New Delhi, Feb 18:
The European Union Wednesday welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement on religious freedom and said that his remarks were “entirely in line with the Indian constitution”.
A European Union ambassador Joao Cravinho, to a question from the media here, said that Modi’s remarks were “upholding the basic principles of freedom of religion, were very welcome and unremarkable”.
He said Modi’s remarks are “entirely in line with the Indian constitution, and it is not surprising he made the remarks”.
“We welcome that because we know very well there are elements of discordance resulting from radical statements by different groups and it is important for political leaders to be aware of the explosive potential of religious divisiveness and communal conflicts, and Prime Minister Modi’s statements were highlighting such concern,” he said.
On Tuesday, Modi said his government will ensure complete freedom of faith and will not allow any religious group to incite hatred against others “overtly or covertly”.
Addressing Christian leaders at a function here, the prime minister reached out to them, saying he strongly condemned violence against any religion.
“We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext, and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard,” he said.
Modi’s remarks in support of freedom of religion came in the wake of a string of attacks on churches in the capital and controversial utterances by saffron right-wing fringe elements.
US President Barack Obama had during his visit to India last month said that “India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on religious lines”.
Later during a National Prayer Breakfast meeting in Washington, Obama said that Mahatma Gandhi would have been shocked at the acts of intolerance in India.
Modi’s comments also came days after his Bharatiya Janata Party was routed in the Delhi assembly elections, halting his party’s winning spree since last year’s general elections. (IANS)