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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Delhi Confidential: Different Note

Speaking in the context of “forced conversions”, he said forced religious conversion cannot be a testament to trust in any religion

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
September 29, 2021 2:32:03 am
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

IN AN unusual address to representatives of the Christian community in New Delhi on Tuesday, Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi stood up for atheists. Speaking in the context of “forced conversions”, he said forced religious conversion cannot be a testament to trust in any religion, especially in a country where both believers and atheists coexist. He said atheists have equal constitutional and social rights under the Constitution. Naqvi also touched on the subjects of “bigotry and intolerance” and said these should not be allowed to weaken the spirit of “unity in diversity” in the country.

Playing Safe

KANHAIYA KUMAR made sure the mask was in place during the event organised to mark his induction in the Congress. As senior party leaders felicitated him, Kumar refused to remove his mask. Photojournalists covering the event kept requesting that he remove the mask for the photos, but Kumar did not relent. He said he was just following the pandemic protocol. Later, as he began to speak, he first insisted that the mic be sanitised as it was being shared by all on the podium. He put on the mask again as soon as he concluded his remarks. Kumar and Independent MLA from Gujarat Jignesh Mevani, who announced his alignment with the Congress ideology on Tuesday, came wearing kurtas in colours alluding to their politics. While Kumar wore red, associated with Left politics, Mevani’s kurta was blue, symbolic of the Dalit movement.

Remembering Vajpayee

TUESDAY MARKED the end of the fourth edition of the Indo-US Health Dialogue. In his concluding speech, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya revisited all the important aspects of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the US, specifically on vaccine supply chain management. However, he began his speech, remembering BJP stalwart and former Prime Minister Atal Bihar Vajpayee. “For India, we value our engagement with the US on various fronts and, we have traveled a long path in the past continuously nurturing this relationship…. I recall the year 2000, when during his trip to the US, our then Honourable Prime Minister, Late Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee Ji, portrayed India and the US as natural allies,” Mandaviya said.

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