//`Government has failed to check spread of communalism'

`Government has failed to check spread of communalism'

Staff Reporter, Hindu, Jan27, 2006

Prominent social activists and scholars criticise Congress and its allies

NEW DELHI: Expressing their disquiet over "failure of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre to check spread of communalism in society", prominent social activists and scholars on Thursday lambasted the Congress and its allies "for failing to fulfil its promises regarding checking the spread of communalism in the country and instilling a sense of security among minority communities".

Participating in the two-day "National Consultation on Communalism", being organised by the voluntary organisation Act Now for Harmony and Democracy (Anhad), delegates reminded the UPA as well as the Left parties that is supporting the Congress-led alliance at the Centre about the Government’s common minimum programme for governance and how it has failed to act on promises made to strengthen the secular character of the nation.

Delegates from across the country representing different non-government organisations and institutions are participating in the consultations. They include Ram Punyani, Arjun Dev, T. Jayaraman, Roop Rekha Verma, Harsh Mander, Prabhash Joshi, Rakesh Sharma, Kavita Srivastav and Vibhuti Narayan Rai. Delegates are holding discussions on communalisation of various sections and organs of society including women, minorities, Adivasis, Dalits, educational and academic institutions, cultural institutions, media, voluntary sector and women. The deliberations are focused around the State, police, administration and judiciary; and political parties, political organisations and trade unions.

Stating that the General Elections in 2004 saw the Congress-led alliance coming to power as people decisively rejected the politics of hate pursued by the Sangh Parivar and the Bharatiya Janata Party, Anhad’s Shabnam Hashmi said the event has been organised mainly to evaluate and assess the performance of the UPA Government in combating communalism and communal forces in the country.

"After the event we will prepare a document containing assessment and recommendations for the Government as what needs to be done on the issue. Copies of the report will be presented to Prime Minister