Sheela Bhatt in Bombay
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Saturday criticised the media for highlighting attacks on Christians, while remaining silent on similar incidents against the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other groups.
Speaking at a private function at his residence to dedicate Setubandh, a book written by late Rajabhai Nene and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Narendra Modi, to the public, he said: "I have a complaint against the media. Four RSS workers, who were carrying out social work in Tripura, were abducted and killed by militants. When I inquired why media had not reported the killings, I was told that the news item was sent, but was not carried by newspapers."
He said while Christian missionaries have every right to serve the people, any attack on them or their institutions gets unduly highlighted in the media.
RSS chief Sudarshan also attended the function. Setubandh, is a profile of Lakshman Madhrao Inamdar, a reputed RSS leader.
Lauding the role played by Inamdar in taking RSS to every nook and corner of the country, Sudarshan said: "RSS has a national presence today because of the dedication of its paracharaks. RSS functions like a family. The pracharaks work for and live for RSS ideals. People criticise RSS, but they should not judge us by a criteria which is essentially Western."
In Delhi there are hardly any gathering, private or public, these days which are complete without a mention of President Pervez Musharraf.
Vajpayee in his speech referred to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf's visit to India last month.
"I sent him an invitation to visit and he came. You get the guest as per your fate. Getting the Pakistan president as my guest was my fate," Vajpayee said amid laughter.
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