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ICC Note:

Hindu nationalists in India are seeking to scrap the National Commission for Minorities claiming it only fans separatism among religious groups. One of the biggest objections the Hindu nationalists have is a national hotline that has been set up where religious minorities can report instances of abuse directly to the commission. Religious minorities, including Christians, have come under increasing attack from radical Hindu nationalists in recent years. Open Doors USA estimates that Christians alone were attacked over 300 times in the first four months of 2017. This level growing violence makes it truly necessary for the continuation of the National Commission for Minorities and the help hotline the commission has set up. 

06/22/2017 India (UCAN) – The VHP on Tuesday accused National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Chair Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi of fanning separatism and demanded its scrapping, a charge Rizvi rejected and said the panel is bridging gaps between different communities.

The VHP’s criticism came after Rizvi, newly appointed to the NCM post, announced resumption of a commission helpline service to enable persons directly contact the statutory panel with their grievances.

“NCM Chairperson Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi… is strengthening feelings of separatism in the Muslim community,” Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Joint General Secretary Surendra Jain said in a statement here.

“While informing about the decision to start a helpline number for Muslims, he (Rizvi) said the Muslims could call on this number in case any atrocity is committed against them. This makes one feel that the atrocities against the Muslims have reached such proportions that the extreme step of opening a helpline for the community had to be taken up,” Jain said.

He said “the very genesis of a Minorities Commission is encouragement to separatism”.

“Isn’t the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) more than enough to safeguard the rights of all the citizens of the nation,” Jain asked.

He demanded that the NHRC should be empowered while the Minorities Commission should be scrapped.

Reacting to VHP’s allegations, Rizvi said that the panel aims to safeguard the constitutional rights of all minorities, not just Muslims, and that it cannot be wished away.

“The NCM was constituted in 1992 by an Act of Parliament to safeguard the constitutional rights of all minorities, not just Muslims. It does not matter what any individual or organization thinks about it,” Rizvi told IANS.

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