India calls on UN member states’ to condemn attacks on all religions
New York [US], December 3 : India on Wednesday called out UN member states’ for selective condemnation of attacks on Abrahamic religions, leaving religions-like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. At the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Indian diplomat Ashish Sharma said that with “selectivity” the world can never truly foster a culture of peace.
Speaking on the issue of “Culture of Peace”, First Secretary asked, “Why is this selectivity? Overall, Hinduism has more than 1.2 billion, Buddhism has more 535 million, and Sikhism around 30 million followers. It is time that attacks against these religions are also added to earlier list of the three Abrahamic religions when such resolutions are passed. Culture of peace cannot be only for Abrahamic religions. And as long as such selectivity exists, the world can never truly foster a culture of peace.”
Citing the examples of violence on other religions, First Secretary said, “The shattering of the iconic Bamyan Buddha by fundamentalists, the terrorist bombing of the Sikh Gurudwara in Afghanistan where 25 Sikh worshipers were killed and the destruction of Hindu and Buddhist temples and minority cleansing of these religions by countries, calls for condemning such acts against these religions also. But the current Member States refuse to speak of these religions in the same breath as the first three “Abrahamic” religions.”
Bringing the attention to other religions, the Indian diplomat said, “This August body fails to acknowledge the rise of hatred and violence against Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also.”
Speaking on India’s historic traditions, he said, “India is not just the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, but is also the land where the teachings of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism have taken strong root and where the Sufi tradition of Islam has flourished. Today, every one of the world’s major religions has a home in India. The great Indian philosopher, Swami Vivekananda said, “We (India) believe not only in universal toleration but accept all religions as true”.
“For millennia, India has provided shelter to waves of those persecuted in foreign lands, and allowed them to thrive in India. And our tradition of inter-culture dialogue goes right to the time when ancient Indian thinkers had a flourishing dialogue with the ancient Greeks. India is not just a culture, but a civilization in itself,” First Secretary said.
Earlier, UN resolutions and UN agencies have singled out violence against specific religions, naming Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and Christianophobia, while there is a general feeling prevalent that attacks on other religious minorities throughout the world do not attract similar censure.