RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION



RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AND FREEDOM OF RELIGION

         Having done a broader analysis of how communally sensitized forces look for chances to discriminate people on religious grounds against the constitutional provisions now, in this chapter we shall mainly focus on the problems associated with the religious minorities. This is done in order to understand freedom of religion in India for the religious minorities, in addition to the previous general findings.

 6.1 Minority Definition

The difficulty with the word minority is that “the word ‘minority’ has not been defined in the Constitution.”[1] It is not just in the constitution but also not defined in other places. For example “in India, neither the constitution nor the National Commission for Minorities Act (NCM Act) defines the term minorities.”[2] In other words  “the term ‘minority’ has not been defined in the Constitution or in any other enactment or in the government resolution under which the minority commission was established.” [3] The non-definition of the term minority did not bar the government from enacting necessary provisions for the protection and ensuring of freedom to the minorities in India.
However, “the Central Government has notified the following as falling within the category of a ‘minority’: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, and Buddhists, such a definition of minority excludes, among others, Judaism, Jainism, and the Bahai faith.”[4] In the simple form for our government five are minorities: Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsees.[5] In the words of R. Venkataraman “at present, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians are listed as minority communities.”[6] The above data helps understanding the various religious minority groups in India.
James Massey also suggests, “today, there are five religious groups which have been given the official status of National Minorities, namely, the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsees.”[7] He identifies another category of minorities.  In his own words “among the religious minorities which do not enjoy an official national status (but have their rights equally protected) are the following three groups” Jains, Bhaha’is and Jews.”[8] He also sheds light on the groups that may be considered as minorities as “besides these religious groups there are other groups in north-east India, who profess traditional religious beliefs.”[9] This indefiniteness symbolizes the complexity of the minority issue.
Loosely it is said “we can treat Muslims, Christians as religious minorities at the national level because their numerical strength compared with rest of the Indian citizens is smaller so that they are entitled to any protections that may be designed for religious minorities.” [10] This looks oversimplification of the issue because besides these two major religious minority groups there are many other minority groups.  They also need to be accounted for and the benefits for the religious minorities should reach them as well. If that is not implicit it betrays the minorities in line with the majority community feeling of the communal Hindus who want to absorb the other religious groups in to them. It is generally called the process of assimilation and Hinduism is best known for it.
The word ‘minority’ has not been defined in the Indian Constitution and it does not lay down sufficient indication to test the determinants of a group as minority[11] yet it recognizes two types of minorities particularly linguistic and religious. Sunita Gangwal writes “…to be more precise and scientific it is appropriate to comment that Indian constitution recognizes only two types of minorities based on language and religion and also those based both in combination.”[12] In India the problem of religious minority is always on center stage due to communal power politics. Hence we shall focus on religious minorities and the problem faced by them. This will enable us to understand the issues involved in freedom of religion in India.
A different but intriguing definition in support of the majority or in protecting the interest of the Hindutva agenda is that  “any section of the citizens, being small in number in a definite area, in respect of religion, language or on any other ground, seeking equal or preferential treatment either to maintain its identity or to be assimilated with the majority, is a minority.”[13] This view suggest that even in some places the Hindus will become minority for example where the other religious communities are more in number compared to Hindus. In support of this viewpoint it is suggested “Article 29 though provides protection to the interests of the minorities, yet it does not refer to the numerically less minorities. It actually refers to any section of citizens, who may belong to a majority community.  For example, members of Hindu majority living in Punjab or Nagaland will have protection for their linguistic or cultural rights, where Sikhs and Christians are in majority respectively.”[14]  This in fact further complicates the issue of defining the expression minority.
Although the constitution does not speak about numerical minority it needs to be remembered “the present definition on which the Indians are depending is given to them by the judiciary, according to which any community which is numerically less then 50 percent of the population.”[15] Having analyzed many of the explanations of the courts it is stated that,  “it, however, logically follows from the language used by the courts in the judgments reviewed that they may find themselves prepared to ascertain a minority with reference to the entire population of the country if the law in question happens to be a union law.”[16] It means the scope of the content of minority is liable to change in relation to the context.
Whether the numerical consideration is unbiased or not, it is very important to remember that the constitution does not give any special rights to the minorities, but articles twenty nine and thirty safeguard the rights of the minorities.[17] Particularly Article thirty guarantees fundamental rights to the religious and linguistic minorities.
It is essential to consider some of the recent directives of the judiciary in connection with the issues of minorities. In the view of the Supreme Court, listing religious groups as minority communities should be discouraged and the existing list eventually done away with. The logic behind such guidelines is that classifying communities on the basis of religion promotes divisive tendencies and weakens the nation. It is worth mentioning the following concern of the Judges, “the bench of Chief Justice R.C. Lahoti and Justices D.M. Dharmadhikari and P.K. Balasubramanyan said in a 22 page judgment the “goal of the Constitution is to create social conditions where there is no need to shield or protect rights of minority or majority communities”.[18]  The bench made the observation while rejecting the appeal of the Jain community for minority status under section 2 (c) of the National Commission for Minorities Act. The court has shifted the burdens from the minorities to the government. It is also a lesson that the failures of the governments in maintaining equality of the citizens are furthering the minority issues.
            The court’s direction to the Minority Commission is also in line with the previous concern that “the minorities commission, “instead of encouraging claims from different communities for being added to a list of notified minorities under the Act, should suggest ways and means to help create social conditions where the list of notified minorities is gradually reduced and done away with altogether”, the court said.”[19] It is true that increasing the list of the minorities is not the solution to the problems of minorities, particularly religious minorities. The main agenda should be to see that the minorities particularly the religious minorities are not denied their rights principally freedom of religion.
            Again dividing the society in the name of minority on any ground is not a healthy solution. The menace of such division is that  “if, only on the basis of a different religious thought or less numerical strength or lack of health, wealth, education, power or social rights, a claim of a section of the Indian society to the status of minority is considered and conceded, there would be no end to such claims in a society as multi-religious and multi-linguistic as India is”.[20] The point is in a pluralist nation like India, listing a group as minority has its merits but that is not the final settlement of the issue. The possible answer is that the governments cannot fail in maintaining equality to all the citizens irrespective of their religious affiliation or cultural and linguistic.     
Having analyzed the issues involved in defining who are the minorities in India, let us consider a broader version of it from the international point of view. For example “the U.N. Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities has defined ‘minority’ (by an inclusive definition), as under: (1) The term ‘minority’ includes only those non-document groups in a population which possess and wish to preserve stable ethnic, religious or linguistic traditions or characteristics markedly different from those of the rest of the population; (ii) such minorities should properly include a number of person sufficient by themselves to preserve such traditions or characteristics; and (iii) such minorities must be loyal to the State of which they are nationals.”[21]
The three concerns that they should be non-document group, numerically sufficient to protect their traditions and heritages and should be loyal to the nation are very useful. In that case India will have to consider many more as religious minorities, which of course is quite hazardous venture. Another point of significance is that all religious communities should be committed to uninfringeable loyalty to the nation. Of course this is well taken in the fundamental rights related to religious freedom.
 Still further “Article 27 of the International Convenant(sic) on Civil and Political Rights does not define the expression but gives the following right to them: “in those states in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other   members of the group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion or to use their own language.”[22] It is noteworthy that freedom of religion is one of the main concerns the international community is apprehensive about in relation to the minorities.
The issue of minority can be considered from the international justice point of view as well. For instance “the Permanent Court Of International Justice Of The League of Nations interpreted minority to refer to those people who ‘live in a given country or locality, have a race, religion, language and traditions of their own, and are united by this identity of race, religion, language and traditions in a sentiment of solidarity, with a view to preserving their traditions, maintain their own form of worship, ensure the instruction and upbringing of their children in accordance with the spirit and tradition of their race and render mutual assistance to each other’.”[23]  Again “in international law the term is used in the restricted sense to refer to a kind of class/group of population which differs from the dominant group within a state.”[24] By all means the primary concern is that the minorities and their rights should be protected.
Although the definitions are broad one thing we are clear is that the minorities have the right to adhere to religion of their own. Their right for freedom of religion is protected at all occasions in all places. Religious discrimination is one among the possible discriminations identified from the point of minorities all over. This means freedom of religion is universal and that cannot be curtailed.

