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Rights Groups Take the Cause of Minorities to EU

NEWDELHI: The ruling Congress party may be desperately trying to woo the minorities. But, it seems, that is not enough. In an unusual move, ‘Forum for Freedom of Religion’-a forum of 75

Published: 01st February 2012 02:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th May 2012 05:47 PM   |  A+A-

NEWDELHI: The ruling Congress party may be desperately trying to woo the minorities. But, it seems, that is not enough.

In an unusual move, ‘Forum for Freedom of Religion’-a forum of 75 human rights groups - has complained to the European Union (EU), in a scathing report on the issue of religious freedom or lack of it in India, that the Indian Government is not doing enough to protect the rights of the minorities in the country.

 The Forum, civil society and Christian groups coordinated by National Solidarity Forum, have also requested the EU to ‘influence’ the Indian Government to enact legislation to ensure that the minority rights are protected. Blaming that the “Government of India is doing little to bridge the gap and to promote a peaceful co-existence among them”, the report gives a list of half-baked initiatives of the UPA Government, including the Communal Violence Bill.

 There has been no effective implementation other recommendations. Instead of harmonisation among members of multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious society, the ghettoization and polarisation between members of religious minorities and the dominant Hindu community were increasing, it said.

The Forum submitted its report to the EU delegation last week here. “Our report is a product of series of national-level consultations on the issue of religious freedom of minorities. It throws light on the plight of minorities in the country,” said Dhirendra Panda of National Solidarity Forum. When asked about the logic behind complaining to the EU, Panda said that it was done so to put pressure on the Indian Government.



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