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Minority Affairs Ministry Fulfilment of Long-standing Demand:Antulay

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New Delhi, Feb 26 (UNI) Minority Affairs Minister Abdul Rahman Antulay prefers to call his newly-created charge Ministry for National Integration -- for ''every community in India is a minority somewhere''.

And this, he says, includes Hindus -- otherwise India's overwhelming majority -- who are ''outnumbered'' in states like Jammu&Kashmir and Punjab and in North-Eastern India.

Asserting that minorities faced no threat in this country, the Minister -- popularly known as 'Barrister Antulay' -- declares that his primary task would be to bring them all into the national mainstream. ''All of them should have a feel of security and satisfaction....'' ''But I know a few people would intoxicate or poison minds by utterances that are communal and anti-national in nature'', warns the veteran of many a political battle known for his plain-speak.

In an interaction with www.sarkaritel.com website, Minister Antulay -- with plans up his sleeve to safeguard the interests of the minorities and integrate them into the national mainstream -- said the creation of the Minority Affairs Ministry was the ''fulfillment of a long-standing demand'' and would strengthen the secular values and traditions which make every Indian proud of his or her heritage.

Observing that often some differences between different communities were blown out of proportion ''when actually they were not as grave as often made out to be'', Minister Antulay pointed out that fights within the communities were less grave than disputes within the families over property.

Asserting that there were ''no tensions as such'', he said he would work towards enabling the minorities to be brought into the mainstream of national life so that ''the sense of majority and minority disappears''.

UNI DG RL BD1547

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