Protect minorities from fundamentalist forces: Pranab

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New Delhi, Mar 7: External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee has said minority communities in the country need protection from fundamentalist forces. "It has been the government's policy to ensure that we embark on a course of action which would ensure the well being of the minorities and remove their perceptions of discriminations and related backwardness that they suffer," said Mukherjee.

"We have to be aware that some minority communities are being extorted to resort to violent and militant means to express their feelings. In this regard, we have to guard against fundamentalists forces which thrive or attempt to thrive on religious and cultural backwardness," Mukherjee told a global minorities meet here last evening. Mukherjee also highlighted the "need for ensuring equality both in principal and in practice".

Although the Constitution promises equal rights and opportunities to all communities, Muslims have traditionally registered lower educational levels and as a consequence, higher unemployment rates than Hindus.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has urged for better access to education for Muslims.

ANI

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