MEETING OF NATIONAL
31ST AUGUST 2005
I. NATIONAL, INTEGRATON CONFERENCE:
1.1 The then Prime Minister, Shri Jawaharlal
Nehru convened the National Integration Conference September - October
1961 to find ways and means to combat the evils of communalism, casteism,
regionalism linguism and narrow-mindedness, and to formulate definite
conclusions in order to give a lead to the country. This conference
decided to set tip a National Integration Council (NIC) to review all
matters pertaining to national integration and to make recommendations
1.2. National Integration Council
1.2.1 The National Integration Council
has held 12 meeting so fat. The last meeting was held in November 1992.
Issues relating to National Integration and Communal Harmony in the
context of Kashmir and Punjab problem and dispute over Janam Boomi-Babri
Masjid, problem of Regionalism and Communalism, role of Educational
Institutions and Mass Media and responsibility of the Press, etc. were
discussed in the various meetings of NIC.
1.3 Declaration of Objectives adopted
by the Council
The foundation of the national life
is common citizenship, until in diversity, freedom of religions, secularism,
equality, justice-social-economic and political and fraternity among
all communities. The National Integration Council reiterates its faith
in these value and dedicates itself to their achievement.
The National Integration Council, however,
notes with concern the increase in communal incidents in different parts
of the country over the last few years. The Council emphasizes that
not withstanding sporadic Occurrence of communal and other divisive
conflicts, the vast majority of common men and woman, irrespective of
their religious affiliations, live in peace and harmony and have no
interest in violence and disorders.
The National Integration Council condemns
tendencies that strike at the root of national solidarity and calls
upon all political parties, voluntary organizations, other citizen groups,
the press, leaders of opinion indeed all men of good will to bring them
to a halt:
-by discouraging communal ill will and
regional animosities the weaning the misguided elements of society front
paths of violence;
-by active and energetic propagation
of the principles, especially of the principles, especially of tolerance
and harmony for which this nation stands,
-by mobilizing constructive forces of
society in the cause of national unity and solidarity and giving them
leadership encouragement and articulation; and
-by devising suitable community activity
activities and programmes for fostering fellow feeling, emphasizing
the privileges of common citizenship and in general raising the quality
of national life.
defines the secular character of the nation. Apart form the categorical
assertion of Equality before Law, the various provisions, Articles 25
to 30 (Part III on Fundamental Rights) explicitly Spell out various
rights for its citizens including Minorities and Article 51A (Part VI
A on Fundamental Duties) enjoin upon all its citizens to adhere in letter
and spirit of provisions of the Constitution and to promote harmony
and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst people transcending religious,
linguistic and regional diversities. In addition, provisions have been
made in this regard in various laws of the land.
2.4 The concept underlying national
integration, shorn of all verbiage, is to attain a particular kind of
consciousness in every citizen of the Republic of India which will enable
him or her to feel that lie or she, transcending the primordial divides
of our ancient society should think and act as a citizen of India first.
This in turn means territorial identification with the whole of India.
It also means primary loyalty to Indian nationhood and a refusal to
agree to that primary loyalty being corroded or eroded by considerations
of caste, religion, region and language.
2.5 The creation of consciousness of
the kind describe in the preceding paragraph requires consistent and
persistent efforts through educational processes, media projections,
political processes and processes of economic development. In sum, all
the processes which go to the very foundations of building of modern
India have to be consciously mobilized and channelised.
2.6. Steps taken by the Central Government
for the promotion of peace and communal harmony in the country.
2.6.1 'Public Order' and 'Police' State
Subjects as per the Constitution of India. The Union Government, on
its part, his been taking a variety of measures in a sustained manner
for the maintenance of peace and communal harmony in the Country. The
administrative measure in this regard include sending of alert messages
and advisories to the States and UTs, sharing of intelligence, providing
Central Para-Military forces on specific request and assistance in the
modernization of State Police forces. The State Governments have also
been specifically advised to issue instructions to the District authorities
to ensure early redressal of the grievances of the minorities and to
ensure that complaints in this regard are attended to promptly and appropriate
action taken to punish the culprits expeditiously. A constant watch
is also maintained over the activities of fundamentalist organizations.
