Dutch king calls on India to ensure its people can live as equals
Dutch king Willem-Alexander has given a gentle rebuke to the Indian government for suppressing minority groups such as Muslims in a speech at a state banquet given in his honour, broadcaster NOS reported.
During the speech, the king stressed that ‘our wish is that, for future generations too, India will be a country where there is room for all Indians, whatever their belief, origin or position in society.’ ‘India must be a country ‘in which everyone can make their voice heard, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the coastal plains of Kerala’, the king, on a five-day visit, said. ‘If 1.3 billion people can live as equals and develop their talents in freedom, India will be invincible,’ the king said. He went on: ‘”No culture can live if it attempts to be exclusive”.’
We were taught that by Mahatma Gandhi, the 150th anniversary of whose birth we celebrate this year. The reverse of his words is also true: an inclusive society is a vibrant society!’ The comments were ‘subtle’ but ‘clear’ for those who could understand, NOS commentator Kysia Hekster said.
The king was effectively speaking in the name of the government and the speech must be balanced between expressing concerns and not pointing the finger, she said. Prime minister Narendra Modi is a staunch Hindu nationalist and communal violence has been rising against Muslims, according to Human Rights Watch. While the majority of Indians are Hindus, Muslims and people of other faiths account for around one fifth of the population.
Courtesy : Dutch News.nl