National

BSP, JDU & CPIM have same policy for Muslims

Lucknow: Chief ministers of various states clamour for “packages” from the Centre, and always point a finger of accusation towards it for looking the other way, particularly if the state government is a non-Congress one. But this golden rule is not applied when it comes to Muslims.

In fact, this time the tide has turned as the respective governments of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal have found it convenient to ‘look the other way’ despite the grant from the Centre for minorities?

This startling fact has come to light as in the wake of the Justice Rajender Sachar report (2006), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had sought a report of human development index, of 90 minority concentrated districts from the whole of India, and in which 21 districts are from UP, 7 from Bihar and 12 from West Bengal. A full-fledged survey report was filed from each and every district mentioned, and which was allocated funds from the Centre to help alleviate the social/educational/health and other problems of Muslims living in these districts. The districts were divided into ‘A’ and ‘B’ category, which signified ‘minority concentration districts which have both socio-economic and basic amenities indicators below the national average’ and ‘minority concentration districts having either socio-economic or basic amenities below the national average’. The development programme included building houses under Indira Awaas scheme, hand pumps, primary and sub-primary health centres, clean water supply, electricity, roads, and availability of post-offices etc. As a part of this overhaul, PM had announced Rs. 2026.41 crores to the various state governments. The project being called Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), to be channelled in all the concerned states like Haryana (2), Uttar Pradesh (21), West Bengal (12), Assam (13), Manipur (6), Bihar (7), Meghalaya (1), Jharkhand (4), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (1), Orissa (1), Maharashtra (4), Karnataka (2), Kerala (1), Uttrakhand (2), Mizoram (4), Jammu & Kashmir (1), Delhi (1), Madhya Pradesh (1), Sikkim (1), Arunachal Pradesh (7). But the grand plan has, however, gone awry.

The funds were just sat upon and were not utilised! UP CM Mayawati, West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and a new found friend of Muslims-the second-time Bihar CM Nitish Kumar could not find time for their utilisation. So, even when the Congress had woken up, after six decades, to help improve the lot of Muslims and get them out of their abysmal existence, the respective CMs have done precious little in this direction.

The report from the state where Muslims have the largest presence, UP, is desperate short of any accomplishment, particularly, when CM Mayawati has attained a Czarina status, by erecting her own statues, at the cost of the state exchequer. As much as 438 crores 72 lakhs were allocated for UP alone and 90 crores were not spent at all. According to the data available from the Central Government, the worst to have been hit is the Bareli district where 13 crores just lied unused. Bhagpat had 11 crores, Bijnaur had 4 crores, Ghaziabad had 11 crores and Muradabad had 2 crores-all remain unused. The irony is that there is no such district in UP (out of 21) which does not need any work done and where there is a paucity of funds!

The Bihar experience too has been condemnable as 195 crores are lying unused! In district Katiyar 44 crores have gone unutilised. Darbangha had 22 crores, Kishanganj had 36 crores, Sitamarhi had 37 crores, Purnia had 40 crores, Western Champaran had 14 crores-all unutilised funds. But, Bihar CM Nitish is riding high as never seen before. Ably helped by BJP and one who sometime displays an independent mind too, but his performance in relation to Muslims-is nevertheless depressing. The next worst example comes from West Bengal CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharya where only 13 percent of the funds could be used. This comes in the wake of all the purported slogans of equality by the Communists. What good have the concerned CMs done? Is there a deliberate ploy to let Muslims remain in permanent misery, and also in its wake, an attempt to give a political message that the Muslim vote is not altogether required? “Yes, Muslims can vote but devoid of any expectation of development. The hard policies of the Congress have been inherited, even by its political adversaries,” said Muhammed Azam Khan, the Samajwadi Party general secretary in UP.

Meanwhile, the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khursheed has informed that he would, from now on, directly engage with the state officials throguh video-conferencing for the enforcement of the central government plan. Such announcements can at best be called childish-steps, as the real issue is the will for such programmes to be executed and implemented. “The issue should have by now been taken up by PM himself, and then, followed by media reports, to unmask the deliberate obstinacy of various CMs, branded as ‘friendly’ to Muslims. What’s ‘friendly’ when the performance is a blue-print of the kind of working of BJP,” added Khan.

BJP perhaps, is the only one sitting pretty at the helm, which even as an Opposition Party has prevailed, as the concerned state governments, have proven nothing short of being its foot soldiers, or else the hoax of BJP would never have been so better exposed. BJP claims Muslims appeasement by Congress. “If there was any appeasement then why would Muslims slide back-on every index! Appeasement (for Muslims) in fact was never there. Discrimination (against Muslims) of course had always been there, and that too, with parties having opposite political manifestoes but definitely sometime with the same political objectives,” grimaced Khan.   

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 May 2011 on page no. 3

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