Two such organizations viz, Deendar Anjuman and the Students Islamic
Movement of India (SIMI) were banned in 2001 under the provisions of
the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 in order to effectively
check their unlawful activities which are detrimental to the national
security, peace and communal harmony. Ban was again imposed on these
two organizations in 2003 under the provisions of the aforesaid Act.
The ban in the case of SIMI is effective till September 2005. Ban in
respect of the Deendar Anjuman expired on 25.4.2005 and a
fresh ban on the organization for a period of two years has been imposed
2.6.2 Separately, promotional measures
have also been initiated such as the observance of the Annual Quami
Ekta Week, conferment of Awards like National Communal Harmony Awards
and Kabir Puraskar and
III. COMMUNAL SITUATION
IN THE COUNTRY
3.1 The communal situation in the country
following the Godhra Train carnage on 27. 2. 2002, and the subsequent
widespread riots during 2002 remained by and large under control during
recent years. Barring the Gujarat communal riots, there was no sudden
or steep spurt in violence. However, during 2000-2004, and 2005 (upto
July 2005)) communal incidents. Occurred mostly in the communally sensitive
States like Bihar, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,
Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. The notable incidents which occurred during
the year 2005 (Jan. to July) were the clashes over alleged conversion
activities during the annual religious assembly of the Immanuel Bible
Institute Samiti, Kota (Rajasthan) in February, 2005, disturbances during
the last week of May 2005 following throwing of acid on a Hindu girl
by a Muslim boy in Mandi town of Himachal Pradesh, communal violence
in Manglore and other areas of Dakshin Kannada during the second week
of June 2005 over alleged attempts to forcibly convert some Hindu girls
by their Muslim employer and the terrorist attack on the disputed RJB-BM
complex at Ayodhya on 5.7.2005 which had the potential to destablise
the communal situation in the country. The number of communal incidents
and the number of persons killed and injured therein, during 2000 -
2004 and current year 2005
(January o July) are given below:
No. of incidents.
2005 (January to July)
* This includes the figures of 963 persons
killed and around 2500 persons injured in the Godhra train carriage
related communal riots in Gujarat.
3.2 GENEIZAL TRENDS: An analysis
of various aspects of the communal violence in the country since 2000
indicate the following:
- the number of communal incidents and
the number of persons killed or injured shows a declining trend over
- though the number of incidents and
the number of persons killed or injured in such incidents have declined
over the years, the number of occasions where tension was generated
between the majority and minority communities has in fact increased
indicating lower level of tolerance between them. Prompt and effective
action taken by the law enforcing agencies ensured that these tensions
did riot escalate into violence.
- the vulnerability of identified sensitive
areas to communal incidents continued and a large percentage of such
incidents took place in these vulnerable areas. A large proportion of'
the communal incidents were sparked off by trivial events like street
quarrel, old enmity, traffic accident, children playing cricket/kite
flying etc. which accounted for around 70% of the total incidents. The
next important cause of the incidents have been religious issues which
accounted for about 15%-20% of' the total incidents. The balance were
contributed by sex-related issues and property disputes between the
members of the majority and minority communities.
