5. S. K. Balasubramanian
performed a service by circulating the note of Dr. Shreerang Godbole. The
note raises pertinent questions about the usefulness of the movement for
equality amongst religions as. presently conceived by the RSS leadership.
His observations are also relevant at the international level.
who ask Hindus to treat all religions equally are barking up the wrong
tree. Pluralism in faith is part of the baggage that every Hindu carries
from cradle to grave. But genuine equality is a two-way street, and all
parties should subscribe to certain commonalities in a sincere manner.
I suggest the following steps:
I. At the National Level:
To promote true secularism all voters should affirm their faith in it in
writing and also subscribe to the equality of all religions. Respect for
all religions should be affirmed. Those who refuse to do so should be disenfranchised.
marriages should be registered and should be subject to civil suit.
religious schools should have an approved minimum modern curriculum.
religious school should be given state grants.
religious school asking for state support should include a minimum programme
of teaching other religions.
book, however offensive it is claimed to be by religious groups, should
be banned. All bans in existence should be lifted.
II. At the International
We should lobby for full religious equality in all countries. It should
be part of the human rights.
from countries with exclusive religions should not be allowed to settle
in India, unless they declare their faith in religious equality and affirm
that they will not cause offence to the sentiments of the locals.
citizens should not be allowed to marry citizens of countries that do not
subscribe to the equality of all religions. If they insist on such marriage,
they should be asked to renounce their Indian citizenship and visiting
or visa rights.
which do not subscribe to the equality of all religions should not be allowed
to contribute funds to NGO’s or social and religious bodies. Such a ban
was in force against the Union of South Africa in the past because of its
apartheid policy. It should be extended to cover religious exclusivism.
The writer is from Pune
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