Row over remarks on Prophet harmed India’s reputation: NSA Doval

On resistance from army aspirants to the Agnipath scheme, he said there are “conflict entrepreneurs” with vested interests who are behind the protests over the scheme.

The controversy surrounding the BJP’s Nupur Sharma and Naveen Jindal’s remarks about Prophet Mohammed has harmed India’s reputation internationally, said National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval on Tuesday.

“It has (deteriorated India’s reputation), in the sense that India has been projected or some disinformation has been spread against India which is far from the reality. Probably there is a need for us to engage them and talk to them and convince them. And you will find that wherever we have gone, wherever we have engaged with the concerned people, both outside and inside, we have been able to convince them. When people get emotionally aroused, their behaviour is a little disproportionate,” Doval said in an interview to ANI.

 Amid the row over the Centre’s newly-launched Agnipath recruitment scheme for defence forces, he said there are “conflict entrepreneurs” with vested interests who are behind the protests over the scheme.

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Doval said while there are people who are truly concerned and “their fear of unknown” is being gradually addressed and there is another group which does “not care for the country or security of the nation” and resorts to violence and damage to public property.

“I will say there are two kinds of opposition. There are one group of people who are truly concerned, who have served the country. They only have the fear of the unknown. It is anxiety before any big change. People are now understanding gradually that it has been a long-term due. They are now finding it a good move,” he said.

“But, there is another group. They do not care for the country or the security of the nation. They are conflict entrepreneurs. They want a conflict in society. These are the people who will go for stone-throwing, demonstrations, burning trains. They are with a vested interest. Whenever they have an opportunity they think they can mislead the people,” he added.

NSA Doval said the youth who are serious about joining the Armed Forces should not get misguided.

“A true Agniveer will not be influenced or misguided. They will prepare rather than do protests. The people who are doing all this, I do not think they are willing to join the Armed Forces or have a psychic mental set.” he emphasised.

He said raising voice is justified but vandalism will not be tolerated.

“I think to protest, raising voice is justified in a democracy. Violence and vandalism will not be tolerated. Reforms are required in various forms such as Police. Lessons should be learnt from the circumstances. Many FIRs have been lodged. People behind these will be identified,” said Doval.

With inputs from ANI.

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