3.3 Communal tensions due to alleged
3.3.1 In recent years, the issue of
conversion/re-conversion has also become a major cause of communal tensions
in some parts of the country. Allegations of forced conversions/reconversions
and subsequent communal tensions have surfaced from time to time. On
many occasions even apprehensions, not founded on facts, on this account
has given rise to communal tensions. Cases in point are the recent events
on the occasion of the annual religious Assembly of the Emmanuel Bible
Institute Samiti at Kota, Rajasthan in February 2005. The situation
was controlled due to prompt measures taken by the District States of
Arunachal Pradesh, Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and, Gujarat have already
passed legislations to regulate conversions by coercive means or offering
3.3.2 Though several incidents with
a potential to escalate further have been nipped in the bud due to timely
intervention by the State authorities there is need to exercise extra
vigil particularly in the communally sensitive districts across different
States/UTs to ensure that communal harmony and peace prevails. Special
care and caution needs to be exercised keeping in view possible threats
from militant groups to create communal discard and conflict by targeting
places of religious worship across the country. Also, the State Government/UT
Administration may adopt a proactive approach and implement effective
schemes for promotion of communal harmony at the grass roots level.
IV. ROLE OF EDUCATION
IN NATIONAL INTEGRATION AND COMMUNAL HARMONY
4.1 Education is that aspect of human
being's phenomenal existence which has the capacity to lift his mind
to transcendental heights, above the humdrum of narrow self perception
of everyday life. This has indeed been the central message of the evolving
educational policy of India which has opted for herself a uniform system
of school education that emphasizes on the need to sensitise the country's
young through the knowledge of our common cultural heritage. If anything,
there is a greater need of its augmentation, which can propel the country's
future citizens to work for enduring peace and harmony with reassurance.
4.2. Role of the Government of India
in Promoting Education for National Integration and Communal Harmony.
4.2.1 The Report of the Secondary Education
Commission 1952-53 emphasizes the role of the educational system and
observes that "the educational system must make its contribution
to the development of habits, attitudes and qualities of charter, which
will enable its citizens to bear worthily the responsibilities of democratic
citizenship and to conteract all those fissiparous tendencies which
hinder the emergence of a broad, national and secular outtlook".
4.2.2 The Report of the Education Commission
(1964-66) in evolving the educational system in the country, identified
the "social and national integration" as one of the major
problems of national development and called for different means through
which these themes can be taught in schools and colleges.
4.2.3 The National Policy on Education
1986 (with modifications undertaken in 1992) points out the need for
establishing the national system of education and institutions to promote
national integration and different components of the Constitution.
4.2.4 In 1999, a committee was set up
under the Chairmanship of Justice J.S. Verma to operationalize the suggestions
to teach Fundamental Duties to the Citizens of the country. The report
popularly known as Justice J.S. Verma Committee Report, provides conceptual
definition of "Duty", Preamble of the Constitution and all
the Fundamental Duties. The Reports lists out the Schemes/Programmes
related to National Integration and Communal Harmony, culture and Values
and Environment. The report also contains an analysis of curriculum
at various levels of education and teacher education from the point
of view of various Fundamental Duties including National Integration
and Communal Harmony.
4.3 National Council for Educational
Research and Training's Efforts at promoting National Integration and
4.3.1 From its inception, National Council
for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has made efforts to improve
the quality of school education as directed by educational policies
of the Govt. of India.
Development of instructional materials is one of the major tasks of
the Council. These materials, besides including the pedagogical principles
are also supposed to include content materials to foster Core components
of national educational policies and Indian Constitution.
4.3.2 These instructional materials
which include, curricular frameworks, syllabi, textbooks, supplementary
reading materials etc. have also been evaluated time and again on whether
the instructional materials incorporated core components such as "National
Integration", "Communal Harmony" or not. For instance,
in the early 1970s, under the project entitled, National Integration
Project, the Council has produced many books meant for children to foster
4.3.3 Following the recommendations
of the National Policy on Education (1986) and the Programme of Action
(1992) to review the National Curriculum Framework for School Education
after every five years, NCERT has initiated the process of the review
of the 'National curricu Framework of School Education. A National steering
Committee has bean set up under the Chairmanship of Prof Yash Pal, an
eminent scientist and a scholar, to deliberate on all aspects of school
curriculum. In addition, 21 National Focus Groups have been formed on
significant areas of the curriculum as well as concerns national importance
to bring out research based position papers, providing a comprehensive
review of existing knowledge and awareness of the field realities which
will be part of the curriculum package.
