Press Statement

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The decision of the Delhi Police prohibiting the gathering to be organised on November 4 by the All India Federation of SC/ST organisations was an undemocratic and authoritarian step. Since the organisers had announced that a large number of people from the scheduled castes would embrace Buddhism at this meeting, the BJP-led government had obviously instructed the Delhi Police to withdraw the permission given earlier for the rally.

The objections to the rally were raised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which leveled the baseless allegation that it was meant for conversion to Christianity. It is shocking that the police have echoed this false allegation citing some website abroad to deny permission. The National Minorities Commission has also played a dubious role in lodging a complaint with the Home Ministry. It seems the Commission does not recognise Buddhists as a minority in the country.

The organisers of the November 4 rally went ahead and held their meeting by shifting their venue, despite the obstacles put up by the police authorities. Conversion to any religion voluntarily is a right given to citizens in the Constitution. For the BJP-led government, it seems only conversions by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are valid.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) appeals to all democratic and secular forces to take note of the blatantly biased approach of the Central Government, which has jurisdiction over the Delhi Police. It appeals to all secular and democratic forces to protest against the violation of basic rights of people to decide for themselves which religion they wish to profess.