Indian American Muslim group demands denouncement of communal ideology or resignation from GHMC Mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 18, 2010

Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA: http://www.imc-usa.org ) an advocacy group dedicated towards safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, has communicated to the Mayor of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, Banda Karthika Reddy, that she publically denounce communally motivated ideologies of organizations such as the VHP or resign from the Mayoral post.

IMC-USA has also communicated to the All India Congress Committee President Madame Sonia Gandhi, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh K Rosaiah, and Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee President D. Srinivas that they take immediate disciplinary action against B. Karthika Reddy seeking profound clarification on her participation in the three day meeting of the All-India Dharma Prachara Samiti of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at Gujarati Seva Samaj Bhavan on March 13th.

Mayor B. Karthika Reddy was present on the stage with VHP International Secretary- Praveen Togadia at the women’s session organized on Saturday where Togadia attacked Islam as a religion that teaches Jihad. It should be noted that Praveen Togadia recently made communally fueled comments stating that, “India should be declared a ‘Hindu Nation.'”

According to reports, the meeting discussed programs to create public awareness and launch an agitation over the temple issue in Ayodhya. Also during the three day event, VHP International secretary Dineshji attacked the UPA Government at the Center, led by the the Congress, and called upon state units of the VHP to be prepared for another battle on “Ram Janmabhoomi.” In addition, Mayor B. Karthika Reddy reportedly remarked that `Hindustan Hindu Desh Hai’ (India is a Hindu country) and hailed VHP as a disciplined organization which respects all religions.

The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is an urban planning agency that oversees Hyderabad, the capital and largest city in Andhra Pradesh. Muslims constitute about 40% of the population, making Hyderabad’s Muslim community the largest in Andhra Pradesh. The partaking of GHMC Mayor B. Karthika Reddy in a function which had such open communal overtones is not a responsible action for a person in her position and is unwarranted albeit it being a women’s related event. Furthermore, her current apology is insufficient and is surprising that a person in the post of Mayor, was neither of aware of Togadia’s participation nor that such a large meeting was a VHP organized event.

The Constitution of India guarantees Freedom of Expression in Article 19 but offers reasonable restrictions further clarified in clause 2 of article 19 and sections 504 and 505 of the Indian Penal Code on utterances deliberately tending to hurt the religious feelings of any class in order to maintain public order. The All India Congress Committee which prides itself to be the upholders of India’s pluralist and secular culture is advised to take immediate disciplinary action against B. Karthika Reddy calling for her public denouncement of communal ideologies or resignation from the Mayoral post.

Indian Muslim Council-USA is the largest advocacy organization of Indian Muslims in the United States with 10 chapters across the nation.

Contact Info:
Phone/fax: 1-800-839-7270
Email: media@imc-usa.org

Related Links:

3-day VHP meet begins
http://expressbuzz.com/news/3-day-vhp-meet-begins/155968.html

MIM seeks Mayor’s resignation
http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/16/stories/2010031662680500.htm

Karthika earns MIM’s wrath
http://expressbuzz.com/news/karthika-earns-mim’s-wrath/156736.html

Declare India a Hindu nation, says Togadia
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2010/20100128/dun.htm#1

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