New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday that his government was committed to ushering in development in the country without any discrimination on the basis of religion.
“I assures that nobody will be left out and not discriminated against on religious lines. Everyone will move forward by enjoying the Fundamental Rights given in the Constitution,” Modi said while addressing through videoconference the centenary celebrations of the Aligarh Muslim University in Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Modi is only the second Prime Minister to address an AMU function after Lal Bahadur Shastri 56 years ago.
The Prime Minister pointed out that during the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the Union government did not discriminate against anyone and gave free food grains to 80 crore poor.
He said that the Union government had also got opened 40 crore bank accounts, given houses to 2 crore persons and built toilets for 10 crore others under the ‘Clean India Mission’.
“Developmental issues should not be looked at from the political angle. The new India will shun the narrow political outlook,” Modi remarked.
Due to government policies, the dropout rate among Muslim women, which was 70 per cent in the last many decades, had now dropped to only 30 per cent due to increase in the number of toilets constructed in educational institutions, he added.
During his speech, Modi recalled the AMU’s rich heritage of 100 years.
Modi quoted Sir Syed Ahmed Khan — who set up the Muhammadan-Anglo Oriental College that later became the AMU — that a person who loved his country will think of the welfare of the people without any prejudice.
He said that there may be ideological differences but the new India will offer common ground to all, as was the case during the freedom struggle.
The Prime Minister congratulated the university for increasing the number of female students to 35 per cent, adding that the government had provided 1 crore scholarships for such students.
Education leads to employment and entrepreneurship which in turn results in economic independence, he pointed out.
Modi said that during the pandemic, the AMU served the needy and even donated money in the PM-CARES fund to show their responsibility towards the nation.
Hailing the university for promoting diversity, the Prime Minister also said that it was one of the strengths of the country.
The AMU had helped India strengthen its relations with Muslim countries and nearly 1,000 foreign students were currently on its rolls. The Prime Minister said that the university should strengthen its soft power.
Modi said that the country was moving ahead after the ban on instant Triple Talaq.
The Prime Minister also released a postal stamp at the event, where University Chancellor Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin and Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank were also present.