‘India should not be silent during difficult times’

Aligarh, Oct 31 (IANS) “In this very hard time, a big portion of Indian population has decided to remain silent,” eminent social activist Teesta Seetalvad has said, referring to the rise in communal activities across the country.

Seetalvad on Friday delivered a lecture on ‘India’s Preamble, the Equality Challenger – from Electoral to Constitutional Government’ at the Kennedy Auditorium, organised by Club for Short Evening Courses, CEC, Aligarh Muslim University.

She asserted that in today’s India, it is a challenge to bring in a government that can work on the principles of the Indian constitution.

“The Indian constitution clearly guarantees freedom to different religions, cultures and ethnicities among other freedoms,” said Seetalvad, adding that it is time to introspect and see if people are really allowed these freedoms?

She said the “strange” silence of people living in metropolitan cities, small cities and villages during difficult periods when communal problems arise is “very disturbing”.

She also said that it is shocking that “generations after generations” have been witnessing riots since the partition of India.

“I witnessed riots in Gujarat, my elders have witnessed partition and the young generation has gone through the Muzaffarnagar riots,” said Seetalvad, adding that it is high time that principles of the constitution are implemented while electing governments and politicians alleged of hate speeches and communalism are not elected as law makers.

The Aligarh Muslim University Pro-Vice Chancellor, Brigadier S Ahmad Ali (retd.) said that Indians should give up their religious identity to adopt the Indian Identity.

“People who remain silent when minorities are oppressed should understand that minority appeasement is a farce,” said Ali.

He said that India should be “thankful that it has got people like Mrs Seetalvad”, who will keep speaking for justice.

“As long as the likes of Mrs Seetalvad are with us, we can always be hopeful for a better future,” Ali said.

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