King Willem-Alexander, during a state visit to India on Monday evening, indirectly criticized the Hindu nationalist government.

"We wish India that for generations to come it will also be a country with room for all Indians, regardless of their beliefs, origins or social position. A country where everyone can make their voices heard, from the peaks of the Himalayas to the coastal plains of Kerala, "said the king, Trouw said in a speech at the state banquet in the presidential palace in New Delhi.

The ruling party BJP of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the political arm of the right-wing conservative and Hindu-nationalist organization Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, 'National Volunteer Corps'). The RSS was established in 1925 to represent and protect the interests of the Hindu majority of the Indian population. Since the re-election of Modi in May, minority groups such as Muslims have been systematically suppressed.

"No culture can live if it tries to be exclusive," quoted Willem-Alexander Mahatma Gandhi in his speech. "If 1.3 billion people can participate on equal terms and develop their talents in freedom, then India is unbeatable."

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima are on a state visit to India. On Monday, they spoke extensively with Prime Minister Modi and the Indian Foreign Minister behind closed doors. Later this week, the royal couple will also visit Mumbai and the southern state of Kerala.


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