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ICC Note:

A complaint has been filed against the Union Culture and Tourism Minister of India’s Goa State after the minister made a hateful statement against India’s religious minorities. Recently, the minister came under criticism after saying that the Bible and the Quran were not central to the soul of India but only Gita and Ramayana are. This statement, the complaint against the minister read, was made with the intention of harming the religious sentiments of Goa’s Christian and Muslim communities. The complaint goes on to say that India’s Prime Minister should sack the minister to send a message that hateful statements like this will not be tolerated in India’s multi-religious society. 

9/16/2015 India (Goacom) – Goa Pradesh Congress Committee on Tuesday filed a complaint against Union Culture and Tourism Minister of State, Mahesh Sharma, for his statement against the Bible and Quran.

The complaint lodged at Panjim Police Station by GPCC General Secretaries Agnel Fernandes, Sunil Kawthankar and Urfan Mulla pointed to the minister’s statement that “Quran and Bible are not central to soul of India but only Gita and Ramayana are”.

The complaint points out that this statement has hurt the religious sentiments of Indian Christians and Muslims, who are equally the soul of the nation as much as any people of any other religion in India.

“Our State of Goa comprises citizens following different faiths and religions and Christians and Muslims are major religions apart from Hindus, who live in harmony sharing a bond of love, but the statement has caused fear, alarm and sense of insecurity among members of Christian and Muslims,” the complaint states.

They further allege that by this act, Sharma is intentionally attempting to insult Christians and Muslims knowing that his statement will harm the sentiments of those professing the religions which he claimed are not central to the soul of India.

The complaint states the as the nation is bound by a complex secular fabric, the statement may be ‘considered as an act of deliberately inciting communal disharmony’.

Terming the statement as hate speech, the complaint says, the statement was meant to hurt religious feelings of Christians and Muslims and is intended to create religious discord between the members of different religions and destroy the very essence of the Constitution of India.

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