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NRIs cautioned against funding religious organisations
Syed Amin Jafri in Hyderabad | January 09, 2006 19:20 IST
Several people working for communal harmony have asked Non-Resident Indians to be cautious while funding religious organisations in India.
Participating in a panel discussion on 'Communal harmony and secularism' on the last day of Pravasi Bharatiya Divas on Monday, noted Gandhian Nirmala Deshpande and George Abraham, founder secretary, Indian National Overseas Congress asked NRIs and overseas Indians to be wary of funding organisations, which are promoting communal hatred or are involved in jihadi activity or forcible religious conversions.
They said that some of the organisations have been misusing these funds for spreading disaffection in the Indian polity by preaching hatred among different religions that have coexisted in India for hundreds of years. Deshpande called for synthesis of science and spirituality to maintain peace in society.
George Abraham, who was one of the members of Sadbhavana Mission that visited India after the Gujarat riots in 2002, said that some of the civil liberties organisations, too, were working to promote sectarianism, which poses a major threat to communal harmony in the country.
Expressing concern over attacks on religious minorities, he, however, vehemently opposed forcible religious conversions. He said that some vested interests were finding it difficult to continue their job after empowerment of masses in India and this was why they were creating religious discord.
Mauritius Vice-President Abdul Raouf Bundhun said that pluralism in India was uniting the people for generations. Urging NRIs and overseas Indians to promote this consciousness among themselves and in their motherland, he asked them to fund only those who were working for these ideals.
Oscar Fernandes, Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, said that emergence of India as a 'tiger' economy would not help if the villages lacked peace. The progress of India was largely dependent on peace in the rural areas, he said.
Complete coverage: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, 2006