QAUMI EKTA TRUST
Democracy, secularism, social justice and the struggle to make these values the basis of international relations have been the four pillars of Indian nationhood as it evolved in the course of our struggle for national independence. They were acknowledged as the basis of the political system of free India and these tenets were enshrined in the Constitution. Our experience of the post-independence years (as also of other nation states) has shown that any deviation from this framework leads to social tensions and eventual disintegration.
It has also been part of historical experience that fostering a socio-political culture based on these values (or of any values for that matter) cannot be left entirely to the state machinery as represented by the Government of a country. The chance of the Government coming under the influence or pressure of forces antagonistic to these basic values can’t be overestimated; there are enough instances which show that democracy can be smothered by the very processes of democracy.
The need for eternal vigilance can be ignored only at national peril. More particularly in a society under persistent assault (overt and covert) of forces antagonistic to the values which are the sine-quo-non of our existence as a nation. In sharpening this vigilance the role of voluntary agencies is of crucial importance. If a democratic culture based on secularism and social justice is not fostered and public opinion not mobilised along these lines then the threat of a fascist takeover would constantly hang over the nation.
Such a role can be most effectively played by organisations which stand outside the competition for power and are dedicated to promoting basic human values.
The QAUMI EKTA TRUST is an institution of this nature and has a record of dedicated work in the cause of national integration based on the above mentioned values. Over the years it has developed a personality whose credentials are respected by a cross section of individuals and groups who are interested in building India into a united, modern and progressive nation. These groups are not bound by political and/or religious affiliations. The list of people who have appreciated the Trust's work and associated with its activities include leading figures of the post-independence political and intellectual leadership of India.
It has the distinction of having a network of committed activists who not only stand fully behind the organisations sponsored and supported by the Trust but are also prepared to make sacrifices to safeguard communal harmony. Most of these workers have developed the sensitivity to detect social tension as the first signs appear and (if adequately supported) the capacity to nip mischief in the bud by scotching rumours and isolating the miscreants. This network exists all over North India and in some parts of South India as well.
BACKGROUND OF THE TRUST AND ITS MAGAZINE
The Qaumi Ekta Trust was set up in 1971 as a result of experience gained in the course of a long struggle against communal forces under the umbrella of the “Sampradayikta Virodhi Committee”. It is a unique institution dedicated to promoting communal harmony and national integration through multi-dimensional voluntary effort on a non-partisan basis.
Even though the Trust did not amass material or financial assets, it accumulated through twenty five years of field work a corpus of rich experience. This was gained under the leadership of the (late) Mrs. Subhadra Joshi and many of her associates in different parts of the country. Mr. Motilal Vora, is the current torch-bearer of the movement.
Before setting up the Trust, Mrs. Joshi had worked closely with Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the dark days of the partition of India in 1947. With a band of volunteers organised as the “Shanti Dal” she had made a major contribution to the quelling of communal frenzy, instilling confidence among the Muslims of Delhi and providing succour to the Hindu and Sikh refugees coming from Pakistan. Old residents of the walled city in Delhi still remember her work and look upon her as a trusted comrade.
In 1961, when communal violence struck Jabalpur, Saugor and Katni (towns of Madhya Pradesh), Mrs. Joshi personally stayed in the disturbed areas for three months mobilizing saner elements to restore normalcy and help the sufferers get back on their feet. On the basis of that experience she set up an organization, the ALL INDIA SAMPRADAYIKTA VIRODHI COMMITTEE (AISVC) for creating public awareness about the dangers of casteism and communalism and therefore the need for social equality and communal harmony.
The Committee published a number of pamphlets exposing the designs of communal organizations that pose a threat to secular, democratic and enlightened nationalism. The pamphlets were highly appreciated by the public. Encouraged by this wide response the Committee launched a magazine called SECULAR DEMOCRACY in 1968.
Later, in 1971, it was decided that the range of activities be brought under one apex organization. A public trust was therefore registered under the name and style of Qaumi Ekta Trust.
The Qaumi Ekta Trust has been actively working for communal harmony and inter faith dialogue in India. The work of the Trust and its field organization the “All India Sampradaikta Virodhi Committee” has been nationally acclaimed. Its founder, the late Mrs. Subhadra Joshi was given the following awards which she donated to the Trust:
The Trust constructed its building in 1998 at a central location in an institutional area: 31, Bhai Veer Singh Marg, Gole Market, New Delhi-110001. As the Trust had no funds of its own, it had to depend on outside borrowings and donations. In order to meet our present obligations and to invigorate the work of the Trust in the cause of national integration we seek the generous support (financial and otherwise) of persons and institutions committed to the same ideals.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE TRUST
In order to promote communal harmony in India on a stable and scientific basis the Qaumi Ekta Trust was set up as an apex body. Its objectives, according to the Trust Deed are: