Thiruvananthapuram: Contending that the definition of secularism has been distorted, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday invoked Jan Sangh ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay to say that Muslims should be treated as “your own” rather than seeing them as “items of vote market”.
Addressing the BJP Council meeting here, he said his government’s mission of ‘sabka sath, sabka vikas’ is not a political slogan but a commitment to ensure welfare of the last man in the society. In his speech, Modi spoke at length about secularism, balanced and inclusive growth and need for electoral reforms while paying tributes to Upadhyay on his 100th birth anniversary.
“These days, the definition has been distored. Even nationalism is cursed these days,” he said.
While talking about life and contribution of Upadhyay, Modi quoted him as saying, “don’t reward nor rebuke Muslims. Empower them. They are not items of vote market nor are they substance of hate. Treat them as your own.”
At the conclusion of the two-day BJP conclave here aimed at making inroads in Kerala, the Prime Minister traced the party’s journey from the days of Jan Sangh and asserted that “we never compromised with our ideology”.
He said if the BJP had compromised with the ideology, it could have attained power long back.