Hindu Vivek Kendra

31ST AUGUST 2005 



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 thereon.

1.2. National Integration Council Meetings

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 on 17.5.2005.

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


3. Introduction

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.
Persons killed
Personal injured
2002 *
1130 *
4375 *
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 the years.

- 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 conversion/reconversions:

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 allurements.

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.


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 Communal Harmony.

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 National Integration.

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.



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 and professional.

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 participation.

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.