Published On: Wed, Nov 2nd, 2016

Stop this shocking discrimination against Hindus

Literally, the word “secular” means worldly as against religious. Historically and politically, the term “secularism” implies separation of state and religion, and non-discrimination on grounds of religion; one nation and one law; same rights and duties for all citizens; justice to all, and appeasement of none; and no distinction of majority and minority.

But in India, anything which is anti-Hindu, pro-minority, divisive and even anti-national is “secularism”. 

Though the Indian Constitution treats all citizens as equal before law, and does not define the terms ‘majority’ and ‘minority’, bogus ‘secularism’ practiced in India gives special rights and privileges for non-Hindus (minorities); and ensures deprivation and dis-empowerment for Hindus.

Such atrocious discrimination does not exist in any other country. And the said discrimination is threatening the very survival of Hindu civilization.

Logically in 1947, on India’s partition on religious basis and creation of Pakistan for Muslims as demanded by Muslims, truncated India should have been declared a Hindu republic to re-assert its Hindu identity. However, a scandalous ‘secularism’ as described above was imposed on it.

And as per this perverse secularism, Congress-led UPA’s then Prime Minister Shri Manmohan Singh proclaimed that “Muslims must have the first claim on national resources” at National Development Council’s meeting on December 9, 2006.

Fed-up with Congress-led government’s divisive and appeasement policies from 2004 to 2014; and impressed by BJP’s slogan of “justice to all and appeasement of none”, countless nationalists worked for BJP’s victory in 2014’s parliamentary elections.

However, after winning 2014’s elections, BJP-led government has not taken any action so far to remove the discrimination against Hindus. And all anti-Hindu policies initiated by Congress-led governments are being continued by BJP-led government from 2014 onwards.

Important points of discrimination against Hindus; and how the same can be rectified to treat Hindus at par with other communities are discussed as follows:

  1. Right to Education Act

Apart from its other pseudo-secular actions during 2004 to 2014, Congress-led UPA government is remembered also for its discriminatory Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. As explained below, this Act has forced the closure of thousands of Hindu-run schools all over the country thereby defeating the noble purpose of compulsory education.

This Act provides for government’s ruthless control over majority-run (i.e. Hindu-run) schools. Even the self-financed Hindu-run schools are governed by this Act whereas even the government-funded minority-run schools enjoy full autonomy and are exempt from this Act.

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This Act is stifling Hindu-run schools by requiring them to provide free education (with negligible compensation from government) to at least 25 per cent students from weaker sections, and by requiring them to comply with numerous stiff conditions regarding number of teachers, number of class rooms, teacher pupil ratio etc. etc.

Since this Act is not applicable to minority-run schools which enjoy complete autonomy, it has created a hostile playing field for Hindu-run schools. It has made the cost of running Hindu-run schools prohibitive which is resulting in their shut-down.

On February 24, 2016, National Independent Schools Alliance (covering over 36,000 schools all over India) protested at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi against this Act since it had resulted in closure of thousands of schools; and appealed for its repeal or suitable amendment.

Solution: In the interest of justice and fair play, all schools, whether run by majority or by minority community, must either be covered by The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009; or should be free from this Act. Accordingly, this Act should be suitably amended or repealed to end the present discrimination against Hindu-run schools.

  1. Special rights under Articles 29 & 30

Articles 29 and 30 of Indian Constitution deal with cultural and educational rights of Minorities.

Article 30 entitles minorities, whether based on religion or language, to establish educational institutions of their choice.

Though Articles 29 and 30 were meant to ensure equality between majority and minority communities, in actual practice, Hindus have been deprived of freedom to run their educational institutions while minorities have been given full freedom in this regard.

Just to illustrate Hindus’ plight in this respect, example of Ramakrishna Mission, a leading Hindu organization which apprehended the government’s takeover of its educational institutions is given here. Though its pioneers like Swami Vivekanand were glorious Hindus, to save its institutions under Article 30, Ramakrishna Mission claimed that it was a (non-Hindu) religious minority.

While Calcutta High Court allowed Ramakrishna Mission’s said claim, vide its judgement reported as Bramchari Sidheswar Shai & Others versus State of West Bengal (AIR 1995 SC 2089), Supreme Court reversed the High Court’s judgement, and held that Ramakrishna Mission was a Hindu institution, and therefore, could not get protection of Article 30.

Thus, to get benefits of Articles 29 and 30, some Hindu sects proclaim that they are minorities, and are not Hindu. And this is fragmenting Hindu society.

Solution: Article 30 must be amended to extend the rights stipulated therein to every community, whether majority or minority. No one can oppose the said amendment since it would just extend the said right (to establish educational institutions of their choice) to Hindus without depriving minorities of the same.