 6.2 A Biased Attempt to Derogatively Define the Term

In India, unfortunately, a group of communal forces want to deprive the religious minorities the freedom of religion. And they are also attempting to curb the fundamental right or human right that, persons have the right to choose religion of their own choice. Hence they come out with unconstitutional and irrelevant definitions and agendas. For example without taking the Indian contextual realities into consideration it is suggested, “…in democratic societies it is based on its numerical ratio to the population as a whole in a particular region.”[25] This statement is pregnant with intricacies as to suggest that even the Hindus are minority in some parts of India, particularly in Kashmir. The real purpose is to thwart religious rights and protections to people belonging to religious traditions other than the so-called Hindu.
The framers of the Indian constitution have taken all the efforts to safeguard the religious minorities in view of the multi-religious context in India. The communally biased writers willfully avoid the possibility of seeing the religious minority as an essential issue. They quote materials from alien contexts to suit their designs. For example it is claimed, “in international law the term is used in the restricted sense to refer to a kind of class/group of population which differs from the dominant group within a state.”[26] This is to show that the natives of this land are different from the settled Hindus and now the Hindus are majority.
The ugly design of discriminating and degrading humanity on religious ground is explicit in the view of communally charged writers. For example “a minority is always an organized community bound by ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious ties distinct from the majority dominant group and other minority groups. Such a group is often the subject of social prejudices and segregation and political discrimination by the majority group in power. Socially, the members of such a group remain as untouchables and politically as second class citizens.”[27] The arrogance of communal forces to call other religious communities as suspicious and subject to discriminations, untouchables and second-class citizens is vivid here.
The faulty notion that the religious minority will be disloyal to the nation is an incorrect portrayal.   The simple fact is that the communal groups desire that the religious minority should not have any freedom of religion. They should be treated as second-class citizens deserving ill treatment and underprivileged.  The simple erroneous wish is that the numerically majority should have say on every matter and the others should not have. Unfortunately the Hindus being a numerically stronger group in India are up to harassing the religious minorities. Freedom of religion is the fundamental right universally accepted for the minorities all over the world. Freedom of religion to the numerically powerless is the sign of civilization in the postmodern global village. It is not just numerical calculation but the wisdom of the constitution should be allowed to function freely.
In the light of the possibility of the minority rights being manipulatively misused it is objected, “the minority concept does not augur well for a secular state… In a secular state there is no such things as minority since every body has the same rights, status and obligations as any body else.”[28]  This is true in the light of the constitution as well. It does not give extra privileges rather protects the constitutional provisions which otherwise the minorities may not be in a position to protect and enjoy. All the constitutional rights are for the entire citizens of India, but often it is interpreted as if the minorities are given many privileges to the extent of being threat to the security of the nation.

 6.3 History of Minorities in India

The issue of the minority-religious, linguistic, ethnic, etc is universal. One of the main reasons for the conception of minority is migration. James Massey gives the following historiography about the origin and development of minorities in India. In the Indian context also minority groups came into existence due to migration from one place to another. The first such historically known group was that of the ‘Aryans’, who moved into the present day India around 1500 BC. These Aryans subjugated the earlier settlers, who later became completely powerless and subdued. The earliest native Indians to become the oldest minority groups are those who call themselves Dalits and Adivasis (original inhabitants) today. Two religious minorities also came into existence between 563-483 BC, namely, the Buddhists and the Jains, as a result of the protests of Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC) and Mahavira (540-468 BC) against the supremacy of the Brahmins (the priestly caste of the Hindu religion). The other known national religious minorities are Muslims and Christians. The rise of Muslim as a minority community in India dates back to AD 712 when Muslims began their inroads into India. Prior to the advent of Muslims in India two other religious groups-Christians and Jews from Middle East Asia – had also made their way in to the southern part of India. The other religious group that migrated to India from Persia was that of Parsees-the followers of Zoroaster or Zarathustra in the seventh century AD. Fifteenth century AD saw the rise of another religious group, namely, the Sikhs who were firmly established as a separate religious group by the end of the seventeenth century.[29]
After giving a brief history of the minorities in India he identifies Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsees as constitutionally recognized religious minorities. He also makes reference to another three religious minority groups, which do not enjoy an official national status (but have their rights equally protected). They are the Jains, Bhaha’is and Jews. He also brings to focus the religious groups in north-east India, who profess traditional religious beliefs.[30]
James Massey’s information on the constitutional provisions, which are concerned with the religious minorities in India, is helpful to understand the issue of religious minorities in India from the point of constitution. He writes “as far as India is concerned, she has not only recognized the existence of minorities and given them an official status, but has also offered them special safeguards in the Constitution. There are also general rights enlisted under Articles 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28 which are applicable to all citizens including the minorities…Besides the general basic rights, the Indian Constitution guarantees special rights to the minorities under Article 29 and 30…But here it must be noted that while Article 29 is applicable to all the citizens of India, Article 30 is specially applicable only to religious and linguistic minorities….”[31]
Although the above sketch history is inadequate it points to the necessity for considering some more groups as minorities. It also unveils that the constitution treats every one equally and sees that the minorities enjoy their portion.  The constitution makes provisions for other possible safeguards in protecting the basic rights of the minorities including the religious minorities.

6.4 Minority Commission
Minority Commission is not the direct dictation of the constitution but it has provisions to form these mechanisms to monitor the concerns of the minorities, here mainly religious minorities. As a result, “the Minorities Commission was first constituted in 1978 by a Government of India Resolution dated 12 January 1978 to look into the welfare of minorities.”[32] The purpose of the Minorities Commission was to evaluate the working of the various constitutional safeguards for the protection of minorities and religious groups and to ensure their ‘effective implementation and enforcement’.”[33] In other words for the interests of the minorities, in fact, the first instrument created by the central government is the National Commission for Minorities. Initially, it functioned as a department of the Home Ministry at the Centre but was later attached to the Ministry of Welfare till 1992.[34]
It was in 1992 that the Parliament passed the National Commission for the Minorities Act, giving it full statutory authority.[35] To elaborate it further  “to make the functioning of the Minorities commission more effective, the Indian Parliament passed the National Commission for Minorities Act in 1992 and gave it a statutory status and renamed it as the ‘National Commission for Minorities’ defining the new role of the Commission, the Act empowers it to ‘monitor the working of the safeguards provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures’.”[36] The purpose of the Act was to better address the interests of minorities in an organized and effective manner.[37] 
In furthering the cause of the minorities the second instrument, which came into existence as a result of the recommendations of the National Commission for Minorities, and which needs a special mention is NMDFC. It was established on 30 September 1994.[38]  Since the issue of minorities is a concrete one “besides these two instruments, there is also a special programme known as the ‘Prime Minister’s 15-point Programme for Minorities’ in existence since 1983….”[39]
Regarding the effectiveness of the Minority commission the following concerns are raised. For example the “Minority Commission is constituted by Chairman and members who are invariably from minority communities. Can minority survive if it has no faith in the good will of majority? Can such a commission be not dubbed as biased and prejudicial with preconceived notions. Why should not a Minority Commission have Chairman some member belonging to the majority community. Further all minorities should get representation on the commission.”[40]
There are certain limitations to the commission in achieving its objectivity. James Massey writes “though the National Commission for Minorities has been empowered with the powers of a civil court, yet lacks the power of implementing its findings and recommendations.”[41] Presently it can only send its recommendations to the central and state governments. They in turn place the matter in the parliament and state legislature respectively. Of course few states have also instituted minority commissions.
The purpose for which the minority commission was established needs appreciation. But unfortunately, due to various structural and functional constrains, the minority commission can enquire a matter of concern and present the findings to the appropriate bodies. It has no judicial power. It has to wait for the verdicts of the other judicial organs. Thus more often than not the functioning of this commission and its outcome are gravely questioned.
In spite of the limitations we need to value the efforts of the governments in power, which have taken committed efforts to protect the rights and privileges of the minorities, including religious, in line with the provisions of the constitution of India. What is bothering the religious minorities is that these good intentions are challenged at the wake of communal political parties particularly, the Hindutva forces. Their only goal is to divide the people on religious grounds and occupy power so that the religious minorities in India will be put to unconstitutional measures.

