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Few creating mistrust, raise your voice, Doval says at interfaith meet

He said that efforts are required to sort out misunderstandings and make every religious body feel part of India.

NSA Ajot Doval, Ajit Doval, Ajit Doval news, religious animosity india, religious divide india, religious harmony in india, india religions, Constitution Club, AISSC Ajot Doval, indian expressNSA Ajit Doval being felicitated during the All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council's (AISSC) 'Interfaith Conference', in New Delhi, Saturday, July 30, 2022. (PTI Photo)

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval said Saturday “there are a few people who, in the name of religion or any other belief system, are resorting to violence and creating mistrust between different communities”.

Speaking at an interfaith meeting in New Delhi, Doval appealed to participating religious leaders to reach out to their followers with the message of a united India where “every Indian is safe’’.

He said one reason for the rise in radicalism and violence is that the majority of people “do not raise” their voice as much as they should.

The All India Sufi Sajjadanashin Council (AISSC), which organised the meeting, passed a resolution later, calling for a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and any religious organisation involved in radicalism or incidents like the recent killing of a tailor in Udaipur.

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Doval told the gathering: “If we have to challenge this atmosphere (of animosity), then the biggest need is that we have to, within our country, in our own home, be alert and keep intact our unity, and make progress as a unified country. The country has made progress with speed in the last couple of years, and the profit of this progress will be reaped by all religious communities.”

“But there are many forces that are trying to create an atmosphere of negativism which obstructs the progress of the nation… There are a few people who, in the name of religion or any other belief system, are resorting to violence and creating mistrust between different communities. This affects the whole country – within the country as well as internationally,” he said.

Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor during Interfaith Conference for Communal Harmony, in New Delhi on Saturday. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna)

According to the NSA, the reason behind radicalism and violence is that its counter is not strong enough. “Such animosity is carried out by a minority of people. But the majority of people, people like you, do not raise your voices as much as you should. This makes the voices of this minority seem like they represent the entire India.”

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“If we have to fight this, then we can no longer be mute spectators, but work at the ground level. Strengthen our voices and organise ourselves. If there is any misunderstanding amongst us, we need to dispel these. If there are some people who make mistakes, then the mistakes need to be rectified,’’ he said.

“We have to make everyone feel that this is our country, which we are proud of and where any religion can be followed with freedom,’’ he said, adding that different religious communities in India have existed together for centuries, and every community has had a significant role in the progress of the country.

Doval said that people from every religious community have also made “great sacrifices’’ for the nation. “It is our collective responsibility to rectify this atmosphere.”

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Speaking on the centuries-old tradition of Sufism in India, Doval said, “You can’t permit these people who have vested interests and agendas of their own to commit violence and disharmony within the country.’’

“We need to assure people and create the emotion, the belief, that every Indian is safe. And if any one Indian is threatened, then every Indian will stand with him. We will stay together, or we will sink together,’’ he said.

AISSC founder-chairman Hazrat Syed Nasiruddin Chishty said the religious leaders discussed four major issues with the NSA after which the organisation passed a resolution.

“We raised the issue of hate speech and slogans like ‘sar tan se juda’, ‘goli maaro saalon ko’.. we said such speeches are both anti-religious as well as anti-national, and need to be

banned. And if there is anyone making such speeches, then they need to be prosecuted according to the law of the land,’’ Chishty told The Sunday Express.

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The AISSC passed a resolution calling for a ban on the PFI.

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“We have very strongly condemned all radical forces. In the Udaipur incident, investigations pointed to the involvement of the PFI. We have, therefore, said that the PFI, or any other organisation like the PFI, that is involved in such violence or seen to be involved in radicalisation should be banned,’’ he said.

He said the leaders discussed measures to counter radicalism in the country, and the AISSC will be starting a nationwide movement soon.

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“Social media has been a way through which radicals are reaching our youth and children. They are sending videos of violence and hate speeches. We have asked the government to crack down on such platforms and prevent this from happening,’’ he said.

First published on: 30-07-2022 at 06:24:58 pm
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