New Delhi, Jun 1: Accusing the previous Congress-led government of talking only about the sentiments of minorities, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla on Monday said the sentiments of majority community should also be taken into account.
"I have one principle in life, I should not hurt anybody's sentiments. You are talking about the sentiments of minority community. Shouldn't we also think of the sentiments of the majority community," Heptulla said when asked about the ban on beef in some states during a press conference organised on the occasion of inauguration of Central Waqf Bhawan here.
The minister said there are people who have special feelings for cow, and those sentiments of the majority community should also be respected.
"What is there, after all, in food? You can eat anything. But if you are prohibited to eat one thing why should you feel so hurt? By hurting some other people's sentiments you eat it, it is not fair. I am of that view.
"Unfortunately, the previous government had always talked of the sentiments of minority. But, we should also look at the sentiments of my neighbour," she said.
Terming as "unfortunate" the recent incident of communal violence in Atali village near Faridabad in Haryana, Heptullah said such incidents should not happen.
"We should live harmoniously, the fabric of our country is such," Heptulla said, adding that she had already discussed the incident with Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
She also said that the constitutional principles have to be upheld and the government should act against those who work against the spirit of the Constitution.
To a question on encroachment of Waqf properties, Heptulla said presently, a Bill in this regard was with the Standing Committee of Rajya Sabha, which would provide the required powers to remove illegal encroachers from Waqf properties.
Heptulla, however, said that these encroachments would not have happened in the first place had proper attention been paid on this issue in past six decades. When asked how many Waqf properties were encroached, Heptulla said, "approximately 40 per cent".
She said Modi government was honestly trying to do things which earlier only appeared to happen on paper.