 6.5 Hindutva Perception of other Religious Communities

Unfortunately the Hindus being the numerically dominant group inculcated the evil of denying freedom of religion to others. They want the religious minorities to disclaim religious freedom. The minorities should be assimilated in to the so-called majority religious system. And the religious minorities should not grow in number (population) and finally they should surrender to the whims and fancies of the religious majority. It is a flat denial of religious freedom opposed to civilization. It is said, “if the first stage be called parākrama-vād (assimilation-ism) and the second, sankuchitata-vād (contraction-ism), then this can be called sharanāgati-vād (surrender-ism).”[42]
The communally charged fundamental forces in India desire to enjoy political power by instigating violence against religious communities. To achieve their aim they are misappropriating the volatile condition of unemployment and poverty. They poise unacceptable and unnatural theories, which are destroying civilizations. For example “we must revive once again the parākrama-vād. For that we should make it clear that the non-Hindu who lives here has a rāshtra dharma (national responsibility), a samāja dharma (duty to society), a kula dharma (duty to ancestors), and only in his vyakti dharma (personal faith) he can choose any path which satisfies his spiritual urge.”[43] It looks, for all the religious minorities the Hindus in India will prescribe the course of religious life. They are using religious differences as a tool to sin against humanity.
The system of assimilation in Hinduism has temporarily curtailed the spread and progress of many indigenous religions. This is considered as threat to the existence of other religions. We are in an age where religious plurality is an accepted way of life. Respecting other religion and people is the order of the day. But here is a group, which says that other religious communities cannot have the constitutional right of complete religious freedom. M.S. Golwalkar writes, “if, even after fulfilling all those various duties in social life, anybody says that he has studied Quran Sherif or the Bible and that way of worship strikes a sympathetic chord in his heart, that he can pray better through that path of devotion, we have absolutely no objection. Thus he has his choice in a portion of his individual life. For the rest, he must be one with the national current. That is real assimilation.”[44] The proposal is extremely intolerant in nature. Its main objective is to subjugate the other religious communities and dictate terms and condition to them. No one can practice two religious elements at the same time. But the Hindutva elements want other religious communities to pray in one form and to do the rest of the religious activity in another form.
Rather than asking people to follow the national code and respect the constitution the Hindutva forces want others to follow Hindu code of life. This has been put, as “any one was welcome to stay here. But all of them were required to act up to our national codes and conventions.” [45] Every religious community in India is loyal to the nation and respects the sovereignty of the nation. There is no hesitation to that. But it is true that no one will like to accept Hindu codes and conventions as national codes and conventions.
Their assertive claim for an unethical and uncivilized principle is very clear. There is no element of acceptance or accommodative or harmonious nature in them. They claim, “this is our concept of Hindu Nation and our attitude towards the non-Hindus residing here-the only rational, practical and right approach.”[46]
If Hindutva ask for national principles or sentiments they are acceptable. The forces are really asking every one to follow Hindu principles and Hindu nationalism. Their perpetual toil to advocate a nationalism based upon Hinduism is provocatively stated as, “the conclusion that we arrive at is that all those communities which are staying in this land and yet are not true to their salt, have not imbibed its culture, do not lead the life which this land has been unfolding for so many centuries, do not believe in its philosophy, in its national heroes and in all that this land has been standing for, and are, to put it briefly, foreign to our national life. And the only real, abiding and glorious national life in this holy land of Bharat has been of the Hindu People.”[47]
It looks the fundamentals are suggesting that one cannot exclusively be loyal to one religion. He or she has to mix the religious elements. In other words read one scripture, pray in one way and accept the religious principles of Hindus. The simple impracticable agenda is that only Hindus alone can live in India and all other religious communities should leave India.  They are unaware of the basic fact that all religious communities are first Indian citizens and secondly they are accepting a religion conducive to their life.
The unforgivable crime to which this fundamental forces are succumbed is to denigrate those who reveal and unveil these hidden agendas. Not just slandering them but also portraying them as antinational.  The secular character of the central governments are often caricatured as “however, the present attempts are such as to discredit the Hindus and, through the appeasement policy, to make the non-Hindus more aggressive in their already existing aggressive designs. In this way, the heritage and the tradition of Hindus are being insulted, making them imbecile and incapable of defending themselves. ”[48] One thing is very clear that the secular governments really obstruct the execution of Hindu communal agenda in this nation which is exclusively plural in all realms. Still it is the good will and wisdom of the people who are committed to secularism and democracy that prevails against the parochial interests of the Hindu communal forces.
We do not know why the so-called Hindu majority has to be so vehemently hatch plans to eliminate Islam and Christianity from India.  The primary and foremost enemy to them is the Muslims in India. Past historical trajectories cannot become a source to conspire against Muslims in Independent India. No doubt the history is in support of the Hindu claims. For example the tragedies associated with the 1947 partition and connected events are stated as “in fact, the relations between the Hindus and Muslims were never so bitter and estranged as in those years of 1946 and 1947.”[49] Their anti-Muslim atrocious views can be analyzed now.
It is very clear that the Hindu communal and fundamental forces will go to any level to destabilize other religious communities on any false grounds. It ranges from disrespect to religion, culture, nation, religious heroes, betraying the nation etc.  Their hatred to the Muslim community is so acute.

 6.6 Hindutva and Muslims

It is history that we have the Arabs in India from a very early period of time. Although there were earlier Muslim influences in India, the Hindutva proponents argue “with the Arab conquest of Sind in 712 A.D. the muslim interest in India increased.”[50] This is history. But the fact that the Muslims in India are not the Mugals alone who came and settled in India. The Muslim community in India is the product of invasion, trade and religious propagation. It is the community that resulted at the intermingling of the natives and the Arabs. This situation was bestowed by history. It is nothing strange than the Aryans coming and invading India and mixing with the natives and then claiming originality.
In the process of intimidating the Indian Muslims it is argued, “it was naturally hoped and expected that those Muslims who stayed back would live down their pact, discard their separatist demands and join the national mainstream. But this hope has belied. Muslim problems have re-emerged and votaries of Islamism have reverted to their pre-partition game.”[51] This may be true when they are pressed hard and they are left without any choice. It is not true fully because the Muslims in India are committed Indian citizens and they continue to contribute to the advancement of the nation. It is only the Hindu communal forces always threaten them and intimidate them. Being numerically so small the Muslim community is often forced to seek for even the worst form of self-defense at the expense of their own life.
To divide the religious minorities and deprive their religious freedom the communal forces are grading the minority religious communities. Pannalal Dhar writes, “while the Christians were not belligerent in their attitude towards Hindus and did not desecrate temples, the Muslims belligerency is present even to-day.”[52] Although Muslims and Christians are subject to same kind of atrocities from the so-called Hindu majority, the Hindu communal forces project Christians as better than Muslims. This is not their true accepted comment. The real intention is to divide these two progressive communities and gain control one after the other. The seeming good will towards the Christians here will become the hate will later. The main thing is that first they wanted to corner the Muslims.
 However the history of the conflict between the Hindus and Muslims are traced back to early freedom struggle. Sunita Gangwal writes, “the rivalry between the two major communities of India, Hindus and Muslims commonly regarded as the problem of communalism originated with the advent of British rule in India. Though in the first war of independence of 1857, both Hindus and Muslims joined together and suffered almost equally, the British wrath was directed solely towards the Muslims. “[53] History tells us that the Muslims were forced into fear that the Majority Hindu rule will be so disastrous to the Muslims in India compared to the British rule. Thus to capitalize on the British benevolence often the Muslims had to take a different stand even to the level of asking for a separate state. The Hindu communal forces bend the history as well.
The simple agenda of this communal force is to see that the younger Indians, particularly the votaries of Hinduism, should be poisoned with the view that the Mugals were the invaders and destroyed Hinduism and Hindus. They do not want to credit to their other contributions. Thus they say, the national history of the Muslims period should be re-written giving the truth without varnish.[54] The Hindu attempt to rewrite the history is always motivated towards division and making one society to clash with the other. The simple agenda is to ask for an unachievable and inapplicable and irrelevant Hindu India.
The real anger against the Muslims are vented as  “they had come here as invaders. They were conceiving themselves as conquerors and rulers here for the last twelve hundred years. That complex was still in their mind. History has recorded that their antagonism was not merely political. Had it been so, they could have been won over in a very short time. But it was so deep-rooted that whatever we believed in, the Muslim was wholly hostile to it. If we worship in the temple, he would desecrate it. If we carry on bhajans and car festivals, that would irritate him. If we worship cow, he would like to eat it. If we glorify woman as a symbol of sacred motherhood, he would like to molest her. He was tooth and nail opposed to our way of life in all aspects-religious, cultural, social, etc. he had imbibed that hostility to the very core. His number also was not small. Next to the Hindu’s his was the largest.”[55] Here the Muslims are willfully portrayed as offenders of the Hindu religious and national sentiments. Of course this is only a means to reach the goal of political power and thereby subjugate all other religious communities. This villainous plan is unveiling in their worry about the increase in the number of Muslims.
The Hindutva forces are in the process of mobilizing big forces to confront the Muslims. This campaign is carried out in many forms. Their main agenda is put fourth as “but to tell the pugnacious fighting Mussalman that his forefathers were Hindus, that he should return to the Hindu fold as a self-respecting man, that he should give up his aggressive mode of the Moghul days and wake up to the realities of the present century and merge in the national current of life- to tell all this required an unshakable conviction in the supremacy of truth and indomitable courage to face the hard realities of the situation.”[56]
Not stopping with it the Parivar go back and suggest that such defense was always there and it needs to be continued more aggressively and in more horrifying and bloody ways. It is also claimed that “even during the days of Muslim domination great saints and sanyasins rose to continue that tradition.”[57]
The plot of the Hindu fundamental forces is so deep that it will work against the confidence of the Muslims. In other words things are presented in such a way that there will be perpetual and unquenchable tension and enmity now and in the future. This evil design is stated as “it would be suicidal to delude ourselves into believing that they have turned patriots overnight after the creation of Pakistan. On the contrary, the Muslim menace has increased a hundredfold by the creation of Pakistan which has become a springboard for all their future aggressive designs on our country.”[58] It is not enough to create enmity and hatred between two religious communities but they want that to be inflamed constantly. This is the way the Parivar spoil the future of India. They have spoiled, are doing now and will do as well.
The struggle for the Muslim Minority in India for religious freedom and the effect of missing it is termed as preparation for war from within India. From the point of Hindutva it is claimed, “right from Delhi to Rampur and Lucknow, the Muslims are busy hatching a dangerous plot, piling up arms and mobilizing their men and probably biding their time to strike from within when Pakistan decides upon an armed conflict with our country.”[59]
The communally fundamental group fails to understand the basic sentiment of the other religious groups. While the whole world is pondering as to live together with religious differences here is a fundamental group, which has a very primitive mode of thinking. Their animosity to the freedom of others particularly, religious freedom, is implicit in the statements “in fact, all over the country wherever there is a masjid or a Muslim mohalla, the Muslims feel that it is their own independent territory. If there is a procession of Hindus with music and singing, they get enraged saying that their religious susceptibilities are wounded. If their religious feelings have become so sensitive as to be irritated by sweet music then why don’t they shift their masjids to forests and pray there in silence?”[60] If the Hindu fundamentals turn the question to themselves and introspect, that will be rewarding in the direction of relevant and positive thinking about other religious communities in India.
Rather than positively thinking about constructive relations the Hindu communal forces always envy the progress of the religiously minority communities in India. It is said, “the conclusion is that, in practically every place, there are Muslims who are in constant touch with Pskistan over the transmitter enjoying not only the rights of an average citizen but also some extra privileges and extra favour because they are ‘minorities’.” [61] It looks that the Hindu majority in India is jealous of the Muslims in India thinking that they are accepted in Pakistan and also the government of India is not allowing the Hindu majority to strangle the Muslim religious freedom in India.
The recent attacks on the Muslims by the RSS are based on baseless and untimely presumptions. Ram Puniyani writes, “the attack on them and consequent ghettoisation was preceded and accompanied hate campaign against them. This hate campaign, was based on the misinformation which was actively propagated by the SP and later became the part of ‘social common sense’. Also that the Muslims are responsible for the Partition, they are more loyal to Pakistan, Muslim Kings destroyed Hindu Temples, they spread Islam on the strength of the sword, that they tortured the Hindus, that they are polygamous and do not follow the family planning norms.”[62] These slandering are only tools to achieve the final communal agenda of the Hindutva forces in India.
In the Sang Parivar’s communalizing of events there will be some hidden agenda. I. Arul Aram points out ,“thus, the building of the Ram temple was not a real goal but a symbol of a larger saffron agenda. It was not merely about building a temple at Ayodhya but about asserting Hindu supremacy and marginalizing religious minorities, particularly Muslims. The demolition of the 16-century-old Babri Masjid in Ayodhya in 1992 and the hype that preceded that were attempts at Hindu consolidation. This was done to counter the emergence of the Third Front which led to self-assertion by backward classes in the late 1980s. Hindu militant organizations have always resorted to the Ayodhya issue whenever faced with a political crisis such as Uttar Prasesh Assembly elections. There is a nexus between politicians and religious leaders.”[63]
Having no ideology or issue to stand by, the communal forces are bent on constantly perpetuating hatred against the Muslim community. It is declared, “there has been a systematic creation of myths against the Muslims that successive governments pampered and appeased the community, that they are polygamous, that their fertility rates are higher and that they are anti-national.”[64]
The Hindutva’s hypocrisy is stark when they meet the elections. During election campaigning the language changes.  In the words of Ram Puniyani “as far as Muslims are concerned a double strategy is in operation to seek their votes. Suddenly BJP has realized that Muslims are ‘blood of our blood and flesh of our flesh’, while RSS is projecting the ISI agent image of Muslims and VHP regularly comes out with its fresh ‘demolition’ list which includes more mosques.”[65] Of course this is the main agenda. The Hindu communal forces wants to grab the power first through communal hatred and violence and slowly to implement their Hindutva agenda.
The reasons for the Muslim fear and the possibility of overcoming such fears and the likelihood of witnessing improved Muslim contribution is stated as “if we, as Indians, make the minority feel less unloved, if we reduce their insecurities, if they feel that their culture is not under attack by the Hindus, changes for the better will come from the Muslims themselves.”[66] Attempting to curb one’s constitutional religious freedom amounts to attempting to erode the religious identity of a religious community.
In every event the Muslims and their activities are interpreted as antinational. For example about the recent developments in the Aligarh Muslim University it is said, “it has once again become a hot bed of Muslim communalism and separation. It has virtually become a state within a state in which anti-national elements find a safe sanctuary.”[67] This is nothing but perpetual and constant debasing of the earnest and legitimate democratic claims of a community.

