Talk on “Constitutionalism by Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ organised by the AICUF Committee on 23 May 2023

event aimed to raise awareness among the youth about crucial matters related to constitutionality. But the speech covered a vast area which included topics such as anti-conversion law, hijab ban, beef ban, the murder of Gouri Lankesh, the arrest of Sidheeq Kappan, and other pertinent issues.Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ began his talk by emphasizing the importance of understanding and upholding the principles of the Constitution. He highlighted the role of law students in defending constitutional values, ensuring justice, and safeguarding the rights of all citizens. Fr. Cedric stressed the need for critical thinking, legal activism, and civic participation to protect the democratic fabric of the country. The speaker shed light on the controversial anti-conversion law in Karnataka and its implications on religious freedom and individual rights. He explained the constitutional provisions that guarantee the right to profess, practice, and propagate any religion. Fr. Cedric encouraged the audience to critically examine the anti-conversion law and engage in peaceful dialogue to promote religious harmony and tolerance. Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ discussed the issue of the hijab ban in Karnataka, which had sparked debates on religious freedom and gender equality. He emphasized the importance of respecting individuals' rights to express their religious beliefs while also ensuring inclusivity and gender equality within educational institutions. Fr. Cedric urged the students to engage in constructive dialogue and advocate for a balanced approach that respects both religious practices and gender rights.

The speaker delved into the sensitive topic of the beef ban in Karnataka and the subsequent debates on personal dietary choices, cultural diversity, and animal rights. Fr. Cedric highlighted the need for tolerance and respect for diverse food habits. He encouraged the students to engage in informed discussions and work towards finding solutions that respect individual choices and uphold ethical practices.

Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ expressed his deep concern over the murder of journalist Gouri Lankesh, a prominent voice against injustice and religious fundamentalism. He discussed the importance of a free press and the role of journalists in promoting transparency, accountability, and social justice. Fr. Cedric emphasized the need to stand up against violence and safeguard the freedom of expression, emphasizing that such acts undermine the democratic fabric of society.Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ addressed the arrest of Sidheeq Kappan, a journalist detained while covering the Hathras gang-rape case, and the subsequent concerns raised about press freedom and human rights. He highlighted the significance of protecting the right to dissent and ensuring a fair judicial process. Fr. Cedric called upon the students to support and advocate for the protection of journalists' rights and freedom of the press.

Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ's visit to the AICUF unit of St. Joseph's College of Law, Bengaluru, provided an invaluable opportunity for students to gain insights into critical socio-political issues in Karnataka. His talk on constitutionality, anti-conversion law, hijab ban, beef ban, the murder of Gouri Lankesh, and various other topics came to an end with a question-and-answer session with him which lasted for 20 minutes. The vote of thanks was delivered by the treasurer of AICUF SJCL, Mr Anup. A memento was presented to Fr. Cedric as a token of gratitude. And finally, the session came to an end with a group picture with all the participants.

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