Inculcate secularism in children to end communalism: Pawar

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Mumbai, Mar 29 (UNI) Communalism will end in India, only if children are given lessons on secularism right from a tender age, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar stated here today.

Speaking at the award distribution function of Mahatma Gandhi Peace Awards 2007-08, organised by Maharashtra's Minority Commission here Mr Pawar said the school books, especially the history books played an important role in making a person secular.

''The country can make progress only if people become united.

Progress of the minority communities is a must for the progress of any country,'' Mr Pawar stated.

The union government has allocated funds for the minority in its Union budget but the same has been termed communal by political parties, who do not want the minorities and the country to make any progress, Mr Pawar said.

The Union Minister in his speech, without naming anyone, said that some people were using their 'pen' to spread hatred instead of propagating secularism.

Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil, who was present on the occasion, said the people who talk against the minority, wanted to divide the community.

The state government has set up a different department for the minority and will start functioning shortly, he added.

Mr Patil, who is also in charge of the Home department, said a committee to promote secularism will soon be constituted from the level of the Director General of Police to the local police stations.

Police and government officials of the state, were given Gandhi Peace awards on the occasion.

Nagpur's collector, Dr Purshuttam Bhapkar, senior IPS officer Surya Pratap Gupta from Nasik, New Mumbai's police commissioner Ramrao Wagh, Archana Tyagi IPS, and Abdul Rehman, police Superintendent of Yavatmal and others were the recipients of the award.

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