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New Delhi: Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel has said that talks about India’s constitution, laws and secularism will last only as long as Hindus are in the majority in the country, and none of the country’s “courts, Lok Sabha, Constitution, secularism” will remain in case Hindus are reduced to a minority.
“Those talking about the Constitution, laws, secularism will continue to do so only as long as Hindus are in majority in this country. May god prevent this from happening, but if in another 1,000-2,000 years, the number of Hindus reduces, and (the number of) people from another religion increases, there will be no courts, Lok Sabha, Constitution, secularism…they will all vanish in thin air, nothing will remain,” he said.
Addressing an event on Friday to mark the idol installation ceremony at a temple of goddess ‘Bharat Mata’ in Gandhinagar organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), he added that he was not talking about all the Muslims or Christians, as a large number of them are patriots.
“I do not talk about all of them. Thousands and lakhs of Muslims, Christians are patriots. Thousands of Muslims are in the Indian Army, hundreds of Muslims are in Gujarat police force. They are all patriots. But (I am talking about those) who are not,” he said.
Patel criticised a Muslim organisation (Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind) for challenging the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 – that seeks to stop religious conversions through interfaith marriages using force – and wondered why it was troubled by the law even when it is not religion-specific.
He said that the government brought an amendment to the Act after much deliberation due to the concerns raised over cases of “love jihad”.
“I have to ask those who have moved writ in the court, will you still challenge the Act if somebody (from another religion) takes away your daughter (for forcible marriage and converts her religion)?…I have to ask that organisation as to what is their objection to Hindu girls marrying Hindus, Muslim girls marrying Muslims, Christian girls marrying Christians, Sikh girls marrying Sikhs,” he said.
The Gujarat high court had recently stayed several sections of the controversial Act till the pendency of the case, noting that they could be used to harass interfaith couples.
The court said, “We are of the opinion that pending further hearing, rigors of section 3,4, 4a to 4c, 5, 6, and 6a shall not operate merely because the marriage is solemnised by a person of one religion with another religion without force, allurement or fraudulent means and such marriages cannot be termed as marriage for the purpose of unlawful conversion.”
(With PTI inputs)