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Asghar Ali Engineer was torchbearer of communal harmony: Prof. Purushottam Agrawal

Radiance News Service

New Delhi, Nov. 27: The 22nd Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer Memorial Lecture on Secularism in the 21st Century was delivered by Prof. Purushottam Agrawal, noted Indian writer, and Ex-member of Union Public Service Commission at a program organised by Centre for Study of Society and Secularism (CSSS), here Saturday.

Prof Agarwal, while delivering the memorial lecture, said, “I met Asghar Ali Engineer after Hashimpura and Malyana massacre when I had marched (padyatra) to Meerut against the massacre along with many others. He was there to address the protestors. Asghar Ali Engineer was the torchbearer of communal harmony. His life is a lesson for those who wants to fight communalism and struggle against it.”

Prof Agarwal added, “Principled distance, variety of secularism is a unique ethical stance of Indian Constitution, which is a great contribution of India to the world. But I would like to ask all to ponder upon as to how it became possible. How India got this inspiration to present to the world this unique feature of Constitution.”

Presiding over the program, Prof. Rajeev Bhargava, a noted Indian Political theorist and writer, said, “Although there was religious difference in India but there has always been religious pluralism be it pre-Islamic and post-Islamic India. Religious pluralism has always had great binding. It is very important to know about the organization with which the secular state should fight in India. It is an important aspect of secularism to fight against caste hierarchy, which is an oppressive social system.”

Prof Apoorvanand, who teaches at Delhi University, said, “We all were students of him in our struggle for communal harmony and with him emerged the concept of factfinding which we now generally do after riots and other incidents. He also said the name of Asghar Ali Engineer will remain on top in the annals of history if it is to be written on struggle against communalism and strive for communal harmony.”


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