Goa Chief Minister in a smear campaign against the stalwart of secular voices in India
June 02, 2014
The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC – www.iamc.com), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has strongly condemned Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s recent accusations on Fr. Cedric Prakash. Speaking at a press briefing recently, Mr. Parrikar reportedly accused Fr. Prakash of spreading “religious discontent” in Goa ahead of the general elections, and equated the renowned human rights advocate with Pramod Muthalik, the notorious head of militant Hindu nationalist organization Sri Ram Sena.
Fr. Cedric Prakash is a Jesuit Priest and founder director of Ahmedabad based Prashant, an organization dedicated to advancement of human rights and social justice. He is a recipient of numerous national and international awards, including the Kabir Puraskar awarded by the President of India in 1995 for the promotion of Communal Peace and Harmony, and Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by the President of the French Republic in July 2006 for life time commitment to the defense and the promotion of Human Rights in India.
Rejecting the Chief Minister’s remarks as baseless and inflammatory, Mr. Ahsan Khan, President of IAMC, said,”The comparison of a renowned human rights advocate to an anti-minority militant like Pramod Muthalik is reflective of a dangerous blend of shallowness and bigotry. Coming from the Chief Minister of a state, these remarks are indicative of the culture of intimidation that the supremacist ideology of Hindutva has engendered whenever it has held the reins of power.” As the head of militant Sri Ram Sene, Mr. Muthalik, has repeatedly called upon Hindus to arm themselves and has used violence against innocent citizens. “Fr. Prakash has been a stalwart of secular voices, a tireless force for good and a bulwark of moral strength to the Indian society. In comparing Fr. Prakash to Mr. Muthalik, the Chief Minister has only exhibited his own indifference to Fr. Prakash’s notable work towards advancement of peace, social justice and human rights in India”, Mr. Khan added.
Indian-American Muslim Council (formerly Indian Muslim Council-USA) is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with chapters across the nation. For more information please visit our new website at: http://www.iamc.com/
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