4.3.4 Concerns of communal harmony and
national integration are inherent in the goals for- peace education.
It is pro-active to foster in students the capacity for critical thinking,
nonviolent resolution of conflicts, responsible citizenship, inter-cultural
understanding, etc. permeating the entire school curriculum.
the curriculum packages, provides guidelines to the stakeholders to
integrate peace education into the school system.
V. THE ROLE OF MEDIA
IN NATIONAL INTEGRATION
5.1 The spread of education and general
awareness coupled with revolutionary changes in information and communication
technologies (ICT) have made media the most potent means of mass education
and mass mobilisation in recent times. Media is now being increasingly
viewed as the most effective and sought after means of communication.
In fact media now influences all works of our life -- personal, social
5.2 Of the several functions of human
communication, integration of man to his environment is the most important.
Mass media undertakes this communication function on a much wider scale
involving large, amorphous and heterogeneous audiences.
5.3 National Integration cannot be achieved
if empowerment is restricted only to the metros and urban centers. An
overwhelming majority of our population still live in villages. However,
thanks to satellite technology, modern means of communication are now
available in rural and remote tribal areas as well.
5.4 The effectiveness of the Media has
to be understood in terms of means of mass communication available to
our society, media reach and the impact of media on society. In tangible
terms media scenario basically comprises reach of T.V. and Radio, Newspaper
circulation, advertising, other print media forms, attempts at social
marketing and Net newspapers or cyber journalism which cater to media
market. Various forms of traditional media which are integrated into
our social system are also important. For promoting national integration
all forms of media, news as well as non-news, will have to be deployed
as part of a well thought-out media strategy.
5.5 All the media forms are essential
means of education on various aspects of life. Yet independent news
media - print, electronic or even cyber remains the most important media
for its capacity to scrutinize public affairs without fear or favor
and hold us accountable to our jobs and 'responsibilities. Its good
health and right attitude is, therefore, very important to all of us.
In the all-important task of national integration the importance of
independent news media cannot be over-emphasized.
5.6 Leaders of our social renaissance
and freedom struggle were fully conscious of the power of the Press.
They used media to generate awareness among the masses and prepare them
to fight for their rights. In fact the history of the Indian Press starts
with the social reformer Raja Ram Mohan Ray who had the vision of a
modern India in mind. Mahatma Gandhi launched several newspapers to
propagate his message of social equality and political freedom for the
country. All India Radio (Akashwani) also played a very important role
in sensitizing people about their cultural heritage and national identity.
Realizing its importance our Constitution makers made freedom of expression
a fundamental right tinder Article 19(A). The successive governments
have been tolerant of media criticism which has made Indian democracy
viable as well as transparent.
5.7 The media has a symbiotic relationship
with democracy. The two cannot exist without each other. The essentials
of democracy are a well-informed citizenry, an equal and effective right
of every member of society to participate in the affairs of the state
and accountability of all those who are exercising public power and
utilizing public resources.
5.8 Media can perform various functions
in promoting national integration. Broadly speaking media can help contribute
in three spheres of activity, which will in turn make our society better
integrated; the three areas are -- Economic, Sociological and Political.
5.9 In the sphere of economic inputs
media can help people find alternative ways of making a living, which
will reduce the pressure on land and raise a family's economic status.
Media can help create, demand for goods and motivate local initiative
to meet rising demands. It can also help sensitize people to broaden
the entrepreneurial base. Media's contribution to overall economic development
has been fully realized and it has become a self-perpetuating process.
5.10 In the sociological sphere of activity
media aids in the process of status change from heredity to achievement.
To do this, it his successfully motivated the illiterate to become literate
in our society. Media can help shift influence from age and traditional
status to knowledge and ability and thus reduce the sharp caste and
class differences in the society. Media motivates the traditional leaders
to acquire knowledge and adapt to changes to retain their status. Media
helps people find new norms and achieve a balance during a period of
rapid change. Media can also help bring about greater equality and a
greater respect for human dignity and make cultural and social change
an on-going process.
