The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

ABVP National seminar on minority rights

By S. Chandrasekhar

In the context of Christian, Muslim population becoming the dominant force in Kerala controlling the education sector, shielded on the armour of minority right guaranteed under Articles 29 and 30 of Constitution, the ABVP organised a national seminar on Minority Rights in Education - logic and fallacies at Rajiv Gandhi Indoor Stadium in Kochi from 16 and 17 May, 2007.

Inaugurating the seminar Dr. Subramanian Swamy observed there is no clear definition of minority in the Indian Constitution, U.N. resolution or universally accepted definition of International laws. This is despite the fact that articles 29 and 30 make provisions for linguistic and religion minorities.

He concluded that Muslims and Christians cannot be considered as minorities or deprived class since they have been the ruling class for generations. “The rights guaranteed under articles 29 and 30 does not include the right to mal administer. They should be subject to state regulations in curriculum, faculty, infrastructure and fee conditions.”

Speaking on the subject of equity, excellence and non-discrimination in professional education former Supreme Court Judge K.T. Thomas said that the battle cry for special rights for minorities should stop “In the garb of minority rights Christian and Muslim Institutions are exploiting the seekers of education. Equal standards for uneven sections of society are unjust.” He attacked the religious institutions for commercialising education by demanding heavy capitation fees and concluded saying education should be governed by charity and not trade.

Speaking on the relevance and propriety of minority classification in education eminent Christian reformer and thinker Joseph Pulikunnel said the members of the Christian community do not enjoy rights guaranteed under the Constitution since the educational institutions are under the hegemony of Church and Bishops. “The Christian communities have international links and are receiving financial support from outside. The institutions built with this money have no relevance to the ordinary Christians. The protection given under article 30 is used to undermine integrity and sovereignty of India”. He concluded saying that the catholic educational Institutions that are directly governed by Pope through Bishops and priests are violative of India’s sovereignty and hence rights under article 30 to educational institutions would be unlawful and violative.

Justic Rama Jois, S. Gurumurthy, Dr. V.S Acharya, Prof. P.V. Krishna Bhat etc. presented papers on various dimensions of minority rights in educational and its dangers.

Padmashri P. Parameswaran, director Bharateeya Vichara Kendram spoke at the concluding session.

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