Democracy sans secularism a failure: seminar
May 28, 2008
Our Staff Reporter
KARACHI - ’Without secularism democracy can’t survive and it is necessary to cooperate to tackle the problems the south Asian countries are facing in the current scenario’ said Muhammad Salim, Member of Indian Lok Sabah and representative of Communist Party of India, while speaking at the seminar titled ’Democracy and Peace, The Future of South Asia’ held here on Tuesday under the aegis of Rabita Forum International.
Ilahi Bukhsh Somro, Nusrat Mirza, Dr.
Iqbal Haider, Senator Raza Rabbani and others were also present on the occasion.
The session was presided over by former Speaker National Assembly Ilahi Bakhsh Somro.
Salim said that peace is a culture and it is not easy for any South Asian country to survive in today’s world without maintaining and working for peace.
He said the highest selling point for him being an Indian is to be a democratic and secular.
He said that in India an individual is valued but not much than institutes.
To a question that whether the communist party has consoled the people of West Bengal, where the party is in power, regarding the problem of poverty, he said that Bengal had 51 per cent of its population was living below the poverty line before the party came into power but it has now reduced to 30 per cent.
However, the political transformation does not lead to social and economic change, he added.
Ilahi Bukhsh Somro, in his speech, said the people of India and Pakistan do not want war and democracy is actually the rule of law.
Javed Siddiqui said the fear of majority is a pathological thing and it is owned by sick-minded people only.
The organiser of the forum Zafar Imam, while talking to The Nation urged the necessity of organising such discussions as the country has still not achieved successful pattern of democracy.
He said the purpose of the seminar was to educate the people of South Asian countries about the challenges they are facing in the name of democracy.