Two days after veteran Bollywood actor Naseeruddin Shah expressed concern over "intolerance" in the country while speaking on the killing of a policeman in Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr district on December 3, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said no nation in the world was as tolerant as India. "India is the only country in the world where people from various prominent religions co-exist peacefully... They have contributed in making India empowered, self-reliant and prosperous and will continue to do so," Singh said.
The Home Minister, who was in Lucknow to attend the 114th foundation day of King George's Medical University (KGMU), said: "The tolerance that exists in India, I don't think can be found in any corner of the world."
The actor found himself at the centre of a major controversy over the remarks. Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh and a student, Sumit Kumar, were killed in the mob violence after cow carcasses were found strewn around. The main accused in the case is a local Bajrang Dal leader, Yogesh Raj, who is still absconding.
Without taking Shah’s name, Singh said: “India is the only country where people of all religions live together peacefully. There are 72 sects in Islam, all of them are found here, not even the Islamic countries have all.”
HM Rajnath Singh on Naseeruddin Shah's statement: India is the only country where people of all religions live together peacefully. There are 72 sects in Islam, all of them are found here, not even the Islamic countries have all. There’s no question of intolerance in the country pic.twitter.com/r13GEsUZo2— ANI (@ANI) December 23, 2018
Addressing an event to highlight the 100-day achievements of the Punjab government in Lahore on Saturday, Khan said his government was taking steps to ensure that religious minorities in Pakistan get their due rights, which was also a vision of the country's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The Pakistani prime minister added thaá¹ his government will make it sure that the minorities feel safe, protected and have equal rights in 'New Pakistan'.
"We will show the Modi government how to treat minorities...Even in India, people are saying that minorities are not being treated as equal citizens," he said referring to Shah's statement.
Hitting Khan back, the BJP on Sunday said Pakistan is 'terroristan' and it need not teach India anything, a day after its Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would show the Narendra Modi government “how to treat minorities".
Addressing a press conference, BJP national spokesperson Sambit Patra also said Khan can "surely teach Congress a lot. After all, the party considers the nation angelic".
"Pakistan is 'terroristan'. It gave shelter to (Osama Bin) Laden. It need not teach us anything," he said.
(With PTI inputs)