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Religious acceptance is a thing of past, can India replenish it?

India needs a transformation in its education system to fulfill this challenge

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The fact can’t be ignored that today India is one of the fastest growing democracies in the world but it has failed to create a working environment where people can “work together and live together”. The manpower planning experts and economists are happy to project India as a young emerging democracy and showcase demographic dividend. But what is left unachieved is the scope to avail these opportunities, generate professionals who are strong, competent as well as ethically powerful. Instead, the young generation is pushed today, to work at places where neither the society nor the system is accepting change. The reason why ancient India underwent globalization was its culture and values and most importantly its belief in the unity of all religions and individuals. Their respect towards diverse languages and Gods. But today, when the intermingling of cultures and religions is gaining momentum, many Western societies are finding it difficult to overcome the turmoil of religious acceptance which drives them towards global insecurity. Thus, escalating the growth of more deadly weapons of devastation.

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The world is fast undergoing an erosion of human and democratic values. And those who are getting majorly affected are, of course, human beings and economies. The only ray of hope that is visible is global education. Well, it isn’t too easy; the process of universal education is also laying down challenges before the policy makers. There is insufficiency in providing education which will help in the manifestation of a human being towards perfection. It makes every Indian proud about how the world expects Indian to take a lead in this process.

In this era of globalization which is marked by materialism, India does need to transform its education system. It calls for India to mold its education system into one which respects cultural diversity and accepts it as a gift of God. We need instauration rather than merely following the western framework. It is often wondered why India did not do so at the time of Independence which was the perfect opportunity.

 “We must know that every race is part of the global man. Every race establishes itself by giving an account of what it is innovating to gift to, or help man, all over the universe. When any race loses the vigour to innovate, it exists as a load, like a paralytic body part of that huge man. Indeed, there is no glory in only existing.”Rabindranath Tagore, Swadesh Swaraj

Perhaps those who mattered the most that time were already impressed by the western models rather than noticing the intellectual achievements of the Indian society much before the others.  They were the Hindus. The past achievements, heritage, and history of India is surely a thing of pride for every Indian irrespective of his cast. It is acknowledged all around the world but unfortunately ignored in India itself that Hindus have the heart to welcome all other faiths , help them construct their religious places and let them follow their  religion at par with others.

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The most important feature of the Hindu civilization was its diversity and the acceptance to move with time. The most sanctified task today for the Hindus is to transform its education system to prepare men and women who are equal, work equal and stand equal.

—by Shubhi Mangla, an intern at Newsgram and a student of Journalism in New Delhi. Twitter @shubhi_mangla

Reference:—http://www.newindianexpress.com/

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Religious acceptance is one of the biggest fears in India. People should understand that differentiating others with respect to religion is not what people with moral values do, instead considering them simply humans like everybody is what a person with great values would do

  • Aparna Gupta

    I believe that this will require lots of efforts but it is not impossible. Religious acceptance is required for peace and harmony.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Religious acceptance is one of the biggest fears in India. People should understand that differentiating others with respect to religion is not what people with moral values do, instead considering them simply humans like everybody is what a person with great values would do

  • Aparna Gupta

    I believe that this will require lots of efforts but it is not impossible. Religious acceptance is required for peace and harmony.

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Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

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Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)