“Minority groups call for a united mission “

28 March 2015 : Various groups and personalties, attending the minority convention organized by Popular Front India at Indian Social Institute in New Delhi, called for a new united mission to ensure the protection of minorities against the hostilities which is on unprecedented increase in the country ever since the new NDA government came to power. Representatives of various civil rights groups and representatives from Sikh, Muslim, Christian communities attended the meeting

After 67 years of independence, any objective analysis will show that minorities are not happy in India and the country has definitely not performed well as a civilized nation. Minorities have been glaringly denied their due in the national development. The Constitution of India upholds fundamental rights and rights specific to minorities under the Articles 29 and 30 but they are far from being realized to a satisfactory level. In spite of a number of constitutional safeguards, and India being a signatory to the UN Human Rights Convention, the country has miserably failed in upholding these rights in terms of actual practice. The violation of rights of minorities have persisted even after the establishment of national and state level human rights commissions and minority commissions at the center and many of the kind in a number of states.

Discrimination, denial of opportunities, safety and security problems, impediments in nascent development and recurring cultural onslaughts, both from the system and a section of majority community, anti-minority riots, killings of thousands of Sikhs and Muslims, their implication n fabricated cases of terrorism have been blatant. The share of minorities in government jobs, police and security forces is dwindling. The clout of minorities in the political system and media has become only nominal. There are 10,000+ complaints of denial of minority status to educational institutions by the state governments.

With the formation of the government of a conservative rightist party at the center in May 2014, having history of anti-minority stance and animosity against minority communities, a new spurt of anti-minority atrocities can be noted. There is a strong tendency of forced assimilation of minorities under the banner of Hindu Rashtra. The notorious projects like Ghar Wapsi, forcing Hindu practices like Surya Namaskar and Saraswati Poojan on cross-sections of students, Suggestions to declare and revere Gita as the Rashtriya Granth, ordinance raj, ban on Beef, attempts to construct temple of Godse, the murderer of Mahatma Gandhi are drowning our nation. Due to inadequate investigative inputs, those alleged in communal riots and ethnic killings are getting ‘clean chits’ of the judiciary and reporting of over 600+ communal incidents in the last 300 days of the ruling government at the centre. Indeed, there is no end to the woes of minority sections in the country.

Under these circumstances, Popular Front felt a need to build a broad based alliance among individuals and groups who are concerned with civil rights and minority rights. For the purpose Popular Front of India has taken an initiative towards this goal, by convening this Minority Rights Convention on 28 March 2015. About 70 rights activists representing several socio-political organizations from Delhi and neighbouring states took participation in the table discussion held and came up with a resolution of fostering an alliance.

The convention was chaired by Popular Front Chairman K M Shareef and moderated by Adv. K P Shareef.

General Convener: Adv K P Shareef Convener: A R Agwan, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat
Members: Mohinderpal Singh SAD (Amritsar), Adv. Francline of NCDC, Adv N D Pancholi, Srinivasan Raghavan,
Dr Zafarul Islam, Dr John Dayal, Harminder of Singh United Sikh Mission, Adv. Sharafuddin, Mehrunnisa Khan, Adv Mushtaq, Dr Haseena Hashiya of Jamia Millia – This is an initial coordination committee and it would be expanded after consultations with other minority communities.

Some of the delegates who participated in the convention:
Dr. Mufti Mukarram, Fr. Dominique Immanuel, A Sayeed of SDPI, Vaman Meshram, A.C. Michael, Gurcharan Singh Babbar of All India Sikh Conference, Kamal Faruqui, Adv. Mushtaq Ahmed, Zafar Mehmood, Dr. Tahir Mehmood former member Delhi Minority Commission, Kashif Ahmed of APCR Delhi

We the members of civil society and representatives of Muslim, Christian and Sikh minorities converged on the occasion of Minority Rights Convention and felt the necessity of working together for alleviating the situations arising due to political dominance of the conservative rights forces in the country.
We felt that the process of dialogue among the affected sections should go on especially for creating wider awareness against violation of constitutional and civil rights and atrocities on minorities. We also feel that formation of a strong social alliance among minorities is the call of the hour.

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