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Rights in danger:Prashant Bhushan

Indian democracy is facing its most serious challenges in history and all the rights given to the people by the Constitution are under threat today, warned Prashant Bhushan, noted social activist and a senior advocate in the Supreme Court. He was speaking at a symposium on “Emerging Issues in the Indian Democracy” organised at St Joseph’s College on Saturday evening.

“Today our democracy faces the most serious challenges in the history of our times, but today unfortunately all the rights that our Constitution gave us are under threat,” said Bhushan at the symposium conducted by the Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, Karnataka, and the SJC Department of Social Work. Prashant Bhushan added “For the first time, our government both at the Centre and in most of the state governments owe their ideology to the RSS. If you look at the foundational documents of the RSS, you find two very clear traits that emerge from their ideology. The first is hatred for Muslims and other religions and the second is in a belief in an authoritarian structure of governance.

We need to have peace communities called Aman Communities which should consist of senior leaders of different religions and promote inter-religious harmony to stop inter-religious clashes.” Ejaz Ahmed Aslam,Editorin- chief, Radiance Views weekly, New Delhi, said “Our constitution talks about social justice, economic justice and political justice but does this justice really exist? We have supressed Dalits and Muslims and in some of the government committees we cannot find even a single Muslim. Uttar Pradesh has 19.3% percent Muslims in the state but there are no MLAs. There are MLAs who represent Muslims in Uttar Pradesh.”

Honb’le Justice Shri M.N Venkatachaliah, Chief Justice of India (Retired) and President, Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, said “We must come together and respect each other’s religion. Unless Hindu-Muslim unity is achieved in this country, things will never change. This was Gandhi’s dream. We should all keep our religious values but when we come together, we are brothers and sisters of India.” Honb’le Justice Shri H.N. Nagmohonan Das said “All Sikhs, Muslims, Christians are brother and sisters of this country. The Modi government wants to build a Hindu Rashtra but it is up to the people of this country to not let this happen. The seeds of secularism that were in the freedom movement are no more seen in India today.”