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Ambedkar meet: Resolution adopted against ‘regressive forces’

"Irrespective of religious identities or institutional affiliations, the State needs to strictly reassert political and legal accountability for any violence. This is the only way to prevent lynchings and uphold the rule of law.’’

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru | Published: July 24, 2017 2:58 am
Social Reformer Martin Luthar King III, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with others during the inauguration of the Dr B R Ambedkar International Conference 2017 in Bengaluru on Friday. (Source: PTI/Shailendra Bhojak)

Regressive political and social forces which are in positions of power are undermining the foundations of Indian society and pose “a grave threat to the idea of India espoused by the freedom movement and spelt out in the Constitution”, said a resolution called the Bengaluru Declaration that was passed at the end of a three-day international conference on Dr B R Ambedkar.

Regressive forces with state power “are systematically dismantling the institutions that are the foundations of our society, by undermining India’s holistic welfare and affirmative action architecture and by destroying the pluralistic fabric of our nation”, read the declaration, put together by academics and participants at the conference organised by the Congress government in Karnataka. The conference ended on Sunday.

While assiduously avoiding direct references to BJP, RSS, PM Narendra Modi or recent incidents of violence over food habits, the Bengaluru Declaration has called for all governments in the country to uphold constitutional values and the rule of law. “The State must be unequivocal in its protection of fundamental rights and constitutional values. Irrespective of religious identities or institutional affiliations, the State needs to strictly reassert political and legal accountability for any violence. This is the only way to prevent lynchings and uphold the rule of law,’’ it said.

Academics from National Law School of India, Azim Premji University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, and policymakers were among those involved in drafting the declaration after broad consultations during the conference.

“Regressive social and political forces have consistently resisted and tried to undermine both the constitutional idea of India and the efforts of the State in the last 70 years. These forces also seek to homogenise India and restore the principles of hierarchy, patriarchy and fundamentalism that Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jagjivan Ram, Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad and other founders rejected,” it stated. “We need to address these concerns urgently, and resist these attacks boldly,’’ it added.

The declaration calls for a special law to prevent caste, religious and gender discrimination in educational institutions; reform or removal of laws that constrain freedom of speech, expression and individual rights, including laws on defamation, sedition, art/film censorship and social media; promotion of gender parity in Parliament and state Assemblies; and land for landless Dalits.

Many policies implemented by the Karnataka government are part of the recommendations in the declaration. “The declaration includes a significant part of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah’s AHINDA policy of social welfare schemes for minorities, Dalits and backward classes, and views of academics on the improving the condition of Dalits,” an academic involved with drafting the declaration said.

Despite political undertones of the Congress’s attempt to garner Dalits’ support through the event, the conference was a revelation for the community as well as the academics. “General public attended the event with academics. It is something I have not seen before,’’ said S K Thorat, professor emeritus from JNU.

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  1. R
    Jul 25, 2017 at 1:36 am
    Keep India’s cons ution alive, do not try to implement of RSS Hindu radical agenda against minority their believe , their religious Patrice and their eating habit, we all are Hindustani. Let it eat what they like, this is call freedom, do to try to make India religious bondage country like radical ISIS. India does not accept any religion as state religion. India maintains absolute neutrality and impartiality towards all religions. Hence India is a perfect example of a secular state-flanked by theocracies in the East and West. A secular state does not seek to regulate human’s relations with God or his spiritual aspirations. Secularism is concerned with the regulation of men’s social relations. The provisions relating to “Right of Freedom of Religion” of the Articles 25 28 of the Cons ution of India make India a secular state. To make assurance doubly sure, the 42nd amendment of the cons ution inserts the term “secular” in the preamble of the cons ution.
    1. R
      Jul 24, 2017 at 8:20 pm
      JNU left thugs and congress g00ndas organizing a conference on Ambedker and using names like Ambedkar, Sardar Patel, democracy, unity, values, tolerance, secularism etc. all anathema to current Sonia-Raul congress culture! In Karnataka only lynching that is taking place is that of Hindus connected with nationalist organizations by islamist-marxist-congress thugs. Only fight should be against corruption and islamist invasion in ndian polity, exemplified by congress-communist cabal. Anything else is just propaganda. All this propaganda/drama by congress-communist traitors wont help in saving security deposits of congress politicians in coming elections. Look at he felows on stage, Siddu,Raul,PC ,, etc, all should be in jail for treason!