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Re: UCC/Minority Commission




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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An African American once travelled with me from New York to Washington
DC.
He commented that Indians and Asians are prospering in the USA. He said
how
Indians are building Hindu temples in San Antonio, Pittsburgh,
Washington
and in many places. He explained the human rights of minorities in the
USA
permit  freedom to practise religion in the USA. At the same time he
said
the Black people are not enjoying the same status that of Asians and the

social discrimination of race and colour c ontribute to many problems of
the
Black people. It is obvious that Black people become envious of the
asian
and Indian getting high priced jobs wheras Blacks seem to get low priced

jobs.  If the arguments used against minorities in India and intolerance

shown by dominant religious group are used in USA and if Indians are
hated
in the USA, what would be our  Indian reaction?
Some years ago Indian businessmen were driven out of some parts of
Africa.
Recently a Consultant friend of mine who took a job in Nairobi returned
after 9 months  seeing how Indians are disliked. I remember Indians were

driven out of Burma(myanmar) for doing money lending business.
The culture of treating minorites and treating them with freedom and
respect
comes from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The UN Human
Rights
Commission has a statuory body on Prevention of Discrimination and
Protection of Minorities. I participate in the UN Human Rights
Commission
Meetings and listen to NGOs from almost all countries regarding the
human
rightrs violations in each country.
I would suggest that we subscribe to basic freedom and rights provided
by
Indian Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as we
are
Indians who travel to other countries and live  and work in many
countries,
in Middle East, Asia, Europe and USA. The way we would like to be
treated in
foreign countries, we should treat the minorities in our country. If we
grow
to be intolerant soon the world will turn against us. Let us develop a
global human culture, global citizenship and rights by which universal
human
rights are respected by all people in all countries. It cannot be one
right
in China, another in Malaysia and India!
Finally I quote an extract from the UN Secy.-Genl., Kofi Annan, Which I
printed in my 1999 New Year Greeting card:

"Human Rights Day 1998 is a day for all of us who enjoy human rights to
imagine life without them - and to think how hard we would fight for
them to
retain them.  It is a day for those who are still denied their human
rights
to dream again of asserting them, and to know that their dream is our
dream
- the dream of all human rights for all.
It is a day for us to recall not only the rights attained over the fifty

years, but also the rights denied; to pursue the achievement of justice
by
all and for all; to defend against the abuse of human rights with
greater
vigilance than ever, and to pursue the violators of human rights with
greater persistence than ever.  It is the day to renew our commitment to

globalizing justice in the age of globalization."
KOFI ANNAN
Secretary General,United Nations
December 10, 1998

  " THE WORLD OWES A DUTY TO THE UNTOUCHABLES AS IT DOES TO ALL
OPPRESSED
PEOPLE TO BREAK THEIR SHAKLES, AND TO SET THEM FREE"
DR.B.R.AMBEDKAR

Imagine there are atleast 200 million untouchable people in India living
in
all kinds of socio-economic shakles. Their human resource power if
awakened
will change India to a great power."The demand for a uniform civil code
stems from the desire to define
>Indianhood, a certain "lowest common denominator" for all
citizens,>irrespective of their social background."  In my opinion based
on
my studies and experience  the lowest common denominator is "human
dignity"
and human rights for all people.>
If we can work out a minimum plan for all the citizens of India, and not

just for section of people like the business and official class, then we
may
reach the status of great power on this planet.

Henry Thiagaraj

 At 08:45 PM 3/2/99 -0800, you wrote:
>
>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters

>are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI

>----------------------------------------------------------------------
>
>The issue, however, has less to do with religious differences and more
>to do
>with politics and vote-banks. Vote-mongering politicians and some
>irresponsible religious leaders from the minorities have managed to
hold
>
>their entire communities to ransom by insulating them in a siege
>mentality,
>and in the process, isolating them from the mainstream. Our "secular"
>political parties have simply chosen the politically convienient path
by
>
>staying out of the issue and avoiding controversy. They have
shamelessly
>
>pandered to the whims of a section of minority religious leaders whose
>mindset is so atrophied that it can only be described as regressive and

>medieval.
>
>"Secular" political leaders claim they do not want to "interfere" in
the
>
>affairs of "minorities". They are also quick to attend to the perceived

