Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for unity across religions and castes against the backdrop of increasing incidents of communal and casteist violence.
“India is full of diversity. It has different sects, different religions, different languages and different castes. There are so many diversities in our India and this diversity is our beauty,” the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
“The mantra of unity should always be the medium of our thinking, our behaviour and expression,” Modi said in his 35-minute address.
He said if this diversity was not there, “we would not have been able to feel proud. Therefore, diversity is the mantra of unity.”
Modi’s call comes for unity comes amid opposition complaints that he was not speaking out enough against the attacks on Muslims and Dalits, including the lynching of a man in Uttar Pradesh over rumours of eating beef and the burning of a Dalit’s house in Haryana.
Invoking Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel ahead of his birth anniversary, he strongly batted for ‘unity in diversity’ while asserting that peace, harmony and unity are the key to progress.
“Let us pay tribute to Sardar (Patel) sahab. Take the unity mantra forward,” he said.