The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) in India is a coalition of center-right political parties that promotes pro-Hindu policies. It was founded by the BJP in 1998. Now, it is looking for a new president and one of the candidates was recorded in 2010 as saying that “Islam and Christianity are alien” to India. Ram Nath Kovind was addressing why he believed Christians and Muslims should not be allowed into the caste system. Because Islam and Christianity are ‘alien’ to India, followers of those religion do not deserve the same privileges as Hindus. Such a nominee reinforces the more extreme direction India has pursued and the danger religious minorities will continue to face.
06/20/2017 India (New Indian Express) –
“Islam and Christianity are alien” to India, NDAs Presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind said seven years ago when he was just appointed a BJP spokesperson.
Kovind, then a little known BJP leader, addressed a press conference at the BJP headquarters here on March 26, 2010, sought that the Justice Ranganath Misra Commission, which had recommended inclusion of Muslim and Christian converts among the Scheduled Castes, be “scrapped” and called the move “unconstitutional”.
Asked then by an IANS correspondent as to how Sikh Dalits could enjoy the quota privilege in the same category, he responded: “Islam and Christianity are alien to the nation.”
A Supreme Court ruling on March 25 that year had upheld the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to allow four per cent job quota for backward Muslims.
The proposed reservation for backward Muslims was a burning issue then as the National Commission on Religious and Linguistic Minorities, headed by Justice Misra, former Chief Justice of India, had in a report recommended that backward Muslim and Christian converts should be accorded Scheduled Castes status and given a quota.
Kovind, an RSS loyalist who worked for the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, said the Misra Committee recommendations were not possible to implement.