The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This PagePrint This Page
Minority panel ignores Sena speech

New Delhi, Oct. 17: The National Commission for Minorities has decided not to take cognizance of Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s inflammatory speech in Mumbai on Dussehra wherein he called on Hindus to form suicide squads to take on terrorists from a minority community.

The commission pointed out that Thackeray was in the habit of using intemperate language to get noticed and said the media should ignore him. Ditto the case with Sangh parivar leaders like Praveen Togadia and Ashok Singhal.

Sources said the commission today convened a meeting of a few editors to discuss the media’s role in helping it tackle such issues.

Commission member John Joseph said: “We discussed the issue yesterday. We have decided to ignore it for the time being. Our request to the media is also to ignore it. Ignoring such comments would go a long way to solve the problem.”

It has also not reacted to the Tamil Nadu government Ordinance banning induced conversion. Sources said it is of the view that political parties are trying to use the issue for political purposes.

While the BJP, the RSS and its affiliates welcomed the ADMK government’s Ordinance, church organisations, NDA ally DMK and Opposition parties have criticised it.

ADMK sources said if these parties did not stop the “motivated” campaign against the Ordinance, their party chief Jayalalithaa would, at appropriate time, dare the Congress to first withdraw similar law enacted in the Congress-ruled states like Arunachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. The Congress had enacted a similar law even in Orissa four years ago, they said.

An ADMK source claimed that even the CPM-led Bengal government had passed a law banning forcible conversion.

He said a Christian organisation — Seventh Day Adventist, an international group which runs a chain of schools — had through a report in its website in August claimed that it had converted more than 10,000 Hindu Dalits in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

The Adventist, unlike mainstream Christians, worship on Saturday and not Sunday.

On inquiry, it was however, found that the claim was bogus and the inflated figure was to get foreign money. The group later denied its involvement in mass conversion.

This report had alarmed both the Tamil Nadu chief minister and Sangh parivar leaders and the Ordinance was a fallout of such propaganda.

Email This PagePrint This Page