Contrary to the Sang Parivar’s communally characterized charges against the Muslims in India, now new findings are available to indicate the Muslims’ pitiable and backward situation in India.  The following background and circumstances of appointing the Sachar committee is helpful to see the issue from a clear and unbiased perspective.

ISSUES relating to the social, economic and political status of India’s Muslim minority community have been a matter of debate for several decades; quite a few governments have initiated studies on the community and evolved administrative measures on their basis. As early as the 19th century, Monstuart Elephinstone, the legendary British administrator, put it on record that special measures were required to uplift the backward sections of the Muslim community. Studies conducted by the British administration led to the passage of a government Act in 1935 offering Dalit Muslims reservation facilities along with Dalit Hindus. Nearly two and a half decades ago, Prime Minister Indra Gandhi constituted a 10-member high-power panel on Minorities, Scheduled Castes (S.C.s) and scheduled tribes (S.T.s) and other weaker sections, headed by Dr. Gopal Singh. In its report submitted on June 14, 1983, the Dr. Gopal Singh Committee maintained that there was a “sense of discrimination prevailing among the minorities” and that it “must be eliminated, root and branch, if we want the minorities to form an effective part of the mainstream”.

            The examination of the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community by the seven-member high-level committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar, constituted by the Manmohan Singh government, and the publication of its report in November represents, on the face of it, a continuation of the debate on the community. Even so, on account of a variety of factors, the work of the Sachar committee and its report have greater significance and relevance than earlier initiatives.[68]
           
The specific context in which the committee worked makes the Hindu communal claim null and void. Venkitesh Ramakrishnan writes, “the context in which the Sachar Committee undertook its work is significant. The sustained campaign of the Hindutva-oriented Sangh Parivar and its political arm, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), accusing secular parties of promoting a policy of “Muslim appeasement” and insinuating that the Muslim community was politically and socially “anti-national” provides this.”[69]
            The committee’s findings are contextual and bring to light the deprived situation of the Muslim community in India in contrast to the portrayals of the Hindutva forces. For example the committee report has taken note of this context. It points out that Muslims carry a double burden of being labeled ‘anti-national’ and as being appeased at the same time. The report further states, “While Muslims need to prove on a daily basis that they are not anti-national and terrorists, it is not recognized that the alleged appeasement has not resulted in the desired level of socio-economic development of the community.[70]
            In the words of the committee the real situation of the Muslims in India is that  “the community exhibits deficits and deprivation in practically all dimensions of development. “[71]
            The long discussion on the Hindutva version of the Muslim firmly establishes that the Hindutva claims are utterly false and they have involved in false and groundless slandering in order to become the political champions of this nation. And hence it can be affirmatively concluded that the Sang Parivar is committed to divide the nation on religious grounds. This is done by way of unrecognizing the other religious communities in India. And also by presenting the other religious communities as anti-nationals. The ultimate sufferer is freedom of religion to the religious minorities in India.

