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NEW DELHI: Strongly countering US President Barack Obama's charge of "religious intolerance" in

India, the Modi government has conveyed to Washington that the usual notion of alienation of
minorities is not valid in the Indian context as the government has ensured their socio-economic
and political integration with the mainstream.
Addressing the White House summit in Washington DC last week on Countering Violent
Extremism, chief of of India's Joint Intelligence Committee RN Ravi reeled off facts and figures
relating to minority welfare schemes and measures undertaken by the government, to underline that
the social, educational and economic empowerment of the smaller communities was taken due care
of.
READ ALSO: Obama smacks down India for religious intolerance, says Gandhi would
have been shocked
Drawing attention to the higher population growth of smaller communities in India over the last six
decades, India told the three-day summit - attended by President Obama, US vice-president Joe
Biden and UN secretary-general Ban-ki-Moon -- that this credibly indicated their "ease and sense of
stake in a happy co-existence with the rest". Pointing to institutions such as a Union ministry for
minority affairs and National Commission for Minorities, Ravi underlined that these were focused
on educational and economic empowerment of smaller communities, as well as addressing concerns
relating to their rights.
India argued how its being a liberal, plural and secular democracy was its core strength, and helped
to ensure the "socio-economic and political integration of communities comprising the demographic
mosaic, with the mainstream".

Stating that the government's response to violent extremism was calibrated to prevent
disproportionate use of force, India highlighted how it had never used "air power" or "area weapon"
to combat violent extremism. "India's National Security Guard, the nodal counter-terrorism force, is
a police organization...the police with its roots in the communities deals with violent extremism
firmly yet with human touch," Ravi said adding that even the Army was bound by India civil laws
and functioned as "an empowered police".
READ ALSO: India will succeed so long as it is not splintered on sectarian lines,
Obama says
India took pride in the fact that despite a population of 180 million Muslims, there had been hardly
any case of recruitment of Indian Mulsims to any of the violent Pan Islamist groups. "Terrorism that
India faces has their source often outside the country," declared Ravi.
Even the 65% turnout in the recent polls in Jammu & Kashmir, India's only Muslim-majority state,
was highlighted at the US meet as "a testimony to its (India's) success story".

As per facts presented by Ravi at the White House summit, a major chunk of education budget in
India was earmarked for the smaller communities, enabling rewarding of scholarships to nearly 40
million boys and girls over the last five years, for higher and technical studies. Under government
programmes for enhanced skill development of smaller communities, institutions offered 33% seats
to girls. Besides, nearly 1,200 new school buildings, 21,000 classrooms, 700 hostels, 150 industrial
training institutes and 4,000 primary health centres had come up in areas dominated by the smaller
communities in the last five years.
The government had, over the last two years, trained over 1.7 lakh women belonging to the
minorities, under its scheme 'Leadership Development of Minority Women', preparing them for
participation in grassroots democratic institutions and for accessing institutional finance.
The National Minorities Development and Finance Cooperation disbursed concessional loans of
over $500 million to entrepreneurs from smaller communities, for self-employment.