A gathering of spiritual leaders, academics, authors, doctors, journalists and public intellectuals all belonging to the Hindu religion took place on 22nd of September 2018 in New Delhi. The gathering of intellectuals from all walks of life was organised to hold deliberations on the demands which the Hindus must put forward in the present day and age to assert and protect their religious identity and its sanctity. The Hindu or the Vedic religion as it should be appropriately called, is facing a threat from many foreign and inside forces. There have been countless attempts to malign the religion and its followers. The end result of these deliberations was a Charter of key Hindu Demands, some fresh and some long pending ones which according to the attendees should be put forth to the central government as soon as possible. While the central government is likely to agree to most of the demands, it is important for the Hindu citizens of the country to learn more about these issues and to support these demands in whatever way they can.
The Charter of key Hindu Demands starts off by demanding the end of legalised and institutionalised discrimination against the Hindu citizens of the country. The basic tenet of equality is not being followed in India as of today. The laws which guide the educational institutions and temples give undue advantage to the minority institutions. The first demand therefore, enlists the rights of Hindus to run and maintain religious institutions and temples without the unwanted interference of the governments. The management of temples specifically needs to be given back in the hands of the Hindus as against the present day system of stringent government controls which is unduly tilted against the majority religion in India. The second topic raised at the congregation was related to the foreign investment which helps the anti-Hindu and anti-India forces to operate in the country. Charter of key Demands mentions that there is an urgent need to monitor and limit the foreign contribution flowing into the country which is directed to forces which indulge in subverting Indian culture and fuelling discontent and separatism in the country. The demand therefore, is to ban all foreign contributions, repeal the FCRA in its existing form and bring in a new Foreign Contributions (Prohibition) Act as soon as possible.
The third key demand in the Charter of key Hindu Demands is concerned with an immediate need to preserve the Hindu native cultural and religious traditions, practices and symbols from interference. An immediate enactment of the Freedom of Religion Act by the Central government is needed to do so in the present day and age. Safeguarding Kashmiri Hindus from further genocide was also a key point in the meeting. The final draft of the Charter mentions the demand to divide the Jammu and Kahsmir state into three parts Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh. This will not only make it easier for the governing bodies to manage the state but will also benefit the residents of the state. Repealing the separate constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir state and of Article 370 is also an immediate concern which needs to be dealt with.
Despite being a Hindu majority country where the bovine animals are worshipped and treated with the utmost devotion it is shocking how India has continued to be one of the leading exporters of meat/beef which is in complete contrast to the Article 48 of the Constitution of India. The Charter for Key Hindu Demands therefore wants the central government to put an immediate ban on export of beef/meat from the country which will break the backbones of the beef mafia operating in the country. A downfall in demand will also make the beef industry to become less lucrative for the mafia gangs which run the shady trade. It will also lead to reduced adverse impact on the environment and eliminate the social friction which keeps on arising from time to time due to this. The next demand is an important one which encompasses a plea to the government to begin restoration of temples, art forms and local heritage which seem to be in a wreaked state in the country. Temples in India have traditionally been centres of learning and retaining the heritage of the local people, it is therefore very important to begin restoration work for the Hindu temples around the country. The group demanded setting up a Central Public Sector Undertaking with an initial seed capital of at least Rs 10,000 crores to begin reconstruction and restoration work of temples and their intangible heritage in the country immediately.
The next key demand in the 8 point Charter for key Hindu Demands includes the demand for the central government to provide speedy refuge and citizenship to persecuted Hindu families and individuals from any country in the world. India is the last resort for Hindu families fleeing from religious persecution which is particularly on the rise in Muslim dominated countries from the South East Asia. The government therefore needs to take steps to not only counter illegal immigration but also to provide help to the Hindus which are in dire need of help. The aforementioned goals can be achieved by withdrawing the pending Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and amending the Constitution of India by inserting an enabling Article 11-A. The process would be complete with amending the Citizenship Act, 1955 by introducing a new Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2018 in the forthcoming sessions of the Parliament itself.
The last point in the charter addresses the very important issue of providing equal opportunity for all Indian languages in the country. This demand attacks the institutionalized discrimination which exists in the country today which has been hampering an economic and cultural renaissance in the country. The post-Independence practice of excluding large sections of people from developmental opportunities due to linguistic discrimination done over 60 years of Congress rule too needs to be stopped. The Charter for key Hindu Demands therefore is concerned with protecting the rights of each and every Hindu citizen of the country. It is worth spending a moment as to why the majority population of the country had to raise its voices in order to safeguard its rights, the Charter of key Hindu Demands is therefore a must read for everyone and should be widely circulated by each and every well meaning citizen of the country who believes in equality. Even the Muslim population of the country should come forward to support these basic demands of their Hindu brethren which are as non-confrontational and diplomatic as it can get.
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