Bangladesh minister urges India to protect minorities, marginalized groups

A Muslim man stands outside his demolished house in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area. [Photo: Twitter/ Zubair Memon]

New Delhi: Bangladesh Education Minister Dipu Moni has urged India to “protect and guarantee fundamental rights of every citizen”, including minorities, and said that unbiased application of the provisions of the Constitution on freedom of religion and freedom to manage religious affairs will bring peace and sustainability.

Addressing the India Ideas Conclave, organised by India Foundation, a think-tank working closely with BJP and RSS, in Bengaluru Saturday, Moni reminded that for India to emerge as one of the respected global powers, it has to realise the dreams of the founding fathers as enunciated in the Constitution, South Asian Monitor reported.

The choice of forum to address Bangladesh’s concerns about recent happenings in India – especially assaults on Muslims, their freedom of religion, and resurrection of old disputes over places of worship in the name of ferreting out the “truth” over what happened centuries ago when the Mughals ruled India –  and which have received unfavorable international attention, was significant.

“Protecting and guaranteeing fundamental rights of citizens can set the stage for India to unleash the potential of its citizens, in particular people belonging to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, OBCs and women from all sections of the society,” reports quoted Moni as saying during her address, which was bound to have been sanctioned at the highest political level in Bangladesh.

Moni said, “(The) social stratification unique to India will not only deprive the weaker sections but (will) also allow divisive policies and approaches. Stating that protection of interest of minorities of all nature — including minorities with a distinct language and culture — can “help deter tension and avoid sectarian violence,” Moni said “this is applicable for all countries”.

Earlier Moni, the minister, accompanied by her husband and two children, visited her relations in Midnapore, West Bengal, in a bid to demonstrate the social and cultural ties that bind both countries, and which was severed, first during the partition of Bengal and then the formation of Bangladesh.


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