6.7 Hindutva and Christianity

It was maintained earlier that the Hindutva presents Christianity as lesser evil than the Muslims in order to divide these two religious communities so that a united struggle against the programs designed to abolish freedom of religion to the religious minorities in India can be weakened. Again it was remarked that the Hindutva uses the same strategies that were used against the Muslims, against the Christians in India. This shall be vivid from the subsequent discussions.
Although the communal forces credit Christianity with less aggressive motives the Christians are also now targeted and disturbed allover. The Christians are pictured as antinational and supporters of British. A wrong portrayal of the Christian participation in the freedom struggle is given as “so, in general, the Christians kept themselves aloof from the freedom struggle.”[72] This is fully erroneous because eminent Christian leaders have enormously contributed to the nation building in India. It is worth remembering that the Christians are Indian citizens first and only on the basis of their religious affiliation they are called Christians.
More than the Muslims the Christians are accused of proselytizing as well.  M.S. Golwalkar maintains, “during the war of independence in 1857, some bishops here has raised platoons to help the British Government in suppressing the uprising. Since then, they were always on the side of the British who, after all, belonged to their own faith. The British too were helping the Christian missionary activities in various ways.”[73] It is not true that the Christians in India wanted the British rule to continue. If any evidence is found to this effect that calls for extreme condemnation. People’s preference for Christianity is due to the oppressive character of Hindu religion and the willful refusal to accept people as people.
 Further, the communal forces do not want to see the church existing or exerting desirable influence on the society.  Hence all the philanthropic activities are interpreted as attempts to increase the number of churches in India. Parivar’s fabricated apprehensions are stated, as “doubtless Christ was a great saint. But later, what went on in the name of Christ has nothing to do with him. It was no Christianity but only ‘churchianity’. The saying ‘There was but one true Christian and he died on the Cross’ is true to the letter.”[74]This is the result of utter fear psychosis. The Hindu fundamental groups are no way in a position to accept the holistic development of the once ignored and abhorred communities due to their acceptance of Christianity that served as a liberative tool.
Even after independence the communally flavored fundamental forces are thinking that India will again be colonized by the work of Christian missionaries in India. About the benevolent and charitable work and life of the dedicated and sacrificial life of the Christian missionaries it is remarked that, “the way they are behaving towards other people forces us to conclude that the modern proselytizing religions have very little of true religion in them. In the name of God, Prophet and religion, they are only trying to further their political ambitions.”[75]
The false accusations against Christianity are always poised without any hesitation. When Christians ask for their rights it is always connected with their religion. For example what happens in the northeast region of India is interpreted, as “the creation in Assam of ‘Nagaland’ is a glaring example in point. That the open rebellion going on in the Naga Hills is all engineered by the Christian missionaries was accepted even by Pandit Nehru.”[76] It is untrue. The real problem in the northeastern part of India is perpetuated by nations closer to our borders. They provide all assistance to the people to create disturbance in India. What is to be arrested is the inflow of money and material from our neighbors to destabilize India. Ignoring the main issue and harping on unwanted and insignificant matters with the view to create communal bloodshed is an unbecoming act. While respecting and resolving the just and legitimate claims of these groups, it is never to support any one who lives in India and work for another country. Traitors cannot be concealed under the cover of religion. It is also time for those people to reconsider whether what they are asking for is possible at all or it is only uncalled for loyalty to the neighbors.
Often the terror networks in this country, which have connection with the neighboring countries, are falsely connected to the Christians. It is claimed, “the American arms which come to Pakistan are handed over to the Christian missionaries in Assam.”[77] It is true that our neighbors are interested to see our national integration is destabilized but they are not interested on religious affairs. But unfortunately the communal forces in India miss the real issue and create religious hatred instead of harmony contrary to the need of the hour.
The communal and divisive mechanism is always in operation, as “so long as the Christians here indulge in such activities and consider themselves as agents of the international movement for the spread of Christianity, and refuse to offer their first loyalty to the land of their birth and behave as true children of the heritage and culture of their ancestors, they will remain here as hostiles and will have to be treated as such.”[78] The communal forces in India have one single agenda that they want to discriminate people on religious ground or they want to avoid freedom of religion to the minorities. This is a wrong premise on which all their perceptions revolve.
The present relation between the communal forces and the Christians in India is highlighted in summary, as currently the ire of SP[79] is gunned against the Christian population. The Churches have been attacked, bibles burnt, missionaries intimidated, and one of them Fr. Stains, who was working amongst the leprosy patients and the other deprived sections of the society, was burnt along with his two minor sons. The attack on this community has been preceded and is being accompanied by a sustained campaign to malign them: Christianity is a foreign religion, Christian missionaries are indulging in forcible conversions, they are instrumental for spreading insurgency amongst the North Eastern people, there is a plan to Evangelize the country and shortly Christians will outnumber the Hindus there by making India a Christian state.[80] Again “the attacks on Christians have picked up momentum from year 1997-98. These attacks are being orchestrated by different organizations linked to SP and a general hysteria is being created against the Christian Missionaries in particular.”[81]
The above incidents are confirmed and condemned as “most of the inquiries by social activists, National Human Rights Commission and the National Minorities Commission have shown that different organizations affiliated to SP are behind these attacks, and the attacks are taking place mostly on the BJP-ruled States, Gujarat in particular.”[82] This is willfully done in order to strengthen communal political organizations.
It is also assumed that the communally oriented political groups have found success in such divisive propaganda and activity and want to experiment with Christianity as well. It is said, “the anti-Christian bogey comes at a time when the anti-Muslim pogroms have more are less ‘achieved’ the target ‘of permanently intimidating and ghettoizing them. Also SP realizes that if it has to break the electoral jinx to be able to come to power on its own it needs a new vote bank and for this adivasis have become the prime target. There is also a growing realization in SP that after conversion to Christianity the adivasis become more educated and aware of their rights, and this is a big threat to ‘status quo’ which is the basis of SP politics.”[83] As it was pointed out earlier the Hindu communal forces wants to preserve and continue a unequal society divided on the lines of religion and caste. There interest is not on human liberation along with the rest of the creation rather enslaving them.
To achieve the political ends they always used provocative and intimidating interpretations. Either they communalize or exploit in the name of religion, culture, language, nationalism, etc. Their designs can be understood as  “the ideology enunciated by Mr. Sudarshan reiterates the basic premises of this organization. As per this there will shortly be an epic battle between Hindus and anti-Hindus after which Hindutva will be the exclusive guiding principle of the nation. Already attempts are underway to undermine the secular democratic Constitution. The minorities are being given multiple dictates like they should identify with Hindu gods- Ram and Krishna – in order to join the ‘mainstream’ of the country. They are also advised to use the suffix Hindu after their religion to show that Hinduism is not just a religion but a culture. Also Christians in particular should break their religious links with their churches, which are located in Vatican etc. and form ‘Swadeshi’ churches. There was a demand to throw away the ‘foreign’ missionaries.”[84] The Hindutva forces will be happy if Indian society always remains underdeveloped and uncivilized.
Their allegations are again argued to be false and groundless like, “it is true that the Indian Christians are among the religious minorities, but somehow their presence has been wrongly linked up with the rule of the Europeans, particularly the colonial rule of the British, which, in fact is not true.”[85]
The constitution of India establishes that no one shall be discriminated on religious grounds but unfortunately the Dalits who accept Christianity for various reasons are deprived their privileges, which their counterparts are enjoying in other religions.[86] Whether mere change of religion amounts to deprivation of government privileges otherwise applicable to the people is a question needs sincere answer.

 6.7.1 Christian Institutions

The good and benevolent contributions of the Christian churches in all realms of life, especially in the realm of education, are wrongly construed and distortedly interpreted to convey the fabricated message that the Christians are still loyal to the British and arrogant to the level of ignoring the government provisions. Without consideration to the constitutional provisions and privileges guaranteed to the religious minorities in order to place them on par with the other majority groups, it is often decried that the Christian institutions enjoy extraordinary privileges and when the Hindus ask for them, it is being called communal. Such notions are found in the Hindutva writings, as “the Christian institutions, which even to this day fly the Union Jack on August 15 and carry on fanatic Christian propaganda, have no fear of losing their Government grants. On the other hand, if a Hindu educational institution starts Hindu prayers and Gita recitation, Government comes down with a heavy hand with threats to stop its grants.”[87]
One important thing the Hindutva forces forget is that they fail to cognize the privileges the Christians institutions are entitled along with other religious minorities only to improve their standing in the society. It is not to be seen as one enjoying more privileges and the other less. If the majority communities also ask for same extras there will be increased conflicts and not resolutions. Equality, and peace will never be attainable. Another thing to be remembered is that nothing is done in violation of the provisions of the constitution. As the Hindu communal forces are envious   of the consideration given to the religious minorities, especially Christian, they are also unhappy with the religious activities of the Christians in India.

6.7.2 Opposition to Christian Missionaries

In their fanatic tussle with the religious minorities the communal forces even are willing to deny the merits of academic and intellectual contributions rendered by the Christians. For example it is said “it was a foreign Christian missionary, who first toured every town and village in Tamil Nadu about eighty years ago and carried on an incessant and vicious propaganda that Tamil culture, Tamil language and everything Tamil differed fundamentally from the rest of the Bharatiya culture, language, etc., and that the Tamilians formed an independent nation by themselves.”[88] Whether the contribution is from the missionary or anyone, no one can deny the voluminous effect this has made to Tamil literature, society, culture, religion and politics. It was this insight helped the Tamils to fight all form of the prevalent caste oppressions.
            While admitting the social background, which gave way to much of the Christian influence in India, Manilal C. Parekh, was still critical about the imperialistic outlook of the Christian missionary work in India. He mentions about his writing that “this book is written to show the Super-imperialistic character of Christian Missions and their work in India,…I have also tried to trace the development, step by step, of this Super-imperialism, which is compound of religious, racial, cultural, political and economic imperialisms….It is no exaggeration to say that India has suffered more from this system than any other country, for the Missions have taken the fullest advantage of the country’s social weaknesses and political helplessness.”[89]  He has seen the missionary work of Christians in India as not Christ intended. One thing need to be reiterated is that given the then existed social realities, economic conditions and religious exploitations change of religion gave considerable chance to social, religious and economic liberation. It looks the communally charged writers did not want to consider the benefits of religious freedom as it was becoming a channel of liberation.
Parekh continuous his comments on the Christian missionary work, as “the most objectionable feature of this work is that there are in it all the elements of a State within a State, a kind of Pakistan of the Christians and something much worse.”[90] As the British began to rule India for her good they brought about many reforms, which are humanitarian and liberative. As these reforms were giving hope and promise to people many preferred the Christian presence in India.  Again the major fear was that those who enjoyed the light in Christianity did not want again to fall in to the same pit. Had there been promise of consideration for all the religious communities and not imposition of Hindu religiosity, every thing would have looked different. No doubt the framers of the constitution have taken the perception of religious minorities that they may lose their religious freedom and may be dominated by the majority community.  But the intolerant nature of the communal forces is vivid here. They are unable to accept the development of other religions. To tamper the development they confuse religion with nationalism.

