Highlights of Pamphlet on Minorities

Date: 
Friday, March 27, 2009

 

IN DEFENCE OF THE RIGHTS OF MINORITIES

1. Religious minorities (Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists,
Zoroastrians) constitute 18.4 per cent of India’s population.
Muslims are the largest minority at 13.4 per cent of the
country’s population.

2. Lack of access to education and employment is a major source of
frustration for Muslim youth. Destruction of traditional crafts
and industries has hit their livelihood further. Muslim women
are the most exploited and have no protection. The condition and
well being of the minorities is a critical measure of the
functioning of our democracy.

3. The fight against the BJP and Hindutva communalism and the
defence of minorities remains a cornerstone of the CPI(M)’s
national policies, esp. as the Muslim community continues to be
the target of Hindu communalists.

4. The Congress-led Government has been wavering and hesitant in
protecting the rights of the minorities and ensuring their
socio-economic development and adhering to the CMP on this.


5. Indiscriminate rounding up of innocent Muslim youth, detaining
and torturing them after terrorist violence has continued under
UPA rule. The case of 21 Muslim youth who were awarded
compensation for wrongful detainment and torture after the
Hyderabad bomb-blasts and the Batla House encounter are
examples.

6. The Congress-led government ignored even the recommendations of
its own commissions.

* The Sachar Committee Report has revealed the deplorable social
and economic status of Muslims and made a strong case for
boosting the community’s share in jobs and educational
institutions. It has exposed the false propaganda of the BJP and
Sangh Parivar that the Muslims have been ‘appeased’. However,
the Congress-led government’s approach towards implementing the
Sachar Committee recommendations has been halfhearted and most
of the wide-ranging recommendations ignored

* The Ranganath Mishra Commission, in May 2007, recommended that
scheduled caste status be granted to dalit Christians and dalit
Muslims, but the government has failed to table the report in
Parliament. The National Commission for Minorities too made the
same recommendation.

* The Congress-led Government took no initiative to undertake the
long pending revision of OBC Muslim’s list.

* The CMP assured that the UPA will “strive for recognition and
promotion of Urdu language”. The Congress-led Government did
nothing in this regard.

* TThe National Minorities Commission demanded a 15% budgetary
sub-plan. However, the Congress-led government rejected this

1. The Ministry of Minority Affairs is allocated Rs 7,000 crore in
the 11th Plan. In 2008-09, it was Rs. 1,013.83 crore, 35 per
cent of which remained unutilized; Multi-Sectoral Development
Plan for minority-concentrated districts has only received Rs.
5.29 crore per district or 37 districts.

2. Priority Sector Lending to the minorities as a percentage of
total priority sector loans had decreased from 9.87 % in March
2003 to 9.67 % in March 2008, as against the targeted 15%.

3. Over three-and-a-half decades, the Central Government has
released a meager total grant-in-aid amounting to Rs. 33.16
crores to the Central Wakf Council.

4. In the Left-ruled states the CPI(M) is doing its utmost to
remove the gaps that exist. The government of West Bengal has a
15% state level budgetary sub-plan for the advancement of
minorities in the state since 2007. The government of Kerala has
adopted additional state-specific schemes in addition to
existing schemes. In Tripura a component of targeted gender
budgeting has been adopted to ensure that the benefit of all
schemes for the welfare of the Muslim minorities reaches Muslim
women. Kerala and West Bengal have the best record in terms of
access to land by Muslims through land reforms. 30.9% of the
rural households in West Bengal are Muslim households having
access to 25.6% of the total cultivated land in the state. In
Kerala, the Muslim households comprise 20% of the total rural
household having access of 16.7% of the total cultivated land.
Equity to Muslims was ensured through land reforms.

The full text of the pamphlet is available at: