Describing India as a land of Buddha and Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said its culture does not accept anything that is against the basic social values. He was responding during a media interaction in London during his two-day UK visit.
“India does not accept intolerance even if it is one or two or three incidents. But for a country of 125 crore people whether it is significant or not, it does not matter. For us every incident is serious. We do not tolerate it,” Modi replied, when a reporter referred to recent incidents ofintolerance and asked why India was becoming an increasingly intolerant place, adding, “The law will deal severely with such incidents. India is a vibrant democracy and we are committed to it.”
He further said that law takes strong action and will continue to do so. “India is a vibrant democracy which under Constitution provides protection all citizens, their lives and thoughts. We are committed to it,” said the 65-year-old Prime Minister.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on his maiden visit to London, 13 years after he was barred from entering the country because of his record as Gujarat Chief Minister.The country rolled out the red carpet to receive the first PM from India in a decade.
UK’s PM David Cameron was asked who was standing by Modi as to how comfortable he was feeling to receive Modi into the country given the fact that during his (Cameron’s) first tenure, Modi was not permitted to visit UK.
“I am pleased to welcome Modi. He comes here with an enoromous and historic mandate. As far as the other issue is concern, there were legal proceedings. Earlier today, he was received by the British government and I discussed with him how the two countries can work together,” Cameron responded.
Stating that Modi did not deserve the respect that would normally be accorded to the leader of the world’s largest democracy given his record as Gujarat Chief Minister, a reporter also asked Modi about protests during the day on the streets of London.
Responding to the question, Modi said, “I want to set the record straight. In 2003 when I came here I got an enthusiastic reception then also. The UK had never barred me from coming here. There was no bar. It is a wrong perception. I want to set it right.”
While the US administration had denied visa to Modi after the 2002 riots, the British Government was cold to him for long. But before the 2014 elections, the British High Commissioner visited Gandhi Nagar and met Modi, in a signal that London was warming up to him as media had already projected that Modi was on the rise.
Earlier, Narendra Modi and his UK counterpart David Cameron paid homage to the Gandhi statue in Parliament Square.