Secularism is defined as the separation of the State from Religion, of the State not being exclusively allied with or against any particular religion. In 1976, India was declared as a secular state by the passage of the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution. With this amendment, India should have taken a path to recognise and accept all religions as equal, enforce parliamentary laws instead of religious laws, and respect pluralism.
The reality in India, however, continues to be that the applicable code is unequal and India's laws, on matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, alimony vary with an individual's religion.
Home to a Discriminated Majority
It was never the intention of the makers of our Constitution to deny to the majority the rights that have been expressly provided to the minority. Yet, the progressive interpretation of Articles 25 to 30 of the Constitution has led the Hindus into becoming the 2nd class citizens in India due to denial of rights which are available to the minorities.
Late Syed Shahabuddin, had introduced a Private Member’s Bill No. 36 of 1995 in the Lok Sabha to widen the scope of Article 30 of the Constitution by suitable amendment to include all communities. Lok Sabha MP, Dr Satyapal Singh, also introduced a Private Member’s Bill No. 226 of 2016 in the Lok Sabha to amend Articles 26 to 30 of the Constitution. The amendments proposed in this Bill do not take any rights away from any community but only ensure that all sections, including Hindus, enjoy the same rights and privileges as are currently available only to Minorities so that all citizens are treated equally under the law with respect to:
- Management of places of worship (Temples and Religious Endowments);
- Entitlement to various benefits from Govt schemes, scholarships, benefits etc;
- Enabling teaching of traditional Indian knowledge and ancient texts of India in educational institutions; and
- Establishment and administration of educational institutions of their choice without undue interference of the Govt and its agencies
We, a small group of concerned individuals, had organised the first conference on 22nd Sep 2018 for the first Hindu Charter conference on religious equality. The first conference had the abrogation of Article 370 & Article 35A and the division of the state of J&K as one of its key demands. We are delighted to have played a small part in raising the awareness on this issue that finally resulted in it becoming inoperative on 6th of August 2019 by the Presidential order. Encouraged by this development, this year, the Hindu Charter team is planning a series of conferences in the coming months, each of them focussed on one specific point of the Hindu Charter.
This year too, we have raised about 2. 50 lakhs from our own funds and need another 20 lakhs to organize this conference and for sustaining the dialogue for the next one year. We are looking forward to your support to take this forward. However, we are short of funds for organizing the conference in Delhi. Hence, we are starting a crowdfunding campaign to raise Rs. 20 lakhs as corpus fund.
Goal of this Campaign
The first conference we are conducting is titled “National Conference on Equal Rights for Hindus” on 21st Sep 2019 which will specifically focus on amendment of Articles 25 to 30 of the Indian constitution to offer equal rights to Hindus. We are reaching out to you for seeking your help in raising funds to organize this conference.
The goal is to have 5 panel sessions with scholars and experts on each topic, and invite 100 people to participate. The topics we will cover are:
Panel 1: Amendment/insertion of new clauses in Article 25: Religious Conversions: Informed Individual Choice Vs Institutionalised Conversion Aggression/War
Panel 2: Amendment of sub-clause (b) of Clause (2) of Article 25: Interference of State & Courts in native cultural and religious practices & traditional sporting activities -- Sabarimala, Jallikattu, Dahi Handi, Kambala, Deepawali fireworks etc.
Panel 3: Amendment of Article 26 & Model Hindu Temple Management Bill: Restoration of Hindu Temples to Hindu Society.
Panel 4: Amendment of Article 27: Why should State incentivise & encourage conversion of Hindus by launch of Minorities alone schemes?
Panel 5: Amendment of Article 28: Civilizational Responsibility of Indian State to protect, preserve, reinvigorate and propagate ancient Indian civilisation -- teaching of ancient Indian knowledge and texts in educational institutions.
Panel 6: Amendment of Article 30: Educational Rights to Hindus on par with Minorities.
In the future our plan is to organize such conferences focussed on specific demands on the Hindu Charter. Please help and donate generously, so that we can conduct this and future conferences to help keep the Hindu Charter movement alive and thriving.
My name is Ashutosh Joshi and I am based in Delhi-NCR working as Manager Finance for a large MNC. Inspired by the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, my fellow brothers and sisters at @HiPAC1 have decided to do our bit by helping our Nation’s grass root heroes. We have raised upwards of INR 90 lakh for our grass root heroes in our campaigns. I am the moderator of this campaign.
Please follow @DharmaKosh and feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.