*Bengaluru, Karnataka:* In a thought-provoking roundtable discussion organized by the Karnataka chapter of Forum for Democracy and Communal Amity, distinguished speakers addressed crucial issues shaping India’s future. Mohammed Salim Engineer, Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, expressed confidence in overcoming challenges and urged a united front against misguided ideologies. He further said The
Karnataka experience of assembly elections is a model for us. The fascist forces can be uprooted if people are educated properly by the civil society groups. We should increase our outreach.
The discussion highlighted various impacts on constitutional values in India’s current context, including the ‘Adani’isation of the economy, ‘Modi’-fication of politics, ‘Arnab’-isation of media, ‘Ayodhya’-fication of the judiciary, and ‘Ram’-ification of the Rashtra. The need to involve the youth in rational discussions about pressing national issues was emphasized by senior journalist Mr. Shivsundar.
Arvind Narrain, President of PUCL-K, raised concerns about the Supreme Court’s role in the Ayodhya dispute and the strengthening of sedition laws, cautioning against a shift from ‘Constitutional Raj’ to ‘Rama Raj.’
Brinda Adige, Founder-Director of Global Concerns India, shed light on the patriarchal control over women’s strength in society, emphasizing the importance of genuine representation in electoral politics.
Trilochan Sastry, Founder-Trustee of Association for Democratic Reforms, proposed bold statements from Muslim leaders to counteract attempts at victimhood creation and urged a focus on respecting Hinduism without interest in conversion.
Dr. Mohammad Saad Belgami, JIH State President, highlighted a significant issue, noting that approximately 40% of people’s votes go to waste due to various factors: 10% lack voter IDs, 10% abstain from voting, 10% face accessibility challenges reaching their voting booths, and 10% engage in selling their votes. Stressing the urgency, he emphasized the necessity to initiate a movement aimed at establishing a society grounded in principles of empathy, courage, commitment, concern, and sacrifice.
The panel discussion, moderated by Dr. Mohammed Taha Mateen, Director of Acura Hospital, engaged participants in a meaningful dialogue. Mr. M. F. Pasha, IPS (Retd.), General Secretary of FDCA, emphasized the lack of consultation and public dialogue in crafting laws affecting minority communities.
This insightful and dynamic discussion provided a platform for diverse perspectives on critical issues shaping the nation’s trajectory.