Draft Resolution


Sadbhav Mission holds an annual convention in the Washington area of the USA; its focus has been secularism and communal harmony. The Convention felt that Indian democracy has taken a severe blow in the last 25 years. To find out what went wrong and why and what to do.


Secularism is the backbone of people centric nationalism. Every man and woman born and brought up in the country has the right to live in the motherland with full freedom and dignity. This is the soul of India’s constitution and corner stone of her democracy. In last quarter century Indian democracy took severe blows from communal campaigns and pogroms. Even now the sectarian forces are strong. They command a powerful political clout and have over reaching influence on religious shrines and other institutions. Their support base and resourcefulness are intact. It is incumbent upon the Indian state to contain such forces, preserve its secular character, safeguard life and property of all its citizens and provide equal opportunities of growth to them, without the distinction of caste, religion or class. It is equally important that every citizen shake off all prejudice and work together to bring fruits of freedom to the grassroots.


Riots and Rehabilitation: The occurrence of massive riots at regular intervals is a matter of serious concern. The riots are built by arousing communal hysteria and mobilizing killers. In many instances sectarian and class bias of police, and even state, has come to fore.


The Convention demands: 1). The District Magistrate must be made accountable for taking preventive measures and curbing riots, 2) A Peace Commission with full authority and judicial powers be created to monitor discrimination and communal violence and end impunity. It will oversee the performance of administration during riots, speedy trial of rioters, quick and equal payment of relief/ compensation and rehabilitation of victims, including schooling of children. 2) The Supreme Court directives on police reforms must be implemented that would make the police and investigative agencies accountable to the law and simultaneously be free from the strangulating control of the political executive. 3) Steps must be taken to have adequate representation of all communities in police and law enforcing agencies.


Terrorism:  Terrorism has many forms:  sectarian violence, bomb blasts, Ultra’s violence, Maoist violence and state sponsored Salwa Judum type violence. State response to these different forms of violence has not been free from class and communal bias. This must change. All violence must be curbed with equal commitment. In many cases acute exploitation and repression and alienation of the masses are at the root of violence, urgent measures must be undertaken to address them and win over the masses.


There have been several instances of arrests of innocents in the name of terrorism. This is causing deep apprehensions and fear in the country.  All arrests should be transparent and be monitored .People should not be kept behind bars without trial for long. 


Education: The education bill passed by the parliament provides for free and compulsory education for all children aged 6 to 14 years. However, little progress has been made on its implementation. NUEPA report says, in 2006-07, only 37% of the school going children in urban areas were enrolled in government schools. A fraction of the rest went to public schools, charging high tuition, while a majority of them went to ordinary private schools that charge Rs. 100-200 pm tuition and can afford to pay only meager salaries, Rs. 1500-2000 pm, to their teachers. In areas like Juhapura (Ahmedabad) government schools have less than 10% students.  The difference in performance levels of children in elite public schools and other schools is strikingly huge. It diminishes the chances of the latter for higher/ professional education. 


The government must take immediate measures to improve the quality of education and intake in government schools. It must stop the practice of para-teachers with temporary status and one fourth of regular salaries. The teacher to student ratio be made 1:30 instead of 1:48. Regular assessment of students and sensitization of teachers be introduced.  The private schools, that have been producing better results than government schools for the last ten years, must be given the grant in aid status. 


The State government scholarships for SC/ ST and OBC students and Central government scholarships for minority students must be raised to the level of tuition in ordinary private schools.


In April 2008, the Central Government launched the Minorities Pre-Matric Scholarship Scheme. Most states have implemented it but the Gujarat Government has not. We urge it to do so forth with.


Yashpal Committee’s recommendations with regard to involving research laboratories in teaching, all universities having on-campus undergraduate (UG) teaching programs, and projects becoming an integral part of learning be implemented forthwith along with adding a tutorial component to lectures. A reorientation program must run for students having deficiency in the medium of instruction and exposure. The major responsibility for teaching should lie on local faculty. Three hundred thousand  college teachers need to be activated in research. Five years ago only 3% of research money was being used for research conducted in colleges, universities and IITs, rest was used in research laboratories. A very major shift in the distribution of research funding and policy is required. The teachers also need to be trained for tutorials and projects.


Access to Technical/ Professional Education: In order to impart technical/ professional skills to every student, from the perspective of his/ her self-reliance, the walls between professional/ technical and non-professional colleges must fall. Every B.A., B.Sc, student should have access to technical courses and these courses must form about one third of their curriculum. The existing engineering colleges and polytechnics, should be galvanized to give access to B.A./ B.Sc. students of non-professional colleges in their professional courses at reasonable cost. .In order to bring all the interested senior secondary graduates into the realm of higher education, the tuition fees for any UG program of study must remain below per capita GDP. In the courses where cost is high, the institute may charge the entire cost of education from prospective employers rather than burdening the parents.


Technical institutions must provide access to children of artisans who possess technical skills. Sachar Committee has made valuable recommendations for the up gradation of  technical skills of working classes. These must be implemented. 


Economic Empowerment: The rate of growth of India’s Gross Domestic Product, in last two decades has steadily risen to 8% annually. However, farmers, workers in the unorganized sector, tribals, dalits and large sections of minorities, comprising 70% of country’s population, have remained largely out of this growth.  This has led to widespread discontent. In Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh alone 89,362 farmers committed suicide between 1997 and 2005. The rise in Maoist influence is primarily due to discontent and marginalization of tribals and dalits. Over 30 % of country’s population is below poverty line. Among the Muslims this percentage even exceeds 40%. The Government loan waiver program for farmers and National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (that guarantees, 100 days work per family per year at the wage rate of Rs.100 per day), have cut some ice but only marginally.


The Convention urges the State to i) stop acquisition of land, forests and other resources for elite-centric growth. ii) Priority be accorded for capital formation and growth of cottage industries in villages. iii) The scope of NREGA be enlarged and tasks to be performed should be properly planned. iv) Special programs must run for the up gradation of technical & entrepreneurship skills of the artisans. Sachar Committee recommendations with respect to credits, loans and other economic measures for weaker sections of Muslims must be implemented.


Shrines: Religious shrines are amenable to manipulation by sectarian forces. Strict guidelines be given regarding the maintenance of accounts and strengthening the culture of truth and compassion. The income of shrines should go to a public trust, discourses propagating discord should not be held there, and  basics of other religion should also be told there.


Political participation: It is a matter of concern that our democratic process is unable to bring out adequate representation of different sections and communities in Panchayats, Assemblies and Parliament. The situation gets worse when sectarian issues dominate the political agenda. The forward looking political parties and peoples movements must broaden their base and bring into their fold activists from all sections and communities. They must strive for political empowerment of every community.

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