Communal harmony and tolerance is in the DNA of the majority community in India, and the social, religious and constitutional rights of minorities are absolutely safe in the country, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told a visiting US delegation on Wednesday.
The delegation led by US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback met Naqvi. During the hour-long meeting, the Minority Affairs Minister talked about various programmes being undertaken by the Indian government for socioeconomic and educational empowerment of minorities, sources said.
The delegation lauded programmes of the Modi government for uplift of minorities, they said.
Naqvi, during the meeting, said that communal harmony and tolerance is in the DNA of the majority community in India, according to sources.
Social, religious and constitutional rights of minorities are absolutely safe in India, he was quoted as saying by the sources.
"While India is a heaven for minorities, Pakistan has become a hell for minorities. With different religions, faiths, culture, languages, India is an example of unity in diversity for the entire world," Naqvi said, according to the sources.
He said that no major riot took place after the Modi government came to power at the Centre in 2014.
On reports of violence against minorities, Naqvi said that criminal incidents should not be given communal colour.
Strict action has been taken by the law-enforcement agencies against perpetrators of any criminal incidents, he stressed during the meeting.
During the meeting, Naqvi also talked about the government's various scholarship programmes especially for the educational empowerment of girls, sources said.
Due to the efforts of the Modi government, the school dropout rate among minorities has come down to about 35 per cent from above 70 per cent in 2014, Naqvi was quoted as saying.
"We are working to bring it to zero per cent," he told the US delegation, according to the sources