>"complaints" and "needs" of the "minorities". Sounds as if minorities
>are
>not Indian citizens but special guests of honour from outside who need
>to be
>given special care, and not offended in any way!
>
>Such minoritysm at completely at odds with the spirit of the nation:
>
>- Being Indian has nothing to do with religion, caste colour etc.
>- Culture is what defines the nation.
>- As in any republic, all citizens are equal irrespective of their
>social
>background.
>- Since we are a democracy, each and every citizen has the right to
>express
>his views and practise any faith he wishes.
>- Religion and politics must not be allowed to mix.
>
>Agreed, the preceding heavily clichéd lines amount to nothing more than

>the
>statement of the obvious!!
>
>But our politicians still believe that the affairs of "minorities" are
>best
>left to a bunch of narrow-minded and fundamentalist religious leaders.
>They
>believe that they should not "interfere", or else they will cease to be

>secular. When one "communal" party steps forward and finally calls a
>spade a
>spade, it is vilified as being doubly or triply communal, instead of
>being
>lauded for its political frankness and honesty.
>
>Our secularists need to be reminded that these "minorites" they claim
to
>be
>so concerned about happen to be Indian citizens like the rest! They
must
>
>have the right to everything a citizen of the republic of India has. No

>more, and more importantly, NO LESS!
>
>There are elements in "minority" laws that are clearly against what
>would be
>deemed fair and acceptable in any civil society at the end of the
>twentieth
>century. However, under the garb of "minority rights", these laws are
>allowed to exist in a supposedly civil and democratic India. It is not
>members of the "minorities" they discriminate against, it is INDIAN
>CITIZENS
>who are suffer due to these outdated, medieval laws. Talk of not
wanting
>to
>"interfere in the issues of the minorities" is as ridiculous and
>nonsensical
>as saying: "We do not want to interfere in our internal affairs..."
>
>Another contentious issue is the functioning of the much touted symbol
>of
>Indian secularism - the so-called Minorities Commission. The existence
>of
>such an organisation is itself against the concept of Indian unity. The

>Minorities Commission is supposed to attend to the grievances of
>minorities... When our education minister recently attempted to extend
>to
>all citizens a law guarenteeing the right to education to minorites, he

>had
>to back off after he met with fierce resistance. Again, minorities are
>seen
>as special guests of honour who need special rights which no one else
>should
>have. And yet again, they are not considered to be part of the
>mainstream.
>The so-called "minorities" are part of the nation and not its guests!
>That
>they believe in a particular faith must in no way have any bearing on
>their
>rights or on their role as Indian citizens.
>
>So why must there be a minority commission? The constitution clearly
>guarentees freedom of thought, freedom of faith and secularism. Should
>any
>citizen have these fundamental rights trampled upon, there are courts
of
>law
>which have no choice but to comply with the constitution! Moreover, why

>single out one fundamental right to be given "special commission"
>status?
>Why isn't there a Gender Commission and a Caste Commission (if it
>doesn't
>already exist!) ? The whole point then would be, what are the courts
>meant
>for??!
>
>Now the "pro-Commission" lobby will point to the inefficiencies and
>slowness
>of the judicial system. True, justice has to be speeded up, but
>minorities
>are hardly the only ones suffering due to judicial delay. The system
>simply
>has to improve for ALL its citizens.
>
>The anti-UCC lobby is quick to dramatize the into some devious
>majoritarian
>conspiracy to impose "Hindu" law on the entire country. Again, if talk
>is
>made of disbanding the minorities commission, it will invariably be
>another
>"communal conspiracy" we are simply tired of hearing about!
>
>The head of the minorities commission is just pursuing an petty agenda
>against the current "communal" regime in power. He has been making a
lot
>of
>declarations: Muslims have declared minorities in states A,B and C,
>Christians declared majority in states X, Y and Z. In order to annoy
the
>
>government, he has recommended that Hindus be declared minorities in
>five
>states. How farcical can this get? What kind of Indian nationalism is
>this?
>Minority vs. Majority, upper caste vs. lower caste, north-indian vs.
>south
>indian??
>
>I would simply suggest that Indians be declared the majority in India
>and
>the minorities commission scrapped and dumped where it belongs - in the

>bin.



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