Contending that the definition of secularism has been distorted, Prime Minister Narendra Modi invoked Jan Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya on Sunday to say that Muslims should be treated as “your own” rather than seeing them as “items of vote market”.
Addressing the BJP’s national council meeting in Kozhikode, he said his government’s mission of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ is not a political slogan but a commitment to ensure welfare of the last man in the society.
In his speech, Modi spoke at length about secularism, balanced and inclusive growth and need for electoral reforms while paying tributes to Upadhyaya on his 100th birth anniversary.
“These days, the definition has been distorted. Even nationalism is cursed these days,” he said.
While talking about life and contribution of Upadhyaya, Modi quoted him as saying: “Don’t reward or rebuke Muslims. Empower them. They are not items of vote market nor are they substance of hate. Treat them as your own.”
At the conclusion of the two-day BJP conclave aimed at making inroads in Kerala, the Prime Minister traced the party’s journey from the days of Jan Sangh and asserted that “we never compromised with our ideology”.
He said if the BJP had compromised with the ideology, it could have attained power long back.