Union home minister Rajnath Singh endorsed on Monday US President Barack Obama’s warning that an India divided on religious lines would not progress, saying there was no room for campaigns such as ‘ghar wapsi’ that were being pushed by Hindu groups.
Singh’s comments come in the backdrop of outrage among right-wing Hindu groups with Obama’s remarks at the end of his otherwise successful trip to India last month.
Radical Hindu groups said Obama’s sharp parting shot was aimed at pleasing Christian missionaries and Islamic clerics, but the BJP has largely managed to stay away from the controversy. Singh’s comments are the first on the issue from a top-ranking BJP leader.
Asked about his views on Obama’s remarks, Singh said: “I think that comment was really unfortunate,” but quickly added that he endorsed Obama’s views.
“But he (Obama) is right; India cannot progress without unity,” Singh said, looking visibly uncomfortable with the question. He was speaking to reporters after a visit to a Lingayat monastry in Chitradurga, Karnataka.
Singh went as far as to condemn the Sangh Parivar’s conversion campaign, saying “there is no scope for any activity like ghar wapsi in the nation”.