Outspoken Christian journalist, noted academician appointed members of National Integration Council

New Delhi – Outspoken civil rights activist, John Dayal and noted academician Rev. Valson Thampu have been nominated as members of the National Integration Council by the government of India.

In pursuance of a decision taken by the National Integration Conference convened in 1961 at the instance of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the National Integration Council was institutionalised as a forum for deliberating on key policy issues and to discuss effective strategies to combat the evils of communalism, casteism, regionalism and separatism. At that time, it was observed that the deliberations and recommendations of such a body would help in preserving the integrity and solidarity of the nation and in promoting national integration.

However, the council was put in the cold storage during the reign of the pro–Hindu National Democratic Alliance (NDA) Government.

In the past, members like the late Archbishop of Delhi, Alan De Lastic, served diligently towards promoting national integration. Other members of the Council are chief ministers of states and cabinet ministers.

John Dayal, besides being a reputed journalist, is the president of All India Catholic Union (AICU) and the secretary general of All India Christian Council (AICC).

Rev. Valson Thampu, a former professor of English literature at St. Stephen’s College, is presently the member of the National Education Panel and Delhi Minority Commission.