NEW DELHI—Expressing serious concern over rising communal polarization in the country during the last few years, participants at a webinar organized by the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity (FDCA) said that increasing polarization was a threat to the future growth of the country.
FDCA’s national president Muchkund Dubey, a former diplomat, said that it had become one of the main agendas to harass the minorities and make them target of violence through the weapon of religious polarization that had been unleased in the country. The minorities, he said, were feeling unsafe in the country as a result of growing religious polarization. He felt that the people could still play an effective role in restoring the democratic and constitutional values of the country.
Stating that the phenomenon of religious polarization is being witnessed in many countries of the world, FDCA Maharahtra president Ram Punyani said that the polarization that was being fueled in the name of Hinduism in India had nothing to do with Hindu religion.
Pointing out that it was certain rightist groups that were engineering polarization through emotional slogans, Punyani said that it were the rightist groups who spread hatred against minorities by raising the Ayodhya issue all over the country.
Stating that scrapping of multi-cultural character of the nation cannot be allowed, Kerala FDCA president Sukumaran pointed out that the country was heading towards a dangerous communal polarization owing to whipping up of cultural polarization in the country.
Legal and constitutional expert Faizan Mustafa said that an atmosphere had been created in the country that slogans of “Jai Shri Ram” were raised during oath taking Parliament. He said that any kind of religious sloganeering whether it be “Jai Shri Ram or Allah o Akbar” are against the Constitution. He appealed people to avoid any type of religious divide.
Stating that “religious communalism is an instrument of exploitation”, West Bengal FDCA president Justice(retd) A K Ganguly said that India is a secular nation and every citizens of the country has equal rights. “Hence, nobody an be allowed to exploit the other. But those entrenched in power have taken to exploit people by giving the slogan of Hindu Rashtra”, said Justice(retd) Ganguly.
Pointing out that India is not only facing communal and religious polarization but division on several other issues, Gujarat FDCA president Dankesh Oza said that the country could become strong only when every community and religion was given respect due to it. He said that polarization would only take the country toward a bleak future.
Rajasthan FDCA president Sawai Singh said that a situation had been created in the country that indicated that there was no other issue than religious polarization in thecountry. “This is very dangerous. Farmers are agitating for over two months. There is tension on the borders. There are many other issues. But the government is focused on its agenda of Hindu Rashtra only”, said Singh.
In his concluding speech, FDCA general secretary Engineer Mohammd Salim said that the country had faced much more serious crisis in the past but those believing ion communal harmony and constitution faced the challenges boldly and succeeded in protecting the democratic values. “We are hopeful that the times will change for the better this time as well with the effort of the people”, he said.