Of religious freedom and unity: 10 takeaways from Modi's speech

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Feb 17, 2015 20:17 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday condemned the continuing attack on Christian churches in Delhi, saying his government will ensure complete freedom of faith.

In a symbolic gesture, Modi chose an event organised by Christian organisations to celebrate two saints from Kerala, to break his silence on the issue.

Here are 10 top takeaways from the Prime Minister's speech.

# My government will ensure that there is complete freedom of faith and that everyone has the undeniable right to retain or adopt the religion of his or her choice without coercion or undue influence.

# My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly.

# Mine will be a government that gives equal respect to all religions.

# India is the land of Buddha and Gandhi. Equal respect for all religions must be in the DNA of every Indian.

# We cannot accept violence against any religion on any pretext and I strongly condemn such violence. My government will act strongly in this regard.

# I appeal to all religious groups to act with restraint, mutual respect, and tolerance in the true spirit of this ancient nation which is manifest in our Constitution and is in line with the Hague Declaration.

# My mantra is development - 'Sabka sath, sabka vikas'. In simple terms it means food on every table, every child in school, a job for everybody and a house with toilet and electricity for every family.

# Unity strengthens us. Division weakens us. I sincerely request all Indians, and all of you present here to support me in this huge task.

# India’s openness to new ideas is manifest in the Rig Veda: Let noble thoughts come to us from all sides. This philosophy has guided our intellectual discourse since time immemorial.

# The tradition of welcoming, respecting and honouring all faiths is as old as India itself.Swami Vivekananda said: We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true.

Video: Modi bats for religious tolerance

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