New Delhi (NVI): US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback on October 30, met Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi who told him that India is a heaven for minorities and their rights are absolutely safe in the country.
Naqvi apprised Brownback, during an hour-long meeting, about various schemes being undertaken by the government for socio-economic-educational empowerment and skill development of minorities.
The delegation appreciated the programmes of the Modi government for upliftment of the minorities, sources said.
The minister provided details of the scholarship programmes, especially for educational empowerment of girls.
He said because of the Modi government’s efforts, school dropout rate among minorities, which was above 70 per cent in 2014, has come down to about 35 per cent. “We are working to bring it at zero percent,” Naqvi said.
Naqvi said communal harmony and tolerance is in the DNA of majority community in India and social, religious and constitutional rights of minorities are absolutely safe in the country.
He said “India is a heaven for minorities” and drew a contrast to the situation in Pakistan, saying the neighbouring country has become “a hell for minorities”.
“Even after different religions, faiths, culture, languages, India is an example of ‘Unity in Diversity’ for the entire world,” the Minority Affairs Minister said.
He said ever since Modi government took over in 2014, not a single major riot has taken place in the country.
Regarding criminal incidents against individuals of minorities, Naqvi said strict action has been taken by the law enforcement agencies against perpetrators of such crimes, the sources said.