NEW DELHI: An "atmosphere of development" is prevailing in the country but there is no commensurate "atmosphere of trust" among people, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said today as he urged representatives of minorities commissions to work towards "correcting" it.
Addressing the concluding session of an annual conference of State Minorities Commissions here today, the Minister of State for Minority Affairs also targeted the opposition for allegedly exploiting secularism to divide people for political gains and asserted no "destructive" agenda can affect the Centre's commitment towards "inclusive growth".
"I can't say everything is fine (in the country), several problems are there. There is an atmosphere of development but there is no (commensurate) atmosphere of trust.
"Somewhere, there is an atmosphere of suspicion among people, which I would like to note with honesty. And it is the equal responsibility of governments, be it central or states, and minorities commissions to correct it," he said.
Hitting out at the opposition without naming any party, Naqvi said secularism runs through the veins of the people of India but it is being exploited for political interests.
"When we say our country is a secular country, secularism has become a big part of Indian politics. Sometimes, we feel that secularism, which was incorporated in the Constitution to bring together communities, is being used to divide people," he said.
The minister lauded "unequivocal patriotism" of minorities, especially that of Muslims, and said the country's history is "witness" to that.
He assured the gathering of the NDA government's commitment towards achieving the goal of "inclusive growth" and said no "destructive" efforts can dominate the Centre's development agenda. "So, judge us based on our performance, not on what some people say after some minor incidents."
Naqvi asked national and state minorities commissions to develop confidence among the people who, he said, look up to them for justice.
The concluding session was also attended by National Commission for Minorities (NCM) chairman Naseem Ahmad, member Praveen Davar, secretary Amrendra Sinha and representatives of State Minorities Commissions.