21 December 2023
When asked what prospects there are for the 200 million-strong Muslim minority in India, Modi avoided mentioning the Muslims directly. While rejecting claims that his government is repressing his critics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that Indian society does not feel prejudice against any religious group. In what the British business daily described as a rare interview, Modi told the Financial Times (FT) that “a whole ecosystem that is using the freedom available in our country to hurl these allegations at us every day, through editorials, TV channels, social media, videos, tweets, etc.” He also provided additional written responses.
Reportedly, when questioned about the prospects for the 200 million-member Muslim community in India, Modi did not specifically mention them. Modi, characterising the Parsees as a “religious micro-minority residing in India,” instead emphasised the Parsees’ economic achievements. They have found a safe haven in India and are happy and prosperous there, Modi remarked, despite experiencing persecution elsewhere in the world. That indicates that there is no sense of discrimination towards any religious minority in Indian society as a whole.
With no Muslim ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Financial Times reported that hate speech against Muslims has increased during its administration. It further stated that opponents of Modi’s administration have charged that it is suppressing civil society, discriminating against the Muslim minority in the nation, and clamping down on rivals.
A query concerning the purported crackdown by the Modi government on his detractors sparked a lengthy and animated laugh, according to FT. Modi asserted that while his detractors are free to make accusations, others are just as entitled to a fact-based response.
He pointed out that outsiders have consistently undervalued India throughout history. “The departing British made many extremely pessimistic forecasts about India’s future when the country gained independence in 1947. All of those assumptions and forecasts, however, have been shown to be untrue. He went on to say that anyone who have similar doubts about his government will also be shown to be mistaken.