Skip to main content

Why just Rs 55 lakh budget funds for Gujarat minorities? Rights group to hand 1 lakh signatures to CM Rupani

By Our Representative
Gujarat's new minority rights organization, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), which proposes to hand over