Workshop on National Integration

A workshop on National Integration was held on 17th, 18th & 19th July 2014. This workshop was facilitated by Mr. K. L. Ashok, Komu Sauharda Vedike (Karnataka Forum for Communal Harmony). A total of 41 Participants attended the workshop, which had lectures, brief of history of fanaticism, communalism, religious fundamentalism, group discussions, exchange of real life experience from one’s own area, how situations were brought under control, formation of peace committees, door to door visits to assure of safety and informing the authorities timely to avoid flare up. It was felt that some of the challenges that hinder national integration and which had to be overcome were:

• Doctrine which makes use of religious and cultural difference to achieve political ends.
• Vested interest who concentrate on power by dividing people on communal and religious lines.
• Opportunistic political and economic interest of contending groups and factions within political parties.

The only way out was to:
• Make efforts through mass media for changing the attitude of people towards other communities and they must be made aware of factionalism.
• Society itself has to tackle the chronic malaise of casteism and try to root out the same.
• Society should oppose caste based forces from social, political and electoral process in order to make these forces irrelevant and not appease them.
• The people should not mix religion and caste with politics to attain the goal of common brotherhood, unity and integrity of the nation.
• Make the people aware of the advantage of having peace and communal harmony in the country and that the discrimination on the basis of religion, is a crime.

Keynote by Rev. Fr. Peter Brank, Director, KROSS.

Sharing by participants – Rev. Fr. Reginald Pinto, Director, Sampada.

Participants’ observation – Rev. Fr, Oswald Monteiro, Director, CODP.

A view of the participants.

Participants having group discussions.

Participants having group discussions.