS leaders were present at the ceremony.
Patel, in his nearly 37-minute speech, further said, “I am not talking about all. I must clarify that as well. Lakhs of Muslims are deshhakts (patriots), lakhs of Christians are deshbhakts. Thousands of Muslims are in the Indian Armed Forces. Thousands of Muslims are in the Gujarat Police force. All of them are desh-bhakts.”
The Deputy CM also broached the topic of the state’s controversial anti-conversion law — the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 — enacted by the government to prevent forcible religious conversion by marriages. Certain sections of the Act have been stayed by the High Court after a couple of petitions challenged the constitutionality of the law’s provisions, and the Gujarat government has stated that it will challenge the stay order in the Supreme Court.
Patel said that he has come to know that the writ petition challenging the Act has been moved by a certain organisation. “I want to ask that organisation what objections they have if Hindu girls marry Hindus, Muslim girls marry Muslims, Christian girls marry Christians, Sikh girls marry Sikhs…Let me clarify. If a Hindu boy betrays an innocent Muslim girl [to fraudulently enter into a marriage], this law applies to him also… So, this law is not with reference to a specific religion,” he said.
The Deputy CM also questioned why only specific people are concerned about the law and have approached the court. Instead, he said, people should support and congratulate the BJP-ruled Gujarat government for bringing the law for the unity of the state and for the protection of girls of every religion.
Keeping an eye on rain deficit: Patel
A day after Patel stated that there is adequate water available in the Sardar Sarovar dam to meet drinking water requirement, the Deputy CM Friday expressed concerns over the drought-like situation in the state.
“In many states, a flood-like situation is there, while others are rain-deficit, including Gujarat… The main irrigation project of Gujarat, Sardar Sarovar Dam on Narmada river, has its catchment area in Madhya Pradesh where there is not enough rainfall this year. Thus, resulting in less water being received than previous years, the Sardar Sarovar dam has water shortage,” Patel said at a visit to Civil Medicity campus in Ahmedabad.
He added that most of the state Irrigation Department’s dams are filled with only 30 per cent water. “The state government is keeping an eye on the drought-like situation created due to deficit rainfall and reviewing it on a daily basis. Whatever decision and work is required for farmers and citizens for irrigation and drinking water, will be taken on time,” he said.
Gujarat has received only 41 per cent of its average rainfall during the monsoon season and is staring at a huge deficit.
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