Minorities are "flourishing" in India and have been an equal partner in development without discrimination under the Modi government, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Tuesday, dismissing allegations of Islamophobia as an attempt to defame the country.
The "Narendra Modi phobia club" has been unable to digest the inclusive growth under the prime minister and is engaged in a "nefarious campaign" in India and abroad through fake propaganda alleging "intolerance, communalism and discrimination" against minorities in India, Naqvi said.
In a blog titled "Islamophobia -- Bogey of Bogus Bashing Brigade", the minority affairs minister argued that the "Modi phobia club" is playing the
"Islamophobia card" to harm the pluralistic fabric of India, but will not succeed.
Naqvi's remarks come days after a wave of angry reactions on Twitter by citizens and rights activists from various Arab countries following allegations that Muslims are being blamed for spreading COVID-19 in parts of India.
Also, the 57-member prominent international Mulim grouping, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, recently accused India of "Islamophobia".
India has dismissed all such allegations.
"Minorities in India are flourishing equally with all the citizens with a sense of equality, security and prosperity. Misinformation against such a gracious and tolerant country and its effective leadership is nothing but the height of ignorance and mental bankruptcy," Naqvi said.
He claimed that no riot took place in last 5 years of the Modi government and it was after "nefarious preaching" by those who were irked by this that the Delhi riots happened.
Naqvi said the women who sat on protests at Shaheen Bagh cannot be termed "anti-nationals" but they had been "misguided by the bogus bashing brigade".
This brigade pushed these women on a path which had an "entry gate" but no "exit gate", the minister said.
This was a "calculated conspiracy" by the brigade that wants to defame and disgrace Modi and India, Naqvi said.
He also argued that for the "first time since Independence", India has forged close and strong ties with nearly all Islamic nations and countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Afghanistan, Russia, Palestine, Mauritius and the Maldives have conferred Modi with their highest civilian awards.
"The United Nations has also conferred Narendra Modi with the prestigious 'Champions of the Earth Award'. Prime Minister Narendra Modi's global acceptance and popularity doesn't need any certificate," Naqvi said.
The Modi government never planned development on the basis of Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians or on region and caste, and its priority has been the poor and deprived, Naqvi said, adding that still some people with a "prejudiced mindset" are trying to defame India by raising the bogey of Islamophobia.
There is not a single incident of discrimination against any section of the society, including minorities under the Modi government, the minister asserted.
All sections, including minorities, are strongly moving forward on the path of "development with dignity" under the Modi government, he said.
When the challenges due to the coronavirus were in initial stages across the world in early January and several countries, including Pakistan, had not taken care of their people abroad, it was the Modi government that brought back thousands of Indians stranded in Wuhan (China), Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other countries, Naqvi said, adding that a majority of these people were Muslims.
In the recent Vande Bharat Mission also, the Indian government is bringing back thousands of Indians from countries such as the Maldives, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and other countries which include a large number of Muslims, he pointed out.
"Strong eternal commitment of my country will defeat and demolish the fake and fabricated Islamophobia card of the 'India bashing brigade'," Naqvi said in his blog.