 

6.7. 3 Dalit Christians

The Christian missionary work because of the freedom of religion it enjoyed under the constitution of India has brought about so much of liberation is obvious in relation, particularly, to the Dalit developments. The good will of the constitution may be understood from the fact that “the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 commonly known as ‘Presidential Order 1950’ is the first official order through which the first President, specified the communities or groups to be included in the list of Scheduled Castes.”[91] The good intentions of this order can never been denied at all. Nevertheless the order has included religious affiliations to be a beneficiary of this order.
The shortcoming and the need for rectification of the order have been pointed out, as “unfortunately the President also fixed ‘religion’ as a criterion according to which only those historically oppressed groups will be included in the list, who will profess Hindu religion. This is the reason why the third paragraph, which followed the list of the Scheduled Castes read as “Not with-standing anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who professes a religion different from Hindu, shall be deemed to be a member of a Scheduled Caste”.  This paragraph was amended by Parliament in 1956 to “Hindu or Sikh” and in May 1990 to “Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist”.”[92]
This is very important from the point of the constitution for the articles 15 and 25 bar any discrimination on religious ground. It will imply to this order as well. It is quite amazing that in a secular country no discrimination is possible on religious grounds but in India it is the contrary. When a person converts to Christianity he or she loses her or his privileges, which are extended to other scheduled caste members belonging to Hinduism. This aspect is indicated, as “the Christians of the Scheduled Castes origin or Dalit Christians, form almost 75% of the population of Christians in India today, yet they are denied their rights promised under the constitution of India, due to the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order 1950, which restricts the rights and privileges guaranteed under the constitution to dalits professing the Hindu faith.”[93] Religion was used as a criterion to classify the scheduled caste in the above said presidential order.
People’s status cannot be judged on the basis of their religious affiliation, because people of all religious persuasion suffer different forms of backwardness. This is indicated, as “Christians of Scheduled Caste Origin suffer the same social, educational and economic disabilities, which their counterparts in other religions suffer.”[94]
A. Philomin Raj maintains, “because of the traditional discriminatory practices, Dalit Christians are socially backward, economically poor and politically powerless. Immediately after India attained freedom from the British in 1947, the government came in a big way to help the Dalits with special reservations in social, economic, educational and political fields. But this privilege was restricted to Dalits of Hindu religion…Though later, Dalits (Scheduled Castes) belonging to Sikhism and Buddhism were included in the scheduled castes in 1956 and 1990 respectively, those Dalits who embraced Christianity are being denied these constitutional protection and privileges.”[95] He further argues that “this discrimination based on paragraph 3 of the Order goes against Article 14 (Equality before Law), Article 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) Article 16 (Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment) and Article 25 (Freedom of Conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) of the Constitution.”[96]
His major contention with regard to this order is that, “the various government Acts and Rules passed by the Parliament to give special protection to the Scheduled Castes, are not applicable to the Christians of the Scheduled Caste Origin.”[97] Most of the efforts taken to set right the lapse also failed. This grievance calls for an applicable solution from the respective governments in power.
The following is an example to show that efforts are on to persuade the governments to consider this grievance. For instance the Centre for Public Interest Litigation came forward to file a writ petition to scrap the para 3 of the Constitution Scheduled Caste (Presidential) Order 1950 as it discriminates against the Christians of Scheduled Caste Origin on the basis of religion that is against the constitution. On 25 October 2004, the Supreme Court asked for the opinion of the Attorney General of the issue of extending constitutional benefits to the Christians of Scheduled Caste origin. The Attorney General filed the objections of the Government for a review of the Presidential Order.
            Brushing aside the objections, the Supreme Court has issued notice to the government on 11th April 2005. It was argued that the constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 as it stood today violated the right to equality guaranteed under Article 14 of the Constitution as the Scheduled Castes converting to Christianity were deprived of the benefit given to those from the same community belonging to other religions. It was pointed out that Scheduled Castes converts to Christianity were still suffering from the social disabilities of the community including untouchability and that there cannot be any distinction between the Scheduled Castes converts to Sikhism and Buddhism and the Scheduled castes converts to Christianity.[98]
The position of the Government in this matter is still undecided. It is pointed out that “the Government disputed the jurisdiction stating that this issue is not a part of the domain of the judiciary but the Supreme Court did not agree to this contention laying the burden on the Government to file its reply to the petition and the Government seems to have referred this matter to the Political Affairs Committee.”[99]
One thing is clear that the Christians are not entitled to the provisions and the privileges their counterparts enjoy under other religions. There was no rectification to this day. This tendency adversely affects the minorities. That is why it is maintained ”the fact that change of religion has not changed the socio-economic and educational status of the Dalit Christians has been proved by the number of Commissions appointed by the government and by the Judiciary.”[100] While changing from one religion to another is the prerogative of the individual concerned he or she cannot be deprived of the protections and privileges of the government on the ground of changing religion.
            Having analyzed the Hindutva notion of Muslims and Christians in India it may be appropriate to analyze some of the common perceptions against these two religious minority communities.

 6.8 Muslims and Christians

The communal forces are mainly targeting two main religious communities in India to keep their unjustified aspirations alive. The above pages reveal that the two communities are targeted separately. Now it is clear that the two communities are targeted together as well. In the following slanderous statement of M.S. Golwalkar, this can be noticed. He maintains  “we are Hindus even before we emerge from the womb of our mother. We are therefore born as Hindus. About the others, they are born to this world as simple unnamed human beings and later on, either circumcised or baptized, they become Muslims or Christians.”[101] This may be right in the Hindutva point of view but incorrect at the larger interest. The simple fact is that any one born in this country is first a Indian Citizen and adhere to a religious persuasion which parents or others introduce or of his or her own choice.
In contrast to the above point again M.S. Golwalkar writes, “we are not so mean as to say that with a mere change in the method of worship an individual ceases to be a son of the soil. We have no objection to God being called by any name whatever. We, in the Sangh, are Hindus to the core. That is why we have respect for all faiths and religious beliefs. He cannot be a Hindu at all who is intolerant of other faiths. But the question before us now is, what is the attitude of those people who have been converted to Islam or Christianity?”[102] It looks when some one changes religion he or she loses his or her nationalistic status. This is a notorious idea. Although it was accepted in his earlier statements that change of religion does not affect a person’s nationalistic spirit, now there is a self-contradiction.
M.S. Golwalkar writes, “together with the change in their faith, gone is the spirit of love and devotion for the nation.”[103] Here is one more helpless attempt to confuse religious sentiments with nationalism, which is the agenda of the communal forces.
People’s freedom to adhere to a specific religion and their sentimental attachment to that religion is often falsely construed. For example “they have also developed a feeling of identification with the enemies of this land. They look to some foreign lands as their holy places.”[104] Some how the communal forces do not like people to have religious freedom. Such freedom is considered as unpatriotic and narrated as “so we see that it is not merely a case of change of faith, but a change even in national identity. What else is it, if not treason, to join the camp of the enemy leaving their mother-nation in the lurch?”[105] The Hindu communal forces are in the verge of losing their religious grip on matters. Hence connecting it with crafty nationalism is the available option for them.
In the name of faulty nationalism they want to exploit the people using traditional religious elements. It is said, “how can you say that we should call such people nationals who, while living here, work against the honour and traditions of the country, and insult our national heroes and objects of national veneration?”[106] As per nationalism no body can be a traitor but in matters of religion each religion has to be respected. Nothing should be forced upon to dilute and hurt the sentiment of others. Similarly nationalism and religious fundamentalism cannot be mixed.
The Hindu communal political organization is committed to grab power on the pretext that the number of Hindus in India is declining and the number of other religious communities is increasing as a result of conversions. It is maintained “everybody knows that only a handful of Muslims came here as enemies and invaders. So also, only a few foreign Christian missionaries came here. Now the Muslim and Christians have enormously grown in number. They did not grow just by multiplication as in the case of fishes. They converted the local population. We can trace our ancestry to a common source, from where one portion was taken away from the Hindu fold and became Muslim and another became Christian.”[107]
Since the communal political parties are targeting on gaining political power through religious hatred they see all the developments in other religions suspiciously. One such example is the Hindutva perception of increase in other religious communities particularly, Islam and Christianity. This is indicated, as “it was not propagation of religion, but a political strategy under its garb.”[108] All these are evidence to the Hindutva aspiration to grab power and force Hindu religion on others.
The intimidating and ridiculing agenda comes in the form of sugarcoated nationalism. It is maintained, the answer to the so-called problem of ‘religious minorities’ can be found only in the historically correct, rational and positive approach of Hindu Rashtra. Otherwise, the so-called minorities are bound to become more and more hardened in their separate shells of religion and turn into a dreadful source of disruption of our body-politics. So, all that is expected of our Muslim and Christian co-citizens is the shedding of the notions of their being ‘religious minorities’ as also their foreign mental complexion and merging themselves in the common national stream of this soil.’[109] The communal forces are asking the Indians again to become Indians. It is nothing but sign of bankruptcy of constructive and progressive ideology.
The Muslims and Christians in India are treated as different from the Hindu community. The divisive propaganda is put forward as “many a Mohammedan community in Kashmir and other parts of India as well as the Christians in South India observe our caste rules to such an extent as to marry generally within the pale of their castes alone; yet, it is clear that though their original Hindu blood is thus almost unaffected by an alien adulteration, yet they cannot be called Hindus in the sense in which that term is actually understood, because, we Hindus are bound together not only by the tie of the love we bear to a common fatherland and by the common blood that courses through our veins and keeps our hearts throbbing and our affections warm, but also by the tie of the common homage we pay to our great civilization-our Hindu culture, which could not be better rendered than by the word Sanskriti suggestive as it is of that language, Sanskrit, which has been the chosen means of expression and preservation of that culture, of all that was best and worth-preserving in the history of our race. We are one because we are a nation a race and own a common Sanskriti (civilization).”[110] This is again diluting the realities of religion and confusing people with religion, culture, language, etc.
The impoverishment of political score always comes in the form of patriotism. The Parivar use patriotism to dislodge the people from their spontaneous commitment to the nation. For example “Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, Sri K. S. Sudhershan while addressing a rally on the eve of 75th founding day of the RSS in Nagpur, called upon Muslims and Christians of the country to prove their patriotism. It is really atrocious that an organization which was at least twice banned for anti-national activities by the Government of India after independence should pose as controlling authority of patriotism in the country.”[111] Since religious conversion is a universally accepted practice it cannot be stopped.
When the unreal propaganda of the Hindutva forces literally failed to attract attention, they directly involved in attacks on Christians, Muslims, Dalits, women etc. Their evil designs are noticed as “these attacks are being conducted by different organizations like BJP, VHP, Bajrang Dal and many others like Hindu Jagaran Munch and Hindu Munnani, which are floated for the specific purpose of pursuing a particular agenda of the Hindutva politics.”[112] The religious intolerance of the Parivar is ventilated through various sentiments like culture, nationalism, etc.

