The government should deal with an iron hand with those who spoke against religious sentiments in a derogatory manner and disturbed harmony in society, said State Minorities Commission chairperson Peter Alphonse on Thursday.
“We do not expect leniency from the government. Communal harmony should not be disturbed,” said Mr. Alphonse when asked about the comments of a Christian priest against Hindus and Bharat Mata in Kanniyakumari.
Though the priest had expressed regret for his comments, his speech, which was shared widely on social media, has caused anger and Hindu organisations have demanded his arrest.
Mr. Alphonse, who met reporters in Chennai along with Minorities Welfare Minister Gingee K.S. Masthan and other members of the Commission, requested the government to give powers to the commission to classify and certify “genuine minority educational institutions” in the State. “There is a need to differentiate genuine institutions from others who make use of the minority status for their own benefits,” he said.
Explaining a resolution adopted in the meeting, he sought Bharat Ratna to be posthumously conferred on former Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, who he said prevented the entry of fascist forces in Tamil Nadu.
Mr. Masthan said in the last 10 years vacancies for minorities in government jobs were not filled and there was a need to do it immediately to give effect to the 3.5% reservation.