05/28/2014, 00.00
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Hindu nationalist Modi invites Nepal to "respect all minorities"

by Christopher Sharma
In a private interview, the new Indian Prime Minister said he is a "Hindu" but has a "deep respect for all religions”. His Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), a Hindu nationalist party , however, is linked to many cases of violence and persecution against ethnic and religious minorities in the country.

Kathmandu ( AsiaNews) - Narendra Modi, the newly elected prime minister of India, has invited Nepal to respect religious minorities in the country. This was one of the points discussed yesterday - in a private meeting - between the Prime Minister and his counterpart in Kathmandu, Shushil Koirala. In briefing reporters the meeting between the two leaders, Sujata Singh, secretary of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, explained that "our new Prime Minister of India is Hindu, but has a deep respect for all religions of the country."

Quoting Modi, Singh added that "it's been more than six years that Nepal became secular. So, India can't decide anything. India may only help Nepal's development. Nepal should respect all faiths and freedom to practice their faiths". In 2008, after a bitter civil war, the Hindu monarchy fell and Kathmandu became the capital of a secular republic.

Modi also added that Nepal and India share mutual concerns about security, because they share an open border. Finally, the Indian Prime Minister has expressed interest in the development of hydropower projects.

Narendra Modi won the election with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) , the right-wing ultra-nationalist Hindu party affiliated to fundamentalist groups such as the Sangh Parivar responsible for violence, persecution and attacks against ethnic and religious minorities in India. Among these organizations the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) stands out, a paramilitary group of which Modi himself was a member, since the age of eight.

In 2002 in Gujarat- while Modi was in government - one of the worst massacres in recent years between Hindus and Muslims took place, where the Islamic community paid the highest price. Narendra Modi is considered by many co-responsible for telling the police to  allow militant Hindu nationalists "give vent to their anger" before intervening.



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