6.9 Hindutva and Buddhism

Although Hinduism has done all that was possible to assimilate and absorb Buddhism still the communal forces are viciously accusing it as traitor.  For them “the Buddhist sect had turned a traitor to the mother society and the mother religion.”[113] One thing needs to be recalled that Buddhism along with Jainism was a protest religion in the wake of unhealthy and unprogressive religious ideas. When all the attempts to destroy Buddhism failed now it is treated as a traitor.

Rather than accusing other religions and their values the Hindu society needs to look introspectively to purge the atrocities it has committed to humanity and still aspires to continue. Thus granting religious freedom is the only way to social development. Disallowing it will produce counterproductive results.

 6.10 British
The Hindutva forces are willing to deny any truth for unsuccessfully pursuing their own communal agenda. Keeping the Christian religious minority in the picture every contributions of the British is adversely remarked, as “let us not shut our eyes to the historical fact that it was the scheming Britisher who, in order to perpetuate his stranglehold on our country, planted in our minds perverted notions of nationhood in a bid to break the proud and defiant spirit of the Hindus which alone could have posed a real threat to his domination.”[114] This is against the fact that the British were behind the effort to form a unified India.
Connecting Christianity with the British again they are accused. The effort of the Englishmen is denigrated, as “the first thing he taught was that this was one great ‘continent’ and not a country. He said that we are not one people and one nation.”[115] This is not the Englishmen’s version. It is history that the Aryans came to India from out side. Prior to the arrival of the Aryans there were many other communities. In order to hide the fact that the Aryans are trying to deny the existence of the people of this land and to forcefully try to impose their foreign ideas, the very facts of history are refuted.
Even in the matters of religion it is written against the British that “being shrewd, they knew that perpetuation of their far-flung empire was possible only by knocking out from the minds of the people the faith which gave them inspiration and strength to fight for freedom.”[116] It is untrue as the British always sided with religious neutrality and of course in the first phase willfully supported Hinduism. In course of time the ideals of Christianity-spiritual, social, economic, etc, attracted people and it was not the design of the British to force Christianity. Even some of the scholarly contributions of the British are caricatured as missionary plot.
Having analyzed the Hindutva attitude to the religious minorities separately starting from Muslims, Christians, Muslims and Christians together, Buddhism and British contributions it is appropriate now to see the whole problem of freedom of religion from the point of Religious minorities together.

6.11 Religious Minorities

            Besides other minorities in India, the religious minority is taken care very well in the constitution in consideration with international expectations. This is stated as “the Indian Constitution makers took cognizance of the need to protect human rights, in general, and rights of minorities, in particular and incorporated Articles in the Constitution to protect the same. In fact, much of what is being formulated by United Nations regarding the rights of persons belonging to national or ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities through its Charters, covenants and declarations, has already been taken care of in our Constitution.”[117]This fact is explicit particularly in the fundamental rights of the constitution part III.
            Unlike the Hindutva notion of constitutional provisions and privileges to the religious minorities, its real intentions are spelled out as “basically the reason behind giving special rights to the minorities was to help them in conserving and preserving their identities, and this has been repeatedly confirmed through a number of judgments passed by the highest judicial bodies of the country.”[118] The Hindu communal forces often forget the fact that the constitution is dedicated to conserve the identities of the minorities very specially religious minorities.
In spite of all these perceptions and provisions the religious minority in India is always under the grip of a specific fear. It is stated as  “at the root of the problem of religious minority lies the fear of the minority religious groups that the religious majority might interfere with their fundamental beliefs and practices and that they may be discriminated against in economics, civic and social life of the country because of their religion.”[119] This is a genuine and earnest perception in the wake of hyper communal actions. The majority religious community always wanted to suggest ways and means of worship to others. In every aspect of the religious life of the religious minorities the majority tries to interfere and dictate. This has no good intensions what so ever rather, meant to force Hindu religious elements into the other religions.

6.12 Rights of minority institutions

            Article 29(1) protects the interests of minorities. It protects any section of citizens that have a distinct language, culture or script, and ensures that they have the right to preserve the same. Article 29(2) states that no citizen can be denied admission to a State-owned or State-aided educational institution on grounds of religion, race, caste or language.
Article 30(1) gives minorities the right to establish and administer educational institutions. Article 30 (2) provides that the State cannot discriminate against any educational institution on the ground that it is under the management of a minority.
The rights mentioned under Article twenty-nine and thirty aim to protect and preserve minority groups and their heritage, and provide minority groups with the right to establish and administer educational institutions without any detriment.[120] It is beyond doubt that the Indian constitution is committed to protect the interests of the religious minorities unlike the unhealthy determinations of the Sang Parivar.

 6.12 Rights of Minority Institutions

Although the next chapter is completely dedicated to consider freedom of religion as a human rights issue here a cursory understanding of it is not out of place in the context of the entire discussions preceding and following. After the declaration of UN human rights in 1948 again on November 25,1981, the UN proclaimed a specific declaration on the elimination of all forms of intolerance and discrimination based on religion and belief.[121] It is tellingly crystal clear that the whole word is against religious discriminations of any sort. Rather the entire world is committed to allow complete freedom in matters of choosing and following any religion.
In the Indian context this has much relevance as India houses many living religions besides the traditional ones. This fact is appropriately pointed out as “the relatively old right that was enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the right to religion would seem to belong to minority religious groups in India.”[122] This is important because the politicization of religion has created the conflict between majority religion and minority ones very complex and alarming.
The international human rights organizations are really committed to see that religious freedom is no way obstructed to any one. Although religion is highly questioned in the globalized context its sentiments and importance to human life is well considered. This significance is indicated as “the right to profess and practice one’s faith was adopted by an overwhelming vote in the UN Assembly as all the countries voted in favour.”[123]
Another notable standpoint of the international human rights declaration is that it has accepted minority religious rights as core and it is a means to attain other freedoms.[124] Invading the religious rights of the minorities is in fact invading the minorities themselves.
            N.S. Gehlot has identified the link between human rights and fundamental rights in India. He traces it from the UN declaration, which was adopted on December 18, 1992, for the promotion of safeguarding the identity for cultural, ethnic and linguistic and religious minorities.[125] P.D. Mathew notes the declaration as “State shall protect the existence of the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories and shall encourage conditions for promotion of identity.”[126] Along with the link between human rights and freedom of religion there is also close connection between human rights and minority rights in India. For example it is said, “so as it stands today, ‘minority rights’ are enjoying a special status along with the human rights in general.”[127]
The significance of minority rights and its application is explained with caution, as “we must approach the problem of minorities from the point of view that every minority is a precious element in the totality of life of the community and every minority has to play a role in the national life. At the same time, each minority should be careful that it does not choose issues which are rigid.”[128] The minority issue has gained so significant role because the majority community generally has a tendency to subvert the interests of the minorities. This is highlighted as “the essential purpose of the protection of minorities is to secure for them the normal existence within the limits of the state to which they belong.”[129] It needs to be underlined that the minority rights are meant to guarantee normal existence to them and not for extra privileges.
The purpose of the minority rights is not to make the minorities completely separate from others but “the object of giving protection was to secure for the minorities that measure of protection and justice which would gradually prepare them to be merged in the national community to which they belonged.”[130] It needs to be stressed that at all levels there will be no doubts about loyalty to nation. The loyalty will continue with the allowance of religious freedom the minorities are entitled to. Once the identities of the minorities except the national one are lost, they lose ground. Thus it is necessary to preserve their identity at all levels without compromising on the sovereignty of the nation.
Neera Chandhoke clearly expressed the above concern as “if we are committed to a society where all human beings realize the fullness of their being, we have to see that vulnerable groups are not denied of their religion and culture. We have to further see that the current phase of majoritarianism is countered systematically…”[131] It is also crucial that all attempts to curb the minority religious rights cannot be tolerated with as it is against the human rights and Indian constitution.
The human rights are often looked at critically as it is more individualistic in nature.[132] Although in India community interests take precedence it is important that the religious freedom is given to every individual. Otherwise there may be the possibility of the communities trying to suppress the interests of the individuals.

