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‘Don’t approve of conversion for marriage, mass conversions should stop’: Rajnath Singh

Farmers' Protest: Defence Minister Rajnath Singh also touched up on several issues including the LAC situation, the new farm laws and the protests against it.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 30, 2020 4:10:54 pm
Rajnath Singh, Rajnath Singh on anti-conversion law, Rajnath Singh on Farm laws, Rajnath singh on India china border disputes, LAC standoff, Agriculture, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, BJP farmers, Rajnath ANI intervoew, India news, Indian expressUnion Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. (ANI)

A day after Madhya Pradesh government approved an ordinance against forced religious conversions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday said that the practice of mass conversions should stop and that he doesn’t approve of conversion for marriage.

In an interview with news agency ANI, Singh said, “Want to ask why there should be conversion. The practice of mass conversions should stop. As far as I know, in the Muslim religion, one can’t marry someone from another religion. I personally don’t approve of conversion for marriage.”

“In many cases, it has been seen that religious conversion is being done forcefully. There is a huge difference between natural marriage and forceful conversion for marriage. I think governments which made these laws, have considered all these things,” he added.

During the interview, the Defence Minister also touched up on several issues including the LAC situation, the new farm laws and the protests against it.

Calling farmers “annadatas” and “backbone of the economy,” Singh strongly disapproved of remarks such as “Naxals” or “Khalistanis” and said “allegations should not be made by anyone” against them. “These allegations should not be made by anyone against farmers.

“We express our deepest respect towards our farmers. Our heads bow in deference and respect towards our farmers. They are our ‘annadatas‘. In the time of economic recession, the farmers have borne the responsibility of taking the economy out of trouble. They are the economy’s backbone. They have taken the country out of troubled waters on several occasions,” Singh told ANI.

He also said that the farm laws have been made in the interest of farmers and the protesting farmers should see their implementation for two years and engage in a “logical debate” with the government. Asserting that the government will find a solution to the issues, Singh said, “Some forces have tried to create some misperceptions amongst farmers. We have also talked to several farmers. My only request to farmers is that clause-wise discussion based on logic should be done and not seek ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. We will find a resolution to the problem. I have myself seen the laws and I am aware of the problems of the farmers. The farmers should at least see the implementation of these laws for two years as an experiment. We will be ready to make necessary amendments if there is a need. If the farmers want experts to talk with the government for amendment in certain clauses, we are entirely flexible.”

“There is no question of being insensitive as far as the subject of farmers is concerned. Our farmers are holding demonstrations and I am not the only one pained. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is pained as well,” he added.

The Defence Minister also said that he was hurt by derogatory remarks against PM Modi during the farmers’ protest and said that the Prime Minister is not just a person but an institution. “Baseless allegations are made. Should this be done? Derogatory remarks should not be made against a prime minister. Prime Minister is not just an individual but an institution. In my political life, I have never used abusive words against any former prime minister. The kind of sloganeering done against the prime minister – ‘mar ja, mar ja’ this kind of sloganeering. I felt hurt,” he told ANI.

Talking about the border standoff between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Defence Minister said no “meaningful solution” has come out of diplomatic and military level talks with China to resolve the standoff and there is “status quo”. “It is true that in order to reduce the standoff between India and China, talks were taking place on a military and diplomatic level. But no success has been achieved so far. There will be a next round of talks on a military level which can take place anytime. But no meaningful outcome has come and there is status quo,” ANI quoted Singh as saying.

“If there is status quo, it is natural how deployment can be reduced. There will be no reduction in our deployment and I fell their deployment will also not come down. I don’t think that status-quo is a positive development at all. Talks are on and they result in a positive outcome, that is our expectation,” he added.

On being asked about the expansionist goals of China, Singh told ANI: “If a country is expansionist and tries to occupy our land, then India has the strength, capability and power to not let its land go into anyone’s hand, whether it is any country of the world.”

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