“As I say very often, in my country, every morning begins with the ‘azaan’ followed closely by the bells of the Hanuman temple, followed closely by the recitation of the Granth Sahib in the Gurudwara, and followed on Sundays by the peal of church bells. Which other country can claim to have this. Yes, in other countries, in many countries, including the west, they may permit also. But they don’t permit the ‘azaan’ on loudspeakers. We, being Indians, even our secularism is very loud,” said Akbar.
He said that terrorists view this nature of secularism in India as a threat because terrorists believe in a faith-based state and do not believe in the idea of a nation state created for people of different religions to coexist.
Akbar, who was speaking on the topic ‘India’s foreign policy in the 21st century’, said, “Those who do not believe in nation states refuse to believe that crossborder terrorism can exist and therefore are a menace to stability, to world order and to plural harmony.”
Hinting at the United States of America, Akbar said that 9/11 “opened the eyes of the people who insisted on keeping their eyes closed to the existential dangers of terrorism.”
“I am, sometimes, surprised at how often these people whose eyes were opened relapse and why they insist on keeping their eyes closed. And I wonder why they seem to be waiting for it to happen again. For us, 9/11 is confirmation of something that we knew all through the life of free India,” Akbar said.
Akbar said that men and women today have ‘streams of communication’ at their hand and should use it responsibly and keeping in mind their country’s interests.
“I wish some of the people who seem to be talking, who clearly prove over and over again, they have no knowledge, no understanding, no sense of what governance is, I wish they did not discuss
Doklam. I wish they did not betray their own,” said Akbar.
He said that other countries express surprise at how two or more nations that are at war with one another individually give a warm welcome to the Indian Prime Minister. “And there is an answer. The answer is very simple. Because we have no aggressive objective towards anyone. We do not interfere. We believe that the only way forward is through peace and understanding and diplomacy,” he said.