Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the "most acceptable leader" for a majority of the people from minority communities and they admire him and his government, Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said on Thursday.
He also dismissed a South Asia State of Minorities Report 2020 that has reportedly claimed that India has become increasingly intolerant of religious minorities, and asserted that the country is "safest" in the world for the people of minority communities.
In an interview with PTI, Naqvi said such "experimental reports keep coming" but a lot of work has been done for the social, economic and educational empowerment of the minorities in the last six years which will continue going forward.
Asked about the perception of the Modi government among minorities, he said, "Apart from the traditional and professional Modi bashers, among the minorities, he is the most acceptable leader."
"Majority among the minorities are admiring Modi, his government's working and the atmosphere of equal opportunities," Naqvi said, stressing that he was not talking in terms of votes.
No person from the six notified minorities -- Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Jains and Zorastrians (Parsis) -- can say that there is discrimination done against anyone under Modi's rule, he said.
Minorities have an equal share in all development schemes and there is an atmosphere of equal opportunity, the minister said.
"Under Modi 's rule, over four crore children of minorities get scholarships, drop out rates among girls from the minority communities has gone down, their participation in central government jobs has gone up to 10 per cent and also in the civil services, in the last few years so many from the minority communities have been selected," he said.
Their selection in civil services is not because of the government but due to their own hard work.
However, the atmosphere of discrimination was done away with by the Modi government, he said.
The minister also hailed the District Development Council (DDC) and the Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council polls in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, and said the response of people, who are openly participating in the democratic process, was "very encouraging".
Separatists, terrorists and anti-India forces have been isolated by the people there, Naqvi said.
Now Waqf boards will also be established there with separate Shia and Sunni Waqf boards in Kashmir and another Waqf board for Ladakh, Naqvi said.
"Earlier, either one family used to rule or another and if not them then a super family from Delhi used to come to power but now this dynastic politics has come to an end and people are getting to directly participate in the democratic process which is free and fair," he said in a swipe at the Mufti, Abdullah and Gandhi families.
On preparations for Haj 2021, the minority affairs minister said the government is carrying out its preparations in full swing and the entire process has been made completely online.
He said a final call on the pilgrimage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic will be taken after the decision by the Saudi government and his ministry was also in touch with the Health Ministry for priority inoculation of the Haj pilgrims when vaccines against the virus are available.