The sixteenth meeting of the National Integration Council (NIC) will be held here on September 23 under the Chairmanship of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The NIC was constituted to combat the evils of communalism, casteism, regionalism, linguism and narrow-mindedness as a follow up of National Integration Conference under the then Prime Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru in September- October, 1961.
The first meeting of NIC was held in 1962.
The NIC declared its objectives in the meeting held in 1968 as unity in diversity, freedom of religions, secularism, equality, justice-social-economic and political, and fraternity among all communities.
The NIC, however, notes with concern the increase in communal incidents in different parts of the country over the last few years. The council emphasizes that notwithstanding sporadic occurrences of communal and other divisive conflicts, the vast majority of common men and women, irrespective of their religious affiliations, live in peace and harmony and have no interest in violence and disorders.
The council wishes to emphasize that this task is not of governments alone although governments have to play a major role in strengthening the forces of integration and in implementing expeditiously and effectively the recommendations that this council makes. This task is the collective responsibility of all citizens-politicians, educationists, artists, writers, teachers, parents and students, intellectuals, businessmen and trade union leaders.
This council invites all Indians, regardless of their linguistic, religious, ethnic or cultural affiliations to join in this great and urgent task of promoting national unity and solidarity.
The last meeting of the NIC with 148 members was held on September 10, 2011.
The agenda of the meeting was:-
Communal Harmony - Measures to curb communalism and communal violence; approach to Communal Violence Bill; measures to promote Communal Harmony.
Discrimination - Especially against minorities and scheduled tribes; measures to eliminate such discrimination.
Civil Disturbances - How should the State and the police handle civil disturbances?
Radicalization of youth in the name of religion and caste - how to curb such radicalization? (ANI)