Delhi: The recent hate speeches made at Haridwar and Raipur are not a reflection of Indian society and those who make them should be "negated" and "given no importance" said Union Minister Nitin Gadkari in an interview with NDTV on Friday.
"In my view, Swami Vivekananda said it all at the religious conclave in Chicago — that our religion is based on tolerance, simplicity, inclusiveness... Our kings never broke anyone's place of worship. We are not expansionists. We want the good of everyone — of the world, of every living creature. This is our heritage and our viewpoint," Mr Gadkari told NDTV.
Gadkari asserted that in cases like the hate speech at the Hindu 'Dharma Sansad' event where calls to arms against Muslims were openly made, the law should be put into effect and take its course to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice. This was true for any case where people attempted to cause communal disharmony.
"We should remain tolerant, respectful towards all religions, should not hurt anyone's sentiments and take everyone forward," he added, invoking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Sabka Saath" slogan.
The minister also spoke about the 'Bulli Bai' app issue, which has caused national outrage after a group of extremists posted photos and personal details of prominent Muslim women journalists and activists to shame and harass them.
"Actions of some individuals should not be taken as a reflection of society. The law will take its own course," Gadkari said, emphasising that the government had never supported such actions nor would it tolerate criminal behaviour, which he described as 'an abomination.'
Five former chiefs of staff of the armed forces and over a hundred other people including bureaucrats and prominent citizens wrote to President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi regarding "open call of the genocide of Indian Muslims, calling upon them to protect the integrity and security of our country", in the case of the Haridwar speeches.
In the case of the Bulli Bai app, over three arrests have been made, with Mumbai police naming the mastermind as 18-year-old engineering aspirant Shweta Singh, who was aided by Btech students Vishal Kumar Jha and Neeraj Bishnoi.
"I hope the culprits behind this elaborate harassment of Muslim women, including journalists like myself, will ultimately be caught and punished so such a crime is not repeated with a sense of impunity again," the Delhi-based journalist who filed the case after she found herself on the app said after the arrests.