Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hit back at Gandhinagar Archbishop Thomas Macwan in a veiled manner for warning against ‘nationalist forces’ and urged Christians to pray for the victory of those who ‘respect every human being’.
In a scathing reply PM Modi said his government had rescued people of other faiths, including Christians. The Prime Minister also said that “manavata” (humanity) was the “sanskaar” (values) of “rashtravaadee” (nationalists). “Manavata apni rago ma chhe, apna sanskaar ma chhe (Humanity is in our veins, in our values). Unfortunately, it comes so naturally to us that we do not publicise it, and the world remains in the dark (about it)… I was shocked when a religious person issued a fatwa asking for rashtrapremio (patriots) to be ousted,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said this while addressing a public meeting after dedicating a Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishvavidya Pratisthanam (SGVP) hospital, on the Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway in Ahmedabad.
“To help people without considering their religion, caste or nationality is the basic essence of our sanskaar… and there cannot be a more worrisome matter than this, that people have objection to it,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi then cited the examples of Nepal and Yemen, saying Indian agencies rescued a number of foreign nationals along with Indians. He also mentioned External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s efforts in granting visas to those in need in Pakistan. “These are matters related to humanity. Today, some people have challenged our humanity. Therefore, I want to say this to the people of India, from this pious land,” he said.
PM Modi also listed seven instances when his government rescued Indian citizens, including Christians, abroad. He cited the case of Indian nurses in Iraq. “We took help and got them back safely,” he said. He also mentioned the cases of Father Tom Uzhunnalil, who was rescued from Yemen, Father Alexis Prem Kumar, who was rescued from Afghanistan, and Judith D’Souza, who was also rescued from Afghanistan, pointing out that they were all Christians and children of India, according to report.
PM Modi had mocked Rahul Gandhi over the allegation that he gave an “enormous piece” of land to an industrialist. PM Modi also said 125 crore people of this country were his “God” and he was their priest. “The Congress is being rejected from every corner of the country. They need to introspect,” PM Modi said. Making a veiled reference to Gandhi, he said, “One leader during his speech said Modi gave 48,000 crore acres of land to an industrialist. The area he is talking about is three times the size of land available on the earth. I don’t know what to do… to laugh or cry.”