Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha during the winter session of Parliament in New Delhi on Friday. — PTI/TV grab 27 Nov 2015 | 7:40 PM
NEW DELHI: Facing attack over 'intolerance', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said 'India first' is the only religion of his government and the Constitution is the only holy book while asserting his commitment to work for the welfare of people of all sections and religions.[ + read story ]
New Delhi, November 27
Facing attack over 'intolerance', Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said 'India first' is the only religion of his government and the Constitution is the only holy book while asserting his commitment to work for the welfare of people of all sections and religions.
He ruled out any review of the Constitution and reached out to the Opposition by saying that the ruling side does not believe in forcing decisions using its majority but believes in working through consensus.
Replying to a two-day long debate on the Constitution in the Lok Sabha, Modi also rejected the Congress contention that the NDA government was trying to deny due credit or undermining the role of leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru, to whom he paid rich tributes.
Speaking in the backdrop of attack over 'intolerance', he asserted that diversity is the strength of India and it needs to be nurtured.
"For the government, the only 'dharma' is 'India first, the only 'dharma granth' (holy book) is the Constitution," the Prime Minister asserted in his about 70-minute reply to the debate during which opposition members raked up the issue of 'intolerance' and questioned his silence over the issue.
“The country will run by the Constitution and it should be run by the Constitution. India has fundamentally grown on this ideology. The country has the internal energy amassed over thousands of years which gives it the stimulus and capacity to deal with crises,” Modi said.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, B.R. Ambedkar and Nehru repeatedly, he underlined that the ‘Idea of India’ is reflected by the aspects like ‘Ahinsa Parmo Dharma (non-violence is supreme duty), ‘Sarv Dharma Sambhav’ (equal respect to all religions) and ‘Vasudev Kutumbakam’ (entire world is a family).
“Our country has been there for thousands of years.
Shortcomings do come. Even vices do crop up. But there is something that keeps us going. Even when vices come up, solutions also emerge from within the society... . It is like ‘auto pilot corrective arrangement and this is our strength,” the Prime Minister.
Asserting that the thrust of his government is on ‘sabka sath’ (cooperation from all), he said, “No section of the society should lag behind. If any part of the body is paralysed, the body cannot be called healthy. We have to empower people from all sections, be it any community, region or language.”
Noting that India has 12 religions, 122 languages and 1,600 dialects and comprises people who are believers in God as well as athiest, he said, “All should get justice. There should be harmony.” — PTI
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