MUMBAI: Tolerance is the "culture and commitment" of India and it is "our constitutional duty" to protect it, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said here on Thursday.
Any type of violence and anarchy is a conspiracy to weaken the fabric of the country's social harmony and India's strength of unity in diversity. "Our Government will not allow any destructive agenda to dominate our development agenda," the minister said at an event here.
His remarks come in the backdrop of the outrage over the killing of Kannada journalist-activist Gauri Lankesh, known for her left-leaning outlook and forthright views on Hindutva politics, by unidentified assailants at the entrance of her residence in Raj Rajeshwari Nagar in Bengaluru on Tuesday night.
Naqvi said the poor and weaker sections of society have the first right to resources of the country and the Narendra Modi government is committed to the progress of every section of the society.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 'New India- We Resolve to Make' photo exhibition cum cultural event at the Bandra railway station jointly organised by Parliamentary Affairs Ministry and Container Corporation of India.
"Tolerance is the culture and commitment of India and it is our Constitutional duty to protect and strengthen the culture of tolerance," he said.
"Our 'unity in diversity' has created a special status and respect for India across the world. India is ahead of several big democracies in ensuring freedom of expression," Naqvi said.
It is our constitutional duty to protect this unity and defeat evil forces which want to disturb the social harmony, Naqvi said.
The welfare and empowerment of poor sections rising above caste and religion has been the priority of the Modi government, Naqvi said.
Under the 'New India' vision of Modi, the government has been working with a commitment to welfare and empowerment of these sections of society, he said.
"The poor have suffered due to political exploitation in the name of caste and religion. But our government has kept this section at the centre of all welfare schemes," Naqvi said.
The exhibition, focusing on India's freedom movement, is being organised at 39 places across the country.