Indian Muslim organisation: 'Muslim Package' a farce
Government’s ‘Muslim Package’ No More than a Post-dated, Mini-cheque, drawn on a Failing
AIMMM Expresses Deep Disappointment and Demandsa Special Component Plan for
Appeals to Muslims to Continue Peaceful Struggle for Due Share in Social Outlay.
New Delhi, 19 May, 2007: Syed Shahabuddin, President of the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM), has issued the following Statement:
The AIMMM expresses its deep disappointment at the decisions of the Union Cabinet on the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. For the last six month the Muslim community had been fed on verbal sops but was hopeful despite the Budget shock that the Sachar Report would be discussed by the Parliament and the Government would then announce a Muslim Package in the light of the suggestions from the floor.
The Sachar Committee not being a statuary commission, there may be technical objection to a formal Parliamentary discussion was known ab initio. However it is surprising that while the opposition has no objection, the Government has shrunk from discussion, and only promising an ATR in the next session.
In its decisions the Government appears to have totally ignored the basic finding of the Sachar Committee that
the Muslim community is more or less at the same level of backwardness as the SC / ST and has not even hinted at reservation, or even an alternative scheme of positive affirmation, to raise their level in government employment, higher education, access to fruits of welfare and development programmes or bank credit. The cabinet has given nothing substantial to the community and the decisions amount to no more than a post-dated, mini-cheque of a failing bank.
Putting aside the long term general institutional measures, the major Muslim-specific decisions which all suffer from conceptual flaws and practical short comings are analysed below.
(i). 53 districts out of 90 identified as Muslim concentration districts have been selected for special attention without spelling out the measures for Muslim uplift. These 90 districts cover only 30% of the Muslim population of the country. Thus, the rest 70% are left in the cold.
(ii). In addition 338 towns have been selected for infrastructural development but this is no gesture towards the Muslim community. All these towns along with others at the same level of neglect should have been developed during the last 60 years and must be developed as part of urban development programme.
(iii). For raising educational and skill levels of community the Cabinet proposes to set up yet another panel of experts, instead of mandating the coverage of all school-deficit Muslim areas, with schools and IITs, in accordance with the national norms, in the next two years.
(iv). Promotion of Urdu demands due place for Urdu in education, administration, and information in accordance with the constitution and national policies. Merely a 24 hours Urdu Channel or DD, which has been promised for years, is no substitute.
(v). Scholarships for Muslim students are welcome but they are much lower in number and total outlay than those for the comparable SC/ST.
(vi). Bank credit will not grow merely by opening more branches, it needs policy directives by the RBI.
It is a sad truth that this is not a new experience for the Muslim community From one election to another, from one government to another, from one assurance to another, they have seen little action. The AIMMM feels that despite its good intentions, this Government has also fallen into the old traps of ‘Muslim appeasement’ and ‘Hindu backlash’!
The AIMMM does not anticipate any noticeable change with these measures in the economic or educational situation of the Muslim community in the next two years that remain.
The AIMMM requests the UPA and the secular intelligentsia to press the Government to formulate a Special Component Plan for Muslims on the lines of the SCP’s for SC and ST and undertake a meaningful programme for uplifting this depressed and deprived community.
The AIMMM appeals to the community to continue its struggle peacefully for the realisation of its legitimate share in the development resources, and the fruits of development.
ALL INDIA MUSLIM MAJLIS-e-MUSHAWARAT
D-250, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone:
2694 6780 Fax: 2694 7346 Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org ; www.mushawarat.com