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Committee of Governors for minorities! Any results sirs?
By M J Akhter, Lucknow

The setting up a seven member-Committee of Governors by President KR Narayanan to look into various lacunae in the implementation of welfare programmes for the Scheduled Castes and Tribes besides under-utilization of funds meant for them is a welcome step. But certainly it would have been a matter of greater satisfaction if he would enquire about the results of a similar committee formed earlier for the minorities of the country. 

People held high hopes when the Committee of Governors was formed some years ago to go into the rate of success of various welfare schemes for the minorities including the 15-point Prime Minister's programme. But there is no information about the results of the committee’s deliberations and follow up. 

This time the President had shown more seriousness, presumably learning from the previous experience, and has expressed his expectation that the committee would take up the issue on "priority basis.’

Once a powerful man in the Prime Minister Office (PMO) during the time of late Indira Gandhi, Dr PC Alexander, presently governor of Maharastra hadbeen made chairman of the committee. Governor of Kerala Justice S.S.Kang and former Union Law Secrtary and Karnataka Governor V.S.Rama Devi besides vocal Dalit BJP leader and Uttar Pradesh Governor Suraj Bhan are prominent members of the Committee, which will complete its exhaustive task within six months i.e, by 31 January 2001.

When asked about the same fate of this Committee as meted out to the previous one for minorities, the UP Governor told The Milli Gazette that he was ‘hopeful that a kind of permanent structure, with governor of the concerned state, the chief minister and the chief secretary as its members, could be developed which would monitor the situation regularly and to report it to the President on regular basis.’ Not only the number of the Muslim governors had declined considerably after assumption of power by the Vajpayee Government, no governor dared to raise this ssue realted to the welfare of the minorities during the recently held Conference of Governors, convened by the President and attended, among others, by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Union Home Minister L.K.Advani. 

On the other hand, the governors belonging to the Scheduled Castes were forthright in fighting for the cause of their community. Let us hope that the new committee will open new gates for other deprived sections of our society including Muslims.

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