Similarly, Article 29 dealing with “Protection of interests of minorities” should also be amended to give the Rights stipulated therein to every community, whether majority or minority.

iii. Special benefits for minorities

Though Indian Constitution does not define the terms majority and minority, and though its Article 15(1) prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, vide the “National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992”, the nation has been divided into majority and minority; and Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Zoroastrians were notified as minority communities in October 1993, and Jains in January 2014.

Apart from the National Commission for Minorities at the Centre, Minority Commissions have been set up in various States to protect the interests of minorities. Minority Affairs Ministries constituted at the Centre and States have been bestowing numerous scholarships, free-ships and financial & educational incentives to minorities. And Hindus are excluded from said benefits.

Apart from being discriminatory, such divisive welfare schemes violate the principles of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity enshrined in the Preamble of Indian Constitution.

Solution: Since Article 15(1) of Indian Constitution prohibits discrimination on religious basis, welfare schemes should cover every citizen irrespective of his religion.

Besides, Human Rights Commission should safeguard the rights and welfare of every community, whether majority or minority. Accordingly, Minority Affairs Ministries and Minority Commissions at the Centre as also in States should be wound up.

  1. iv. Sachar Committee’s Report

Congress-led UPA government constituted various committees for minorities including Sachar Committee; and also started the Ministry of Minority Affairs in 2006.

Sachar Committee’s Report, 2006 has recommended scholarships, loans, financial incentives, benefits, concessions and special schemes only for non-Hindus; and has excluded crores and crores of poor Hindus living below poverty line from said benefits.

And though while in opposition, BJP had condemned the Sachar Committee’s recommendations as divisive and communal, the present BJP-led government is implementing the same.

Solution: The government must help all deserving people, whether belonging to majority or to minority community.

  1. Pathetic plight of Kashmiri Hindus

During 1980s and 1990s, Pakistan-sponsored terrorists killed several Hindus in Kashmir forcing lakhs of terrorized Hindus to flee from Kashmir. Driven out from their ancestral homes, and deprived of their roots and rights, Kashmiri Hindus are leading a miserable life in cramped camps in Jammu, Delhi and other places.

article-370Solution: Since Article 370 negates the concept of one unified India; and is responsible for genocide and eviction of Hindus from Kashmir, government must work for deletion of Article 370 to bring Jammu & Kashmir’s complete integration with the rest of India.

Besides, the government should ensure the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Hindus in Kashmir whose eviction and pathetic life as refugees in their own country is a glaring disgrace.

 

  1. Government’s control over Hindu temples

Another major issue is the government’s control of prominent Hindu temples all over India though no Muslim mosque or Christian church is controlled by government.

Government’s control of Hindu temples and their estates is depriving Hindus of their right to religious freedom guaranteed under Articles 25 and 26 of Indian Constitution; and is demolishing the self-supporting infrastructure of Hindu places of worship.

This is not to suggest that mosques and churches should also be controlled by government. This is just to stress that Hindu temples should have the same freedom as enjoyed by mosques and churches.

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Solution: Hindu temples should be liberated from government’s control so that Hindus enjoy the same religious freedom as enjoyed by other communities. Appropriate laws should be passed to restore Hindu temples to Hindu community.

Need for a strong movement

Discrimination against Hindus undermines Article 15(1) of Indian Constitution which prohibits discrimination against any citizen on the ground of religion.

But this outrageous situation will continue if the victims of discrimination suffer this gross injustice in silence; and do not stand up against it.

Pseudo-secular parties like Indian National Congress and other similar outfits which are responsible for enacting the above-mentioned discriminatory policies will do nothing to redeem the situation.

Unfortunately, BJP’s record in power from 1999-2004, and also from May, 2014 onwards in this regard is also not encouraging. At present, BJP is implementing all the discriminatory policies (including Sachar Committee’s recommendations) started by Congress-led governments; and is doing nothing to remove discrimination against Hindus.

In this tragic scenario, the only alternative is that the nationalists must launch a very strong, peaceful, constitutional and lawful movement to demand that the government must take necessary steps to abolish the nation’s division into majority and minority; to guarantee justice for all and appeasement of none; to remove the above-mentioned flagrant discrimination against Hindus; to give the same rights to all communities, and to prevent the discrimination against any community, whether majority or minority.

This demand for justice does not deprive minorities of any rights. It only means to extend the rights enjoyed by minorities to Hindus as well; and to treat Hindus at par with other communities. It does not imply any special right for Hindus.

This is the demand for basic Human Rights for every Indian citizen regardless of his or her religion.

Continued silence and inaction over this shocking discrimination will be disastrous.

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