Policy on Religions and Extremist Preaching .

India is a secular country, both civilizational, and by its constitution that was framed on winning independence from Britain. By definition practice of religion, its discourse and inter-religious relations must be rooted in this secular narrative; which, essentially means that all religions must be respected, and practice their faith in peace, without hindrance by anyone within the uncompromising restriction of none preaching or practicing violence of any kind on anyone.

On winning elections, The Rising India Party would move to frame laws governing religious practice, preaching and inter-religious behavior for the public of India to consider and vote upon as below:

  1. The Rising India Party government would form an overarching Ministry of Religious Affairs.
  2. The Ministry would be staffed by a mix of civil servants, religious propagators or leaders, academics and members of the wider public drawn from a cross-section of all religions.
  3. The Ministry would be tasked with framing Policy, and conducting inter-religious affairs and promoting healthy religious dialogue amongst the population.
  4. The Ministry would set up Inter-Religious-Councils (IRCs), throughout India for promoting inter-religious study and dialogue.
  5. They would also function as the forum where all religious conflicts would be tabled before the State legal system is called in or steps in.
  6. These would be staffed by preachers from all faiths as well as ordinary people from all faiths from various socio-economic segments, and religion-neutral administrators.
  7. The parent IRC body would be central, and located in the capital.
  8. Attached to the parent body would be one overarching one for Each State.
  9. Within each State there would be one formed in each District; thus, covering the entire nation.
  10. Each Local IRC would have a membership of no more than 25 in order to keep it small and manageable.
  11. At launch, the government would make it mandatory for all Head Preachers from all Temples, Mosques, Churches, Gurudwaras and other religious practice places, to be brought into convention centers, together, for a 12-week inter-religious learning and conversation.
  12. If the public so approves in the referendum, the government would pass a law wherein this system would be made compulsory for all those who are entering the priesthood of any religion. Each would need to go through an interactive course of learning about religions, other than the one he / she belongs to.
  13. Anyone refusing this mandate, would not be allowed to preach, and can be rendered into prison sentences.
  14. Such prison would be open prison format with people from all religious groups bundled together, who refuse this new law and narrative; that every preacher of every religion must know substantially of the other.
  15. The inter-religious groups would learn from each other in structure classroom based lectures and debate with the view to finding, first, the commonalities amongst different religions in some depth and only then identify the differences and debate these till there is base-line understanding and appreciation of each other’s religion.
  16. The government would ban the preaching of hatred of any other religion or community by law.
  17. No preacher would be permitted to put other religions down or to propogate that theirs is better than the other.
  18. Any individual  who is found to be preaching hate and / or extreme behavior in the name of religion or any ideology will be immediately picked up by the  state and incarcerated in open controlled environment facilities.
  19. These prisons would have education across religions.
  20. People so jailed would undergo intense psychological evaluation to ascertain the root and origin of why a person is of the extremist view.
  21. Using psychology tools and rationale the treatment of the person  would be undertaken to change their mindset
  22. The Core conversation with any religious leader would be built around the question and probing around the fact that all religions state that there is only one God; that He is Omnipresent (present everywhere) Omnipotent (all powerful) and Omniscient (all knowing).
  23. If this is accepted by all religions, and it is the core preaching, then how can anyone claim proprietary right over God, put Him in the Box of their thinking or interpretation, and preach that He can only be experienced or worshipped in their way?
  24. Religious extremism and extremist preaching will be outlawed; but those indulging in it would be arrested for detention in correctional facilities rather than hard-jail time.
  25.  The government would pass a law related to the matter of religious schools, wherein all such schools would have to open their intakes to children of other faiths of at least 25%.
  26. If they are unable to achieve such enrolment, they would need to undertake student exchange programs with other schools for at least one term per year.
  27. This would ensure that no extremist or isolationist tendencies or mind-images take root in any child’s mind.
  28. The government would pass a Law that Children cannot be taught extremist ideology or that the religion they are born into is better than the one to which another child is born; in any establishment including schools, madrasas, other education centers or groups.
  29. The religious policy would also make it mandatory for all registered practitioners, or rather the preachers of each religion have to attend a total of four weeks per year, after attending the 12-week start-up course mentioned above in point 8. This would be compulsory.
  30. A mixed conclave of comparative religious studies and discourses would be mounted and run throughout the year; and each one of attendees in these has to have 90% attendance.
  31. The format of these studies would be classroom type 2-hour lecture by each religion followed by an open discussion.
  32. Those certified as having participate in the required number of credit hours, would gain higher security clearance, privileges to government services, discounts at hotels, travel modes and others so denominated.
  33. All places of worship of all religions would be brought into a legal framework which would be based on transparency and accountability.
  34. Accounts of all money collections of religious places would need to be documented and full account books would need to be maintained and audited.
  35. These funds can be used to pay the priests and custodians of the concerned religious place a decent livelihood.
  36. These funds may also be used for all kinds of charity including feeding the poor, education, medical institutions such as hospitals, dispensaries, distribution of clothes to the poor and so on.
  37. These collections would be held tax-free but they must be brought into the open via annual financial returns.
  38. The government would mount courses on comparative religion and make it part to the school curriculum from class 5 to 9 inclusive.
  39. When so ever there is religious conflict, the government would mandate that leaders from all sides of the conflict be brought into open forum arrangement in convention halls with the participation of the public and moderated by the State and neutral observes to discuss why such conflict happened, who instigated it, and what needs to be done to find permanent solutions.
  40. Each one of these forums must have, neutral moderators including psychologists.TO BE ADDED

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