 6.13 Hindu Right Groups

Contrary to the fundamental rights and international human rights the Hindu right groups have different opinion on the issue of minorities particularly religious minorities. Their perception is scripted as “the Hindu Right does not recognize the particular importance of the right to freedom of religion for religious minorities; it does not recognize that it is the religious beliefs and practices of these minorities that are most vulnerable; and it does not recognize that for these religious minorities, the right to freedom of religion is not simply a question of individual worship, but of their collective identity and cultural survival.”[133] Their leaders have strange arguments to support their positions. For example L.K. Advani remarked, ‘if appeasement caused any serious damage, it was to the minority community itself by isolating it from the mainstream’.[134] The very expression appeasement is not in keeping with the good will of the constitution.
No Hindu fundamental group is willing to consider religious freedom to the minorities. Praveen Togadia (international general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)) argues it was “lack of unity among the Hindu society separated by caste barriers has weakened its strength and has resulted in various political parties lining up behind the minority communities for their vote bank…,”[135] He has criticized caste for the sake of dominating the religious minorities.
            A recent study about six Hindu nationalists reveals that “they freely engaged in manipulating the symbols of Hindu identity which often had anti-minority connotations…All of them developed a modus operandi which involved stigmatizing the religious minorities and secularists of India. In one form or another they subjectively perceived Christianity and Islam as the greatest threats to Hindu culture and their Hindu nation.”[136] In the wake of the Hindu communalism the main target is the minority religions. And hence freedom of religion is under threat in India is true.
The writings of the Hindu nationalists are also aimed at attacking the religious minorities. For example “some of their writings are clearly meant to awaken the Leviathan in the Hindus against the religious minorities in India and several of them succeeded in massive mobilization of Hindus.”[137] The so-called Hindu nationalists are in fact against the civilization. J. Kuruvachira writes, “freedom of religion is a presupposition of civilized life. Unfortunately, none of the six Hindu nationalists, at any time in their life, cared to endorse it.”[138] This is a grave concern that has to be addressed at all levels. Denial of freedom of religion amounts to denial of basic human rights. It can also obstruct all other freedoms.

 






[1] P.M. Bakshi, The Constitution of India with Selective Comments (New Delhi: Universal Law  Publishing CO. PVT. LTD., 1998), 53.
[2] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law ( New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2006), 142.
[3] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights ( Jaipur: Arihant Publishing House, 1995), 228.
[4] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview  Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law, 143.
[5] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion,
 Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, edited by Howell, Richard (New Delhi: Evangelical Fellowship of India, 2002), 123.
[6] R. Venkataraman, “Minority Wake-up Call,” The Telegraph (Calcutta), 11 August 2001, 1.
[7] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy (New Delhi: Manohar
Publishers& Distributors, 2003) 23.
[8] Ibid. , 23.
[9] Ibid. , 24.
[10] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights ( Jaipur: Arihant Publishing House, 1995), 228.
[11] Ibid. , 56.
[12] Ibid. , 25.
[13] Ibid. , 71.
[14] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion,
Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, edited by Howell, Richard (New Delhi: Evangelical Fellowship of India, 2002), 122-123.
[15] Ibid.  
[16] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights , 40.
[17] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion, Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, 123- 124.
[18] R. Venkataraman, “Minority Wake-up Call,” The Telegraph, 1.
[19] Ibid. , 1.
[20] Ibid. ,
[21] P.M. Bakshi, The Constitution of India with Selective Comments (New Delhi: Universal Law Publishing CO. PVT. LTD., 1998), 53.
[22] Ibid. ,
[23] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism
 (Calcutta: Punthi- Pustak, 1993), 128.
[24] Ibid. , 127.
[25] Ibid.
[26] Ibid.
[27] Ibid.
[28] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
 Rights, 226.
[29] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy , 22-24.
[30] Ibid.
[31] Ibid. , 24.
[32] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law, 143.
[33] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy , 9.
[34] Ibid. , 24.
[35] Ibid.
[36] Ibid. , 9.
[37] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law, 143.
[38] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy, 25.[National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation]
[39] Ibid.
[40] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 235.
[41] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy, 93.
[42] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), 130.
[43] Ibid.
[44] Ibid.
[45] Ibid. , 131.
[46] Ibid.
[47] Ibid. , 154.
[48] Ibid. , 171.
[49] Ibid. , 148.
[50] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism, 161.
[51] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights , 190.
[52] Pannalal Dhar, India and Her Domestic Problems: Religion State and Secularism, 161.
[53] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 82-83.
[54] M.A. Venkata Rao, “Introduction”, in M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan, 2000), xv.
[55] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 142.
[56] Ibid. , 143.
[57] Ibid. , 71.
[58] Ibid. , 178.
[59] Ibid. , 182.
[60] Ibid. , 184.
[61] Ibid. , 185.
[62] Ram Puniyani, Fascism of the Sangh Parivar (Delhi: Media House, 2000), 8.
[63] I. Arul Aram, “Media and the Rise of Cultural Nationalism in India,” Religion and Society 51/4 (December, 2006):8.
[64] Ram Puniyani, Fascism of the Sangh Parivar, 99.
[65] Ibid. , 127.
[66] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights, 198.
[67] Ibid. ,191-92.
[68] Venkitesh Ramakrishnan, “Community on the Margins,” Frontline (December 15, 2006), 4.
[69] Ibid. , 5.
[70] Ibid. , 5-7.
[71] Ibid. , 7.
[72] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 141.
[73] Ibid.
[74] Ibid. , 159.
[75] Ibid. , 189.
[76] Ibid. , 191.
[77] Ibid.
[78] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 194.
[79] SP stands for Sangh Parivar.
[80] Ram Puniyani, Fascism of the Sangh Parivar (Delhi: Media House, 2000), 8.
[81] Ibid. , 105.
[82] Ibid. , 106.
[83] Ibid. ,  107.
[84] Ibid. , 126-127.
[85] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy, 140.
[86] Ibid. , 145.
[87] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 107.
[88] Ibid. , 217.
[89]Manilal C. Parekh, Christian Proselytism in India: A Great Menace( Rajkot: Sri Bhagavata Dharma Mission, Harmony House, 194) viii-ix.
[90] Ibid. , 462.
[91] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion, Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, 126.
[92] Ibid.
[93] James Massey, “Why the Fundamental Rights of Dalit Christians should be restored?,” NCC Review cxxv/3 (April, 2005): 10.
[94] Ibid. , 13.
[95] A. Philomin Raj, “Church and the Issue of Dalit Christians,” NCC Review cxxv/3
(April, 2005): 42.
[96] Ibid. , 42-43.
[97] Ibid. , 43.
[98] Ibid. , 46-47.
[99]D.K. Sahu, “An Open Letter to the Ecumenical Colleagues,” NCC Review cxxv/3
(April, 2005): 56-57.
[100] James Massey, “Why the Fundamental Rights of Dalit Christians should be restored?,” NCC Review, 13.
[101] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 117.
[102] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 3rd ed., Reprint (Bangalore: Sahitya Sindhu Prakashan,
2000), 125.
[103] Ibid. , 125.
[104] Ibid. 
[105] Ibid. , 126.
[106] Ibid.
[107] Ibid. , 127.
[108] Ibid. , 128.
[109] Ibid. , 158.
[110] Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?, 6th ed. (New Delhi: Bharti Sahitya Sadan, 1989), 91-92.
[111] Shamsul Islam, Know the RSS ( Delhi: Media House, 2000), 9.
[112] Ram Puniyani, Fascism of the Sangh Parivar, 9.
[113] M.S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, 70.
[114] Ibid. , 156.
[115] Ibid. , 134.
[116] Ibid. , 134.
[117] James Massey, Minorities and Religious Freedom in a Democracy (New Delhi: Manohar Publishers& Distributors, 2003) 153-154.
[118] Ibid. , 129.
[119] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
 Rights, 63.
[120] South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre, Introducing Human Rights: An Overview Including Issues of Gender Justice, Environmental, and Consumer Law, 79-80.
[121] N.S. Gehlot, “The Human Rights Movement in India: Problems and Prospects,” in
Perspectives on Human Rights, edited by M. B. Dube and Neeta Bora (New Delhi: Anamika Publishers & Distributors (P) LTD., 2000), 63.   

[122] I. John Mohan Razu and D. Samuel Jesupatham, “Religious Rights as Part of Human Rights when the Lives of the Minorities are at Stake,” in Struggle for Human Rights: Towards a New Humanity, edited by I. John Mohan Razu ( Nagpur: National Council of Churches in India, 2001),160.   
[123] Ibid.
[124] Ibid.
[125] N.S. Gehlot, “The Human Rights Movement in India: Problems and Prospects ,” in
            Perspectives on Human Rights, 63.
[126] P.D. Mathew, “Human Rights of Minorities,” Indian Currents XI/1(January 4-10, 1999): 40.
[127] James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion, Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement,  118.  
[128] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual
Rights , 230.
[129] Sunita Gangwal, Minorities in India: A Study in Communal Process and Individual Rights ( Jaipur: Arihant Publishing House, 1995), 231.
[130] Ibid. , 231.
[131] Neera Chandhoke, Beyond Secularism, the rights of Religious Minorities (New Delhi:
Oxford University Press, 1999), 303.

[132]James Massey, “Human Rights and Minorities,” in Free to Choose: Issues in Conversion, Freedom of Religion and Social Engagement, 117. 
[133] Brenda Cossman and Ratna Kapur, Secularism’s Last Sigh: Hindutva and the (Mis) Rule of             Law (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1999) 108.
[134] “Minorities Appeasement a Crime against Society,” The Hindu (Vijayawada), 20
March 2006, 12.
[135] “Lack of Unity among Hindus to Blame: Togadia,” The Hindu (Vijayawada), 20
March 2006, 6.
[136] J. Kuruvachira, Hindu Nationalists of Modern India: A critical study of the Intellectual
Genealogy of Hindutva. (Jaipur: Rawat Publications, 2006), 228.
[137] Ibid. ,  230.
[138] Ibid. , 231.

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