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Published in the 16-31 March 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

REJOINDER

Mulayam's largesse

The Milli Gazette Online 

In your issue of 1-15 March, 2005, Mr. Masood Hasan has written on the UP Government’s package for Muslims in the State Budget for 2005-06. The package is a modest one (Rs. 72.4 million) covering several schemes.

1. 200 merit scholarships of Rs. 1000 p.m. to minority students of professional courses Rs. 2.4 million.
2. Coaching for Competitive Examination for Admission to Medical and Engineering Colleges Not specified.
3. Development of Model Montessori School, Rampur Rs. 10.1 million
4. Development of Oriental College, Rampur, for Arabic Education Rs.19.9 million
5. Establishment of a park in memory of Maulana Mohd. Ali in Rampur Rs. 24.5 million
6. Supply of Computers to 140 Aalia Madrasas Rs.15.4 million
7. Appointment of Mathematics, Science, Hindi and English teachers in Madrasas Not specified
8. Uplift of the Rickshaw pullers of the Minority community. Not Specified 

The above list, which may be incomplete, raises several questions:
1. How can the non-Muslim students of equal and higher merit be excluded from item 1. Same applies to No. 2
2. Similarly, how can the non-Muslim rickshaw pullers be excluded forms. No. 8
3. Schemes at Sr. 3 and 4 relate to Rampur. But Rampur is not the whole of UP.
4. Provision of park (Sr. No. 5) is a municipal project open to all citizens. Why should it be put in the Muslim account?
5. Sr. No. 6 and 7 are both related to modernization of Madrasas while many Madrasas may not welcome as unnecessary interference by the State in religious instruction and their academic and administrative freedom.

On the other hand, one wishes the Government of UP had offered the same educational facilities to Muslim students (either on ground of merit or on economic ground) as are available to the SC students at all levels from the primary to the university stage.

One also wishes that the State Government would undertake an officially conducted Socio-Economic Survey of the Muslim community in UP as in Karnataka or at least through a research institution as in Bihar.

Above all, one wishes that the Government of UP shall amend the Education Code to allow Urdu as a medium of instruction and establish Urdu-medium primary schools in all areas of Urdu-concentration in accordance with the national norm of one school for a population unit of 300, and allow Urdu-speaking students to offer Urdu at least as Second, if not as the First Language in all government middle and high schools.

One also wishes that the State Government had announced that the benefits of all welfare and development programme whose beneficiaries are individuals and which are implemented at Panchayat, Block and District levels, shall be distributed to various social groups in proportion to local population.

SYED SHAHABUDDIN
muslim@del3.vsnl.net.in

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