London, Nov 12 (IANS) India will never tolerate intolerance as it is the land of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here on Thursday.
Asked about allegations of rising intolerance in India, Modi also promised to take “strict action” against those who indulged in acts of violence.
“India will not tolerate intolerance,” he told a press conference he addressed along with British Prime Minister David Cameron.
India, he said, was the land of Lord Buddha and Mahatma Gandhi.
Modi’s comments follow widespread condemnation of the September 28 killing of a Muslim man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh over rumours that he ate beef.
The issue was played up in a major way in the just ended Bihar assembly elections which Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) badly lost.
Modi, who arrived here on a three-day visit, said the Indian authorities would “take strict action against those who indulge in such (violent) acts”.
“We are a democracy and committed to freedom of speech,” he said. “We are not an intolerant society.”
India won’t tolerate any incident of bigotry, however small, Modi said.
A host of writers, artistes and film makers have in recent weeks returned their national awards in protest against what they say is rising intolerance, at times leading to murder.