Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday slammed former US president Barack Obama's statement about minority rights in India, saying he should first think about how many Muslim-majority countries were attacked during his tenure.
In an interview with CNN on Thursday, Obama reportedly said if India does not protect the rights of “ethnic minorities”, there is a strong possibility at some point that the country starts pulling apart.
Interacting with mediapersons at a national security conclave here, Singh said Obama should know that the people of India believe in the concept of 'vasudhaiva kutumbakam' and consider all people as members of one global family.
"He (Obama) should also think about how many Muslim countries he has attacked (as US president)," Singh told reporters when asked to react to Obama's remarks. Singh said India has a secular character as people of different religions, including Hindus, Muslims, and Christians live together harmoniously.
"I want to tell you with confidence that even Muslim countries would not have all the 72 sects of the community. It is only in India that you will find them all," he said. The defence minister said that certain forces across the world are responsible for creating a negative perception of India. But people should investigate the number of Muslim countries that India has attacked.
Singh's comments have come a day after Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman hit out at Obama, saying his remarks were surprising as six Muslim-majority countries had faced US "bombing" during his tenure. The finance minister alleged that "organised campaigns" were being run to level "baseless" allegations on the treatment meted out to minorities in India at the behest of the Opposition as it cannot electorally defeat the Modi-led BJP.