Threat to religious diversity deplored

There is a feeling of comfort among religious minorities in the country, yet there is a constant effort to disturb this feeling, Member of Parliament Oscar Fernandes has said here.

Inaugurating a national seminar on “Religious minorities: issues and challenges in India,” he said the strength of this country is in its diversity and yet, the standard of living of many minority communities is abysmal.

He said there are forces constantly attempting to rewrite the Constitution and the challenge is to maintain secularism.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan, who spoke on the occasion, said that there is nothing wrong with the Constitution, the problem is in its wrong interpretation.

“From the day the Constitution was enacted, there is something wrong with the interpretation. Each section of society has its own issues. When the issues of the minority do not conflict with the freedom of another group, there’s no reason why problems must arise,” he pointed out.

Dr Valerian Rodrigues, professor, Centre for Political Studies and Social Sciences, JNU, who spoke strongly about poor implementation of the right to equality in the country said that India has not celebrated diversities but at the most has just accommodated it.

He said minorities do not have representation in the higher echelons of society and hardly anybody from the minority community in public spaces such as governance and media.
“The community are seen must take it upon itself to carve a niche in public spaces which will improve the prevailing situation,” the professor added.

The day-long seminar discussed issues of internal differentiation, social justice and religious minorities, religious freedom and minorities in India and the State and Christian minorities in India.

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