Staff Reporter | KMNN
Bangalore. Jan. 31, 2012. K Rahman Khan, Deputy Chairperson, Rajya Sabha, has called for discussion on the effective enforcement of the Constitution of India, in letter and spirit. He said that democracy would be “incomplete” without the representation of the all sections in governance.
“It is unfortunate that we have to discuss other issues inherited against the spirit of the Constitution on the 63rd Republic Day,” Mr. Khan told a gathering of prominent academicians, thinkers, leaders of social movements, religious leaders, legislators, civil rights and political activists at the national symposium on “Religious minorities: Issues and challenges in India”.
The event was organized by the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Police (CSSEIP) of the National Law School of India University (NLSUI), Bangalore.
Emphasizing on fair representation to all sections of the society, Mr. Khan said: “There cannot be a true democracy without representation from all the sections in the governance. For, ours is a representative democracy.”
Expressing concern over the sense of insecurity among the religious minorities, the Rajya Sabha MP said that the tag of suspicion was being created, and hence the divide in the society. “And we should remember that India can exist only as a secular country.”
Earlier inaugurating the national symposium, Oscar Fernandes, former Union Minister, said that the biggest challenge now was how to protect and maintain the country’s secular character, as some sections have been persistently making efforts to re-write the Constitution that would deprive people of equal rights.
“The people of India should know how dear the cause of secularism was to Gandhiji, Nehru and other leaders of the Independence Movement,” Mr. Fernandes said. According to the former minster, minorities with encompassed feeling of ‘We are India’ strengthen the unity in diversity, which is indeed the identity and strength of the nation. “Democracy needs to be cherished, nurtured and reinforced in this regard,” he said.
At the event, issues like ‘The State, Polity and Religious Minorities’, ‘Internal Differentiation, Social Justice and Religious Minorities’, ‘Emerging Indian Economy and Religious Minorities’, ‘Religious Freedoms and Minorities in India’ and ‘The State and Christian Minorities in India’ were discussed in which scholars like Dr. Valerian Rodrigues, professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); Dr. C.S. Dwarakanath, former chairperson, Karnataka State Commission for Backward Class; Dr. R Venkata Rao, Vice-Chancellor NLSIU, Dr. Satish Deshpande, Professor at Delhi University; Dr. Abdul Aziz, visiting professor at NLSIU, and Dr. Rowena Robinson, professor of humanities and social sciences at IIT Mumbai, delivered talks.