Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday finally broke his silence over the Bisada lynching saying Hindus and Muslims should fight against poverty and not against each other.
“I have said this before and I will repeat myself. We should decide if Hindus want to fight Muslims or poverty. Muslims must decide if they want to fight Hindus or poverty. Hindus and Muslims must unite to fight poverty and defeat it,” said Modi while speaking about bomb blasts at his October 2013 election rally in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan.
He said that the country has to stay unite while addressing an election rally in Nawada in Bihar.
Modi’s remark comes a day after President Pranab Mukherjee called for tolerance amid a sea of provocative statements from both sides on banning cow slaughter.
“The president’s message is the best guidance we can get as a nation. Let us follow the path shown by him,” Modi said.
“It is the unity, communal harmony, brotherhood and peace that will take the nation forward,” he added.
Modi also asked the people to ignore controversial statements made by politicians, saying they were doing so for political gains.
“Some politicians are making irresponsible statements for political interests… Such statements should end… Do not pay attention to such statements, even if Modi himself makes any such statement,” he said.
Modi has been under attack from political rivals for his silence for ten days after a 55-year-old Muslim man was lynched in Bisada in Uttar Pradesh over rumours he was eating beef.
The Congress immediateley reacted to Modi’s speech saying it was “ better late than never.”
On Wednesday, President Mukherjee at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said the country should keep in mind core values of diversity and tolerance.
“I firmly believe that we cannot allow the core values of our civilization to be wasted and the core values is what over the years the civilization celebrated diversity, promoted and advocated tolerance, endurance and plurality.
“These core civilization values keep us together over the centuries. Many ancient civilizations have fallen. But that is right that aggression after aggression, long foreign rule, the Indian civilization has survived because of its core civilizational values and we must keep that in mind. And if we keep those core values in mind, nothing can prevent our democracy to move,” he had said.