Indian Muslim Council-USA issues statement on Republic Day.
January 26, 2003
This January 26, 2003, India will celebrate its 54th year as a Republic. On this day, India, under the leadership of Gandhi, Nehru, Ambedkar and Azad, unveiled its Constitution, providing to all a shared destiny and values that represent the hopes and aspirations of all its people.
Unfortunately, this sense of shared destiny has in recent years, failed to extend to the Muslims and other minorities of India. Increasingly, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs and Dalits have been victimized, boycotted, brutalized and murdered. All this as the upholders of the Constitution – the elected governments of the States and Center, have looked the other way, and at times even directly colluded in the crimes.
In this past year again, violence against Muslims, Christians and Dalits continued unabated and culminated in genocide of the Muslims of Gujarat. These tragic events have given rise to fears among India’s minorities, “lower-caste Hindus” and moderate Hindus that the ruling BJP that subscribes to the Hindutva philosophy has decided to launch its final putsch against the constitution.
The framers of the Constitution of India under Dr. Ambedkar envisaged the religious minorities to be equal citizens of the country. Therefore, they mandated India to be a “Secular, Democratic Republic”. They further extended to Muslims and all the citizens of India, the “Liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship” and the “Equality of status and of opportunity”. They explained that the “Right to Freedom of Religion” encompasses the “Right to Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion”. Unfortunately today all these rights are under attack as is the very constitution that guarantees them. This vicious attack comes not from the external enemies of India but from a domestic ideology called Hindutva that is derived from the principles of fascism and Nazism.
On this day, Indian Muslim Council-USA, a Washington based advocacy group working toward safeguarding Indian society’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, calls on all Indians to reject the ideology of hate that is being promoted by the Hindutva-Fascists. Dr. Shaik Ubaid, the President of IMC, appealed to all Indians to return to the principles of the Constitution and build a nation based on tolerance and respect for all. Dr. Ubaid also urged that the President of India take urgent steps to protect the Constitution of India and uphold the rights of Muslims and other minorities that have been enshrined in it while providing democracy and pluralism to all. He appealed to the United Nations and the United States to make it absolutely clear that India, worlds largest democracy, the second most populous nation and a nuclear power is too important a country to be allowed to fall under the sway of Hindutva-fascists and religious fanatics.
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