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International convention on secularism in Hyderabad

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, JAN. 6. An international convention on secularism will be held in Hyderabad on January 14 and 15.

Organised by the Indian Radical Humanist Association under the aegis of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU), the convention would be attended by over 200 delegates from six countries apart from India.

K. Jayachandra Reddy, Chairman, Press Council of India; Shanta Sinha, Magsaysay Award winner and K. Kesava Rao, president, APCC, are among those who are expected to participate in the proceedings, according to G.R.R. Babu, executive director, IHEU.

Mr. Babu said the convention would recommend implementation of a universal civil code, thorough investigations into the funding and administration of religious bodies and strict punishment for those who incite communal hatred and violence.

He said that secularism had been misinterpreted by successive governments in India to mean equal respect for all religions and their superstitions, whereas true secularism implies separation of religion from State.

``The convention will help us compare the experiences of secularism from various countries and work out measures appropriate for us,'' explained N. Innaiah, convener, Federation of Atheist, Rationalist Humanist Associations, one of the sponsors.

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