Funding of Religious Pilgrimages- Press Statement by IHU
The following Press Statement was issued by the Indian Humanist Union on the 8th September 2012 through United News of India (UNI)
Press Statement by the Indian Humanist Union
As an organization which has devoted itself to the cause of Secularism and National Integration for more than fifty years, the Indian Humanist Union is deeply disappointed by the decision of certain State governments to provide free religious pilgrimage to people belonging to various religious denominations at the cost of the State. It feels strongly that the Central and State governments should work towards the abolition of the existing practices of this nature - such as the funding of Haj pilgrimages - rather than introduce new such schemes.
The preamble to the Constitution clearly proclaims that the people of India have solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC. Clearly, a Secular State cannot promote religiosity - howsoever even-handed it may try to be - without violating the Secular principle. To promote religiosity among the people – and that too at the expense of the tax-payer – is not only a violation of the Constitution of India, it also discriminates against the secular citizen. To that extent it is also a breach of Human Rights
The Indian Humanist Union urges the Central and State Governments to respect the secular nature of our Constitution and cancel any new attempts to fund religious pilgrimages, and phase out those that may already be in operation.
The Indian Humanist Union also humbly urges the Judiciary and the NHRC to consider taking suo moto action against such violations of the Constitution and Human Rights.
New Delhi 8 September 2012