Continuing his tirade against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer equated him with Hitler and stated that his divisive policies will prove detrimental to India's composite culture.
"Modi is adopting same policies which Hitler pursued in Germany in 1930s. He is a snake and dangerous for India's unity and stability," Aiyar said at a book launch function at the India Islamic Centre last night. Minority affairs minister K Rehman Khan released a book titled "Muslims most civilised, yet not enough," written by Dr Javed Jamil.
The function was attended by Congress leader Rashid Masood, Jamait leader Maulana Mehmood Madni while Islamic Centre chief Sirajuddin Quershi presided over the function.
Aiyer rubbished Modi's claim that Muslims in Gujarat voted for Modi in the recently held assembly elections. "What is so big about it? Even Jews voted for Hitler and yet they were persecuted by him," Aiyar said.
The former minister said that Modi cannot escape blame for the 2002 riots in Gujarat, in which several thousand people were killed. He said that vast majority of people in India reject "communal and divisive" policies of the BJP. India's strength is in its secular character and it's because of this that India is highly respected in the international community.
He also challenged Modi's claim that his state has achieved 8% growth. It is not only Gujarat, but five other states, including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and other states which recorded high growth, he said. He said that during the 11th plan period, India achieved 8% growth notwithstanding the difficult international economic situation.
Rehman Khan highlighted socio-economic problems of Muslims and said that a lot needed to be done to improve their living standards. He said that Islam is against violence and terror. A handful of people malign the entire community on the basis of some stray incidents, he stated.