5.11 In the political sphere of its
activity media helps in the process, of power change from heredity to
achievement. It motivates traditional leaders to defend their power
by raising their information level and helps the masses recognize their
own importance in the power structure and act as a stimulus to political
5.12 Government initiatives:
5.12.1 The Ministry of Information and
Broadcasting through its various media units and AIR/DD is involved
in the efforts it promoting National Integration & Communal Harmony,
projecting the image of a modem, secular, positive India and also highlighting
the positive aspects and achievements on both fronts.
5.13 All India Radio
5.13.1 All India Radio, which has a
very wide reach, airs numerous programmes for the promotion of communal
harmony which include live story, programmes on Hindu families constructing
Tazias for Muslims & Muslim families constructing Ram Lila effigies,
Chintan Karyakram etc. As a matter of policy, issues of national importance
like integration & communal harmony occupy a place of prominence
in AIR programmes in the form of short messages, plays, features and
musical items. The important religious and other festivals of major
religious communities are noticed by putting out special programmes
explaining the significance of the festival. In order to rid Indian
society of the scourge of communal violence AIR has always played vital
role in this country. In addition, in order to give full attention for
bringing about communal harmony at the grass roots level, especially
in the education institutions, villages and mohallas, AIR regularly
cover such themes in the various programmes broadcast on national, regional
and local levels.
5.13.2 Programmes designed to foster
a feeling of communal harmony and national Integration are broadcast
regularly from all station: of the All India Radio network. Different
formats like talks, discussions features, plays, songs and slogans and
jingles, excerpts from the speeches eminent leaders of the country etc.
are utilized as part of normal programming. Special slogans and jingles
are broadcast regularly. AIR also produces and broadcast special programmes
including songs on communal harmony theme. The major thrust of these
programmes has always been to project positive instances of communal
cooperation and mutual help.
5.14.1 Doordarshan's (DD) objective
as a Public Service Broadcaster is to uphold the unity and integrity
of the country and the values enshrined ill the Constitution and also
to safeguard the citizens' right to be informed freely, truthfully,
& objectively on all matters of public interest. Many programmes
telecast by Doordarshan contain inherent messages of national integration
and communal harmony. DD Is telecasting a number of education programmes
in the format of interviews, group discussions, documentaries, features
etc. that are aimed at character building and imbibing national feeling
among the younger generation. DD Kendras have been requested to produce
documentaries on the secular fabric of India and growth of minorities
in the country since Independence etc.
5.14.2 The Directorate of Field Publicity
produces on National Integration that are widely screened for dissemination
of the message of communal harmony and national integration. Photo exhibitions
like "Unity in Diversity" also help in creating awareness
on the theme. Song and Drama programmes and inter personal communication
help in creating larger impact on the issue. With the objective to have
people's participation and involvement special programmes in the form
of competitions like essay/slogan writing, debate, seminar, rallies,
patriotic songs painting/drawing etc. are also organized to imbibe the
spirit of coexistence and tolerance among people.
5.15 The Press Council of India
5.15.1 The Press Council of India, set
up under an Act of Parliament, has been established for the purpose
of preserving the freedom of the press and maintaining and improving
the standards of newspapers and news agencies. Recognising that the
Press, which enjoys the utmost freedom of expression, has a great and
vital role to play in educating and moulding public opinion on correct
lines in regard to the need for friendly and harmonious relations between
the various communities and religious groups forming the fabric of Indian
political life and in mirroring the conscience of the best minds of
the country to achieve national solidarity, the Press Council, of India
considers that this object would be defeated, communal peace and harmony
disturbed and national unity disrupted if the press does not strictly
adhere to proper norms and standards in reporting or commenting Copies
of the guidelines issued by the Press Council from time to time are
at Annexure - II.