All India Secular Forum


All India Secular Forum welcomes the people’s verdict in the 15th Lok Sabha elections.


We had given a call before the 15th Lok Sabha elections held in April-May 2009 to defeat the communal forces. We outlined the threat posed by communal forces to Indian democracy and plural values of the nation. We are extremely happy that the communal forces have been defeated by the people of India. We hope that UPA is not only able to give stable government, but also ensure good governance, social justice and strengthening diversity. We are aware that many a tasks need to be urgently undertaken in the direction of peace, justice and deepening of plural values. While the previous Government did initiate some welcome moves, many of these remain partly unfulfilled. More proactive measures are also needed to strengthen the democratic and secular values of the country.


1. Proper rehabilitation of the victims of communal violence, particularly in Gujarat and Kandhamal. Though 7 years have passed, the victims of Gujarat carnage are living the life of neglect. The compensation provided by Central Government has not been passed on to the victims by the State Government headed by the Chief Minister Narendra Modi. In Kandhmal many victims are still not able to return to their villages. Their compensation packages need to be delivered.


2. No justice worth the name has been done to the victims of communal violence. The recommendations of Srikrishna Commission Report on 1992-93 communal riots  in Mumbai has not been fully implemented, the police and other perpetrators of the riots have not yet been booked. In the case of Gujarat carnage, the Special Investigation Team appointed by the Supreme Court is pursuing some of the cases, however, with those who role in the riots is suspect and those who are being investigated are occupying the seats of power while the riot victims are suffering. It is imperative that the new Government does all in its powers to ensure the deliverance of Justice. Same applies to Kandhmal victims; the process of punishing the guilty has not gone far. It must be done on urgent basis.


3. The Sachar Committee Report needs to be implemented in earnest. The educational, economic and employment condition of the deprived sections of minorities need to be taken up immediately and discrimination against minorities in all forms needs to be eliminated. On the lines of Special Component Plan for Scheduled Castes, there should also be Special Component Plan within budget for minorities with a parliamentary committee monitoring its implementation.


4. Footloose communal outfits like the Bajrang Dal, Sri Ram Sene, and the like, violate law with impunity in the name of religion and vitiate the harmonious atmosphere by resorting to violence. Activities of such organizations must be continuously monitored and their illegal actions brought to book.


5. UPA, in consultation with the organizations working for peace and harmony, should bring in legislation to prevent and control communal violence.


6. Our education and text-books strengthen stereo-types, particularly against minorities and women. Our education system and text-books should reflect our diversity and multiculturalism. A commission of enquiry under the Commission of Enquiry Act should be instituted to go into the syllabi of the Saraswati Shishu Mandirs. Meanwhile,  the Central government should tell the state governments to proscribe text books of Saraswati Shishu Mandirs which malign or ridicule other religions or provoke hatred against Muslim rulers.


7. National Integration Council meetings must be called regularly and more often than was done during the tenure of previous government and its suggestions should be earnestly pursued.


8. The health of a democratic system should be judged by how secure and dignified the minorities feel. On this scale of democratic values, utmost efforts need to be undertaken.


9. The BJP and parent organization have strengthened themselves by instigating provocation around emotive issues. With their defeat they are likely to resort to such things again. Values of living with diversity should be rigorously promoted.


10. Ban on government employees participating in RSS activities should be strictly adhered to.


11. Candidates having bias against minorities, dalits, women and tribals should not find place in the state police forces and central paramilitary organizations.


We earnestly hope that these measures will be implemented by one and all.


L.S. Herdania and  Ram Puniyani

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