Reported by Jarvis Yau
This session was moderated by Eric Hyer, an associate professor of Political Science at Brigham Young University. The presenter was Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, Indian Consulate to the United States.
Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India, Indian Consulate to the United States, started his presentation by making it clear that religious freedom is a fundamental right in India. He said that India is a secular state and thus will not discriminate against any religion. There are settled laws to prohibit hate speech, and people are encouraged to embrace their own beliefs. He then talked about the major religions in India, and more specifically about Hinduism. He said that India is becoming more diverse in terms of religion, and that the study of philosophy is a big influence on the development of religious freedom in the country. At the end of his presentation, Ambassador Ashok illustrated the effects of religious freedom on social stability.