Lucknow: Rebuffing allegations that intolerance was rising in the country, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said Sunday no nation in the world was as tolerant as India. Singh made the remarks two days after actor Naseeruddin Shah had expressed concern over “intolerance” in the country while referring to the killing of a policeman in a mob violence, triggered by alleged cow slaughter, in Bulandshahr earlier this month.
Singh, who was here to attend the 114th foundation day of King George’s Medical University (KGMU), told reporters, “The tolerance that exists in India, I don’t think can be found in any corner of the world.” “India is the only country in the world where people from various prominent religions co-exist peacefully… They have contributed in making India empowered, self-reliant and prosperous and will continue to do so,” he added.
The veteran actor had Friday said that the death of a cow was being given importance over killing of a policeman in the violence. Asked about the cyber surveillance order, the home minister, who is also the Member of Parliament from Lucknow said, “The ministry has already given its clarification in this regard. Since, Parliament is in session, I cannot speak anything outside… Whatever I have to say, I will say in Parliament.” Ten central agencies were on December 20 authorised by the Centre to intercept, monitor and decrypt all the data contained in any computer system.
The move set off a political storm with the opposition accusing the government of trying to create a “surveillance state”. The Centre, however, said the rules for intercepting and monitoring computer data were framed in 2009 when the Congress-led UPA was in power and its new order only notified the designated authority which can carry out such action. While addressing the foundation day programme at the university, Rajnath Singh said, as far as public health spending is concerned, the government has not been able to spend enough on the sector.
He said, “The spending of the government on the health sector is 1.16 per cent of the GDP, and it is our effort to take it to 2.5 per cent”. On the demand for AIIMS-like status for KGMU, Singh said, he held discussion in this regard with the health minister, but some policy changes have to be brought in first.