“Those talking about the Constitution, laws, secularism will continue to do so only as long as Hindus are in majority in this country. May god prevent this from happening, but if in another 1,000-2,000 years, the number of Hindus reduces, and (the number of) people from another religion increases, there will be no courts, Lok Sabha, Constitution, secularism…they will all vanish in thin air, nothing will remain.”
Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel sparked a row while speaking at an event on Friday which was organized by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).
He stood firm on his remark, but also clarified that he was not talking about all the Muslims or Christians, as a large number of them are patriots. “I do not talk about all of them. Thousands and lakhs of Muslims, Christians are patriots. Thousands of Muslims are in the Indian Army, hundreds of Muslims are in the Gujarat police force. They are all patriots. But (I am talking about those) who are not,” he said.
The Deputy CM also broached the topic of the state’s controversial anti-conversion law — the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 — enacted by the government to prevent forcible religious conversion by marriages.
Certain sections of the Act have been stayed by the High Court after a couple of petitions challenged the constitutionality of the law’s provisions, and the Gujarat government has stated that it will challenge the stay order in the Supreme Court.
“I have to ask those who have moved writ in the court, will you still challenge the Act if somebody (from another religion) takes away your daughter (for forcible marriage and converts her religion)?…I have to ask that organisation as to what is their objection to Hindu girls marrying Hindus, Muslim girls marrying Muslims, Christian girls marrying Christians, Sikh girls marrying Sikhs,” he said.
Patel said that when the law applies equally to a Hindu boy forcibly entering into a marriage and converting a Muslim girl, then why only the Muslim organisation was troubled by the law.
Hitting out at Patel, the Congress party said that the BJP and RSS want to divide India.