Hindus petition Modi Sarkar for equal rights – Swarajya Staff

Hindu group meets to petition for Hindu rights

Swarajya LogoThe group intends to petition the government to discuss and pass Dr Satyapal Singh’s Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 in the forthcoming parliament session. – Swarajya Staff

The Narendra Modi government rode to power in 2014 on the back of the promise of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”—development for all, appeasement for none. But in the last four years, that slogan has remained confined to speeches as the acute minorityism unleashed by Sonia Gandhi-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) coalition in its decade long rule remains to be undone. During the UPA era, the government passed critical laws in education like the Right to Education Act that exempted minorities from its ambit, started various scholarships exclusive for minorities and created bodies that outlawed Hindus from becoming its members. The religious institutions such as temples are taken over by the government while churches and mosques remain untouched by the writ of the law.

It was expected that the Modi government will roll back these discriminatory laws and regulations which are stacked against the majority community but unfortunately, this has not been the priority of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

After waiting for over four years, a group of Hindu activists gathered in the national capital on the weekend (22-23 September) to press their demands. They deliberated upon various issues concerning Hindu society and passed a resolution issuing a charter which they intend to submit to the prime minister soon.

This gathering of prominent Hindus from all walks of life and throughout the country, included spiritual leaders, academics, authors, doctors, engineers, journalists, public intellectuals and concerned citizens. After a whole day of intense discussions and debates, a charter with a list of nine demands was agreed upon.

One of the most important demands includes ending legal and institutionalised discrimination against Hindus by the Indian State. The group intends to petition the government to discuss and pass Dr Satyapal Singh’s Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 in the forthcoming parliament session.

The bill is pending in the Lok Sabha and calls for amending Articles 26 to 30 of the Constitution to ensure equal rights to Hindus on par with minorities in the matters of

(a) Running educational institutions without undue interference of State;
(b) Removal of government control of Hindu temples and places of worship by restoring their management to Hindu society;
(c) Preserving and promoting Hindu heritage and culture.

Pointing to thousands of crores of foreign funding (Rs 18,000 crore in 2017-18) from institutions with ties to foreign governments and their agencies that goes into funding activities aimed at subverting Indian society and fueling conflict and separatism, the group is demanding that the central government completely ban all sorts of foreign contributions except those by Overseas Citizens of India (OCIs) in their personal capacity (in recognition of their emotional connect with India) by repealing the existing FCRA and enacting a new Foreign Contributions (Prohibition) Act.

To protect and preserve Hindu native cultural and religious traditions, practices and symbols from unwarranted interference by both government agencies (including courts) as well as others, the group has urged the government to enact a Freedom of Religion Act as soon as possible.

The group also demands that the government sets up a public sector undertaking, Haindava Samskruti Jeernoddhaarana Nigam (Hindu Culture Restoration Corporation) with an initial seed capital of not less than Rs 10,000 crores and an annual grant of a similar amount for undertaking reconstruction and restoration of all damaged, desecrated, abandoned and dilapidated Hindu temples and sacred places; revival, nurturing, patronising and promotion of Veda pathashalas, various traditional and folk art forms, dance, music, sculpture, architecture, painting, etc.

Other demands by the groups include giving the same treatment to Indian languages as English gets, a complete ban on meat and beef export, tripartite division of Jammu and Kashmir into three states of Kashmir, Ladakh and Jammu and an abrogation of Article 370 and a repeal of Article 35A.

The group will soon seek an appointment with the prime minister and submit its demands. – Swarajya, 24 September 2018.