05/28/2004, 00.00
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Government plan announced by Singh

Christian groups asks for more attention for minorities

New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Prime Minister Manmhoan Singh presented his program of government, the Common Minimum Programs (CMP)on May 27th.  The fundamental points include: the defence and promotion of social harmony and refusal of every fundamentalist faction; economical measures to ensure the country 's growth of 7-8% annually; increase of the well-being of the peasants and the defending the rights of women; creating fair opportunities for the untouchables, the tribal and the religious minorities in educational and professional field; full support to the energies Of the society. 

The All India Christian Council (AICC), together with the The Minorities Council, distributed its evaluation on the CMP on May 29th.  The Christian group, while happy that Singh elaborated the program in difficult times, declared its  disappointment in the limits of the CMP.  Particularly, the AICC underlines that on the subject of the development of the minorities, threatened by the hatred of  the country's fanatical Hindus , the government reduces its engagement to merely guarantees the physical safety of other religious groups, while neglecting to address the political support  and economic welfare of the minorities. 

Towards these ends, the  AICC  advises the CMP: urgent measures to  ensure the autonomy of educational structures; a Commission for development and an agency of religious and linguistic minorities; a Commission for the Equality and Equal Opportunities that is effective and persistent, the reform of the electoral system to allow social out-casts to have the right political agency. 

AICC welcomes Singh intentions to carry out the Places of Worship Act, that in 1991 had recognized the establishment of sacred places.  In recent years the failure to accomplish this represented a serious threat in many  churches and temples of the action of the hindu fundamentalists. 

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