Skip to main content

Gujarat is among 3 Indian states without minorities' commission: Rights group to send 1 lakh protest postcards

A Muslim ghetto in Ahmedabad
By Our Representative
In an unusual move, the newly-formed civil rights organization, Minority Coordination Committee Gujarat (MCCG), has decided to begin a state-wide campaign to press for the demand to form a state minorities’ commission by sending around one lakh hand written post cards to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani.
Claiming to be non-political and not attached with any non-government organization, MCCG convener Mujahid Nafees said, “While the post cards will be sent from across Gujarat over the next few weeks, we have listed the demands for minorities’ welfare, which will be converted into a representation to Rupani. The representation will attract similar endorsements.”
Regretting that Gujarat is one of the very few Indian states which do not have a minorities’ commission, Nafees said, “We are hopeful that Rupani, who is a Jain, a minority community, will surely look into our demand.”
Almost all major states of India, with the exception of Gujarat, Odisha and Jammu & Kashmir, have state minorities’ commissions. The last one to be formed was in Haryana, in 2014. If they are functioning as statutory bodies in several states, in some others, like in Madhya Pradesh, they have been kept headless.
While Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have joint minorities’ commissions, Odisha has an ST & SC Development, Minorities & Backward Classes Welfare Department. Mehbooba Mufti’s Jammu & Kashmir government, which is in coalition with BJP, declared in February 2017 that the state does not need a minorities’ commission, dismaying Hindus and Sikhs, who are the main minority groups.
Earlier, during a meeting, activists of the MCCG regretted that the Congress in Gujarat has not raised the issue of having a minorities’ commission, or demanded a department exclusively dealing with minorities. The meeting was told, the Gujarat government, in a written answer, told a query that the state does not have a minorities’ commission because it does not have the “required percentage of minorities.”
Finding the argument strange, Nafees said, “The population of minorities in Gujarat is 11.5% (as per data of Census 2011, which includes Muslims 9.7%, Jains 1.0%, Christians 0.5%, Buddhists 0.1%, and others 0.1%.” In Punjab, which has a minorities’ commission, there are just 3.8% people who could be qualified as minorities -- Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jains. 
According to Nafees, these facts show that “minorities in Gujarat are more underprivileged than elsewhere”, even as providing figures to show how the government has remained indifferent towards minority concentrated blocks and towns, identified by the Government of India.
During 2013-16, he said, no additional classrooms were allotted in these areas, no new housing facilities were built, no new projects were sanctioned for infrastructure development, no help was forthcoming to individual and group micro-enterprises, no new primary schools were opened under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, and no drinking water facilities were extended.
“In Gujarat 75% Muslim children take admission at primary schools, but in 8th standard this percentages decreases 45%”, Nafees complained, adding, “Further, only 26% reach matriculation or Standard 10”, he said, adding, the situation has got aggravated as “Gujarat is witness of one of the worst internal migrations of independent India: Due to 2002 riots about 2 lakh people were forced to migrate to mainly Muslim ghettos in big cities.”
Apart from having a separate minorities’ commission, other demands worked out by MCCG include having separate financial provision for development of minorities, government higher secondary schools in minority localities, recognition of madarsa degree or certificate as equivalent to government degree or certificate, and special policy for the rehabilitation of internally displaced minorities due to communal riots.

Comments

TRENDING

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

'Viability' of agricultural cooperatives vs govt proposed pro-corporate economic model

Dr Gian Singh* The farmer struggle started from Punjab against the promulgation of three agricultural ordinances by the Union government in June 2020 and the enactment of three bills by Parliament in September 2020 to replace these ordinances is unique in many respects. There is no other example of such a peaceful and democratic farmer struggle.

Whither right to food? Social security scheme allocation for woman, child 'reduced'

Counterview Desk Pointing out that women and children have been ignored in the Union Budget 2021-22, the advocacy group Right to Food Campaign (RtFC) has said that the Government of India should have taken into account the fact that even after the lockdown was lifted, distress among marginalized communities continues, with people having lower incomes and reduced food consumption.

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.