Paris, Apr 10: At a time when India is witnessing increased activities of right-wing groups, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said his government will defend the rights of citizens of all faiths.
Modi, during his address at the UNESCO headquarters here, also asked the global community to dwell deep on culture and religion to overcome the rising tide of extremism as well as violence.
Noting that culture remains a source of conflict in many parts of the world, Modi said it must connect and not divide and that it should be a bridge to greater respect and understanding between people.
"We must turn deep into our cultures; traditions; and religions; to overcome the rising tide of extremism, violence, and divisions across the world," said the Prime Minister.
The Modi government is under attack from opposition parties as well as some minority community groups for not being able to curb the activities like 'Ghar Wapsi' (conversions) by RSS-backed groups.
Calling climate change a pressing global challenge, the Prime Minister who arrived here late last night, said his government has set a target of adding 175,000 MW of clean and renewable energy in the next seven years.
His remarks come ahead of a crucial UN meet on climate change to be held here later this year. Modi also noted that the foundation of India's Constitution rests on a fundamental principle of the peace and prosperity of all.
"The strength of the nation is determined by the joined hands of every citizen; and, real progress is measured through empowerment of the weakest," he said.