January 30, 2016

India: Report on the 30 Jan 2016 Delhi protest march against religious intolerance (The Statesman)


Protest march against religious intolerance
Posted at: Jan 30 2016 7:22PM

image: http://cms.thestatesman.com/cms/gall_content/2016/1/2016_1$largeimg30_Jan_2016_192215360.jpg

Members of over 60 organisations representing the youth, minorities and the disabled today held a protest march against "growing" incidents of religious intolerance and gender inequality.

The march, held on the 68th death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, started from Mandi House and ended at Jantar Mantar.

"This is a very important day for the nation and also a day to review and revisit the so-called traditions that are discriminatory. We have come together to defend our constitutional rights, fight against all divisive forces and express our solidarity with each other irrespective of religious affiliations," said Annie Raja of National Federation of Indian Women.

Harsh Mander, a social activist and writer, said he could not recall a time when such a diverse set of people's groups and associations marched together to honour the spirit and letter of the Constitution and assert solidarity across class, caste, gender and disability.

And more importantly, "to express our collective concern on the many assaults we are witnessing on the basic values of our Constitution; of freedom, justice, equality and fraternity, and our resolve to defend our republic," Mander said.

Bharati Ali, Co-Director of the Haq Centre for Child Rights, said the time has come to speak in one voice against budget cuts imposed on key issues such as children, education and health.

"Though the Constitution of India has recognised the rights of Dalits and special provisions have been made for their safety and protection, we are witnessing growing incidence of violence against them," said Annie Namala of the Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion.

Namala demanded that "constitutional and legislative provisions be implemented properly to stop discrimination and violence against minorities".

Read more at http://www.thestatesman.com/mobi/news/delhi/protest-march-against-religious-intolerance/120136.html#y60pXJI8W880jOFJ.99