Gujarat cadre IPS officer Vinod Mall on Tuesday said that “the composite culture is the most important feature of our country and our biggest strength is letting people live the way they want to in accordance with the Constitution”. Mall, currently posted as Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Police Reform in Gandhinagar, said this during his power point presentation at a private school in Muslim-dominated Juhapura locality on Tuesday evening. He said, “Fundamentalists are threat to Islam and Hindus both and they want to destroy this culture. They have money and power and we will have to fight against these elements. I am not against any party or person. All I mean to say that we all should live together in harmony because that’s what our culture is.”
He said that Muslims from various countries, like the US, UK, France, Germany among others, joined the terrorist organisation ISIS where the Muslim population is dismal, but in India despite being over 20 crores, there is a handful of such people who went to join. He said that their numbers won’t be more than 50. “This is because liberalism is in our blood. Composite culture is not only in our emotion but also in the Constitution…”
Giving example of culture, Mall said, “One can’t define Gujarati culture by saying that Gujarat has an airport, a riverfront and garba dance unless it concludes the tribals of Bhiloda. We have to respect everyone and everything. Swami Vivekanand said that religion is like a river and it should flow because they all ultimately meet the ocean.”
When he was asked about police’s role in 2002 post-Godhra riots and the “government’s inaction” to give justice to the victims, Mall said, “Police did what it should have done. I was there in Ahmedabad during that time. I don’t have figures since figures are not the answer but conscience. The civil society has to show its courage as well.”
The event was organised by “Hamar Awaj: Juhapura ki Guftagu” in which former IPS officer and whistleblower Rahul Sharma and Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani were also supposed to come. However, they didn’t turn up.