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

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Anti-poor stand': Even British wouldn't reduce Railways' sleeper and general coaches

By Anandi Pandey, Sandeep Pandey*  Probably even the British, who introduced railways in India, would not have done what the Bhartiya Janata Party government is doing. The number of Sleeper and General class coaches in various trains are surreptitiously and ominously disappearing accompanied by a simultaneous increase in Air Conditioned coaches. In the characteristic style of BJP government there was no discussion or debate on this move by the Indian Railways either in the Parliament or outside of it. 

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.

Why convert growing badminton popularity into an 'inclusive sports opportunity'

By Sudhansu R Das  Over the years badminton has become the second most popular game in the world after soccer.  Today, nearly 220 million people across the world play badminton.  The game has become very popular in urban India after India won medals in various international badminton tournaments.  One will come across a badminton court in every one kilometer radius of Hyderabad.  

Faith leaders agree: All religious places should display ‘anti-child marriage’ messages

By Jitendra Parmar*  As many as 17 faith leaders, together for an interfaith dialogue on child marriage in New Delhi, unanimously have agreed that no faith allows or endorses child marriage. The faith leaders advocated that all religious places should display information on child marriage.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

Ayurveda, Sidda, and knowledge: Three-day workshop begins in Pala town

By Rosamma Thomas*  Pala town in Kottayam district of Kerala is about 25 km from the district headquarters. St Thomas College in Pala is currently hosting a three-day workshop on knowledge systems, and gathered together are philosophers, sociologists, medical practitioners in homeopathy and Ayurveda, one of them from Nepal, and a few guests from Europe. The discussions on the first day focused on knowledge systems, power structures, and epistemic diversity. French researcher Jacquiline Descarpentries, who represents a unique cooperative of researchers, some of whom have no formal institutional affiliation, laid the ground, addressing the audience over the Internet.

Post-poll mob lynching spree, bulldozer justice: NAPM seeks united resistance

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls "the horrific spree of mob lynchings across the country after the Lok Sabha election results", India's premier civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), has called for "united resistance" against "hateful communal politics, mob lynching of religious minorities and caste-based oppression".