Bahai News -- REDIFF - Indo-American appointed to US panel on religious freedom

Indo-American appointed to US panel on religious freedom

May 24, 2003 21:23 IST

Indian American Preeta Bansal was appointed to the US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Saturday.

Senate majority leader Senator Thomas Daschle appointed the Harvard-educated Bansal, who had served in the Clinton administration as a special counsel in the White House.

Bansal also served as a law clerk to supreme court justice John Paul Stevens. Recently, she served as solicitor general of New York City.

Welcoming her appointment, the president of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organisations, Jayachand Pallakonda, said she has a good understanding of religious issues confronting South Asia, especially India, and that would 'help her to be a strong voice to speak out against the persecution of religious minorities there'.

The chairman of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Federation, J Prabhudoss, said he is looking forward to working with Bansal in highlighting such issues as the condition of Pandits in Jammu and Kashmir as well as the 'plight of the Christian and Muslim populations at the hands of Hindutva ideologues in India'.

This is the first time a Hindu has been appointed to the commission, whose members are nominated by the legislative and executive branches. There have been complaints in the past that the commission has members of the Christian, Jewish, Islamic and Bahai faiths, but no Hindu.

©Copyright 2003, REDIFF (India)

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