July 21, 2018 10:16:40 am
On a day when concerns about the incidents of lynching across the country were raised in Lok Sabha during a no-confidence motion against the NDA government senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha Balwinder Singh Bhunder on Friday said minorities are living in fear and that his party will continue to voice its concern even if it breaks the alliance with the BJP.
“Samjhauta tutda taan tut jaave. Asin aapni gal keete bagair kiven reh sakde haan (If the alliance breaks, let it be. We will continue to put our viewpoint),” Bhunder told The Indian Express over phone, invoking nearly “100 years’ history” of Shiromani Akali Dal and “message of (first guru of Sikhs) Guru Nanak Dev 500 years ago to treat everyone equally”.
“Ours is political alliance. That does not mean, we will stop raising issues. This is democracy,” Bhunder said.
He added lynching is a big issue, be it in the name of cow protection or caste. “It is not that only Muslims have been targeted. Others have also been targeted. This is bad. It is 70 years since the nation has got freedom. Guru Nanak Dev had said 500 years ago that there is God in every human being and that poor should not be discriminated against. Guru had made the poor stand equally (in society). We (SAD) are following that vision. And it will have an impact,” Bhunder said.
The Akali MP added SAD had also raised issues relating to the problems of farmers. Bhunder’s remarks came days after SAD patron and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal told BJP president Amit Shah to “dispel the perception of insecurity among the minorities” during his visit to Chandigarh. Badal had suggested that there was a need to win over the minorities and dispel the fear perception. The Sikh community is among the smallest minorities in India.
“Yes, we had said that perception needed to be broken. Minorities are in fear due to issues like lynching,” Bhunder said. The MP further said a couple of days back, as many as 25 women from Muslim community joined the Istri wing of the Akali Dal in Delhi. “The SAD also represents minority community and minorities are trying to be together,” Bhunder said.
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