Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to UNESCO emphasised that his government is committed to defend people of all faith. PM Modi is currently on a 2 day tour to France, which will be followed by visits to Germany and Canada.
“We will defend and protect rights and liberty of every citizen. Will ensure people of every faith, culture and creed have an equal place”, PM Narendra Modi told the gathering of diplomats and other delegates in Paris.
PM Modi’s statement has come at a time of series of attacks on churches, members of minority community and increased activities of right-wing groups. Prominent Indian Christians too have expressed unease over these attacks. The Union government has also come under the attack of the Opposition parties for not being able to curb the activities like ‘Ghar Wapsi’ and conversion drives, which are openly backed by the RSS and its affiliates.
Noting that culture remains a source of conflict in many parts of the world, PM Modi said it must connect and not divide and that it should be a bridge to greater respect and understanding between people.
“We must turn deep into our cultures, traditions, and religions; to overcome the rising tide of extremism, violence, and divisions across the world,” said the Prime Minister.
The PM also also spoke on the need to address the issue of rising pollution, terming climate change a global challenge. “It calls for a collective human action and a comprehensive response,” PM Narendra Modi said appreciating various initiative of UNESCO.
The issue of pollution has taken a prime precedence for the NDA government. Earlier this week in the capital he launched National Air Quality Index, which will help in providing information on the quality of air in major cities of India.
Calling climate change a pressing global challenge, the Prime Minister who arrived here late last night, said his government has set a target of adding 175,000 MW of clean and renewable energy in the next seven years.
His remarks come ahead of a crucial UN meet on climate change to be held here later this year.
The Prime Minister also noted that the foundation of India’s Constitution rests on a fundamental principle of the peace and prosperity of all.
“The strength of the nation is determined by the joined hands of every citizen; and, real progress is measured through empowerment of the weakest,” he said.