Rajnath Singh: NGOs, women groups must engage in deradicalisation of youth

Apr 12, 2018, 20:26 IST | mid-day online desk

In order to leverage the reach of the digital platform to promote communal harmony, Singh asked all concerned to develop proper narratives for social media

Rajnath SinghUnion Minister Rajnath Singh

Addressing religious groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and women groups, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday said that they must be actively involved in helping to bring back misguided people into the mainstream, as radicalisation of youths becomes a matter of concern.

Chairing the 21st meeting of the governing council of the National Foundation for Communal Harmony (NFCH) here, Singh also said attempts to disrupt communal harmony has been a matter of concern not only for the government, but for everyone. Social and religious groups including NGOs and women organisations must be actively involved in deradicalisation efforts, the Home Minister said.

He said despite being the second most populous country, India has been negligibly affected by radicalisation. Full credit for this goes to the minorities and their religious leaders and the composite culture and traditions of India, the Home Minister said. Earlier this month, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had said radicalisation has emerged as a challenge world over, including India, and the terrorist organisations are using various platforms to propagate their ideology and attract recruits.

The central and state law-enforcement agencies were making concerted efforts to counter the radicalisation efforts of terrorist organisations and a number of persons have been prevented from getting misled, Ahir had said in Rajya Sabha, adding the cyber space was also being closely watched in this regard. Singh said attempts to disrupt communal harmony has not only been an issue of concern for the Ministry of Home Affairs but for everybody since all have stakes in amity among communities, which a characteristic of the entire nation.

In order to leverage the reach of the digital platform to promote communal harmony, Singh asked all concerned to develop proper narratives for social media. Singh said India has become the fastest growing economy and is among the top 10 largest economies in the world. "As we aim to break into the top five and eventually emerge among the top three economies, our growth should not be hampered by terrorism," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Information and Broadcasting Minister Smriti Irani said the government is committed to promote harmony despite certain mischievous elements attempting to create wrong perception about the communal situation in the country.

She said the NBT and the Directorate of Publications Division will organise exhibitions and sale of books sensitising people about maintaining communal harmony in sensitive areas. Religious and social leaders, who are members of the NFCH Governing Council, also gave their suggestions on fostering communal harmony in the country, an official release said.

There were various suggestions on the subject, like revisiting the role and structure of the NFCH, augmentation of its budget, enhancement of inter-faith dialogues, organising international conferences, symposia, publication and exhibition of books, documentaries and programmes on television and promotion of communal harmony through social media.

Other suggestions included convergence of related schemes of various ministries promoting communal harmony, organising conferences, poetic recitations and music concerts in universities, academic institutions and in the public fora. It was also highlighted that schoolchildren and dropouts should be targeted for inculcating values of social harmony, the release said. Agreeing with most of the suggestions, the Home Minister decided he would form some committees, which will also include members from the council, to cull out actionable points and formalise them in the form of a final decisions.

Edited by mid-day online desk, with inputs from IANS

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