National

Demand for separate budget for Muslims out of the minorities budget

New Delhi: The word ‘minorities’ is generally taken to mean Muslims but this expression is misleading and very often in the name of minorities Muslims are ignored or put to loss. This is evident from the fact that budget allocated for minorities is spent mostly for non-Muslim minorities and Muslims, the biggest minority, in actual practice are ignored or stand to lose but inspite of this bitter truth, RSS and its outfits make a hue and cry and accuse government of Muslim appeasement. One can see that inspite of government’s loud talk of taking many steps for the progress and welfare of Muslims, there is very little or no improvement in their overall condition. In view of this some Muslim leaders like Jamiatul Ulama’s Maulana Mahmood Madni, Rajya Sabha MP are making a demand that separate budget allocation specifically in the name of Muslims, rather than in the name of minorities be made, though some Muslim leaders do not support this.

Muslim leaders like BJP-MP and a former central minister Arif Muhammad Khan and general secretary of Lok Janshakti Party Abdul Khaliq, while opposing the demand for allocation of a separate budget for Muslims argue that such a budget is totally wrong because with the help of crutches like reservation and separate budget for Muslims they cannot travel far. Instead, if they pay more attention to education and create merit in themselves, they will themselves get their rights and whatever they want. When the views of Maulana Kalbe Sadiq on the demand for a separate budget for Muslims were sought, he said that his experience so far has been that no government of any political party is going to do any thing for Muslims. Government and its leaders will go on befooling and humiliating them by making all kinds of tall promises but in actual practice they will do nothing. Therefore, instead of begging for their rights and reservation, Muslims should learn to stand on their own legs.

Ameer of Jamaat-e Islami, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri said that their experience so far is that Muslims are not going to benefit in any way from the budget allocated in the name of minorities because persons managing the government machinery have no sympathy with Muslims. Therefore a system is created under which Muslims cannot and do not get their rights. The budget allocated in the name of minorities is spent or divided among non-Muslims or is returned to government. Therefore his demand to government is that from the total budget for minorities, the share of Muslims should be separated and in his opinion there is no constitutional difficulty or restriction in this demand. He said that great sympathy is shown towards the Muslims of Bihar but very often their budget is sent back because it is not spent for them.

Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Maulana (Dr.) Mufti Mukarram Ahmad said that if government thinks that a separate budget for Muslims is not proper, then a share or percentage of total budget for minorities should be allocated for Muslims. For example, he said that if 16% budget is allocated for minorities, at least 10% of this should be set apart for Muslims, adding that he does not think that there will be any legal or constitutional hitch in it.

CPI secretary Shamim Faizi also said that in his view a budget in the name of Muslims is neither wrong nor is there any constitutional restriction on it. He said that if the greater part of the minorities budget is distributed among non-Muslims, what is wrong if a separate budget in the name of Muslims is demanded. He said that the bureaucracy is anti-Muslim so in the name of minorities it considers only non-Muslim minorities, with the result that Muslims are left out of government’s welfare schemes.

Milli Gazette editor Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan said that few people will agree to the demand for budget allocation in the name of Muslims. Hence the better proposition would be that out of the total percentage of budget allocation for minorities, the share of Muslims in proportion to their population may be fixed. He said that the ratio of budget fixed by Misra Commission for Muslims should be spent from the minorities budget on the same basis for Muslims.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 April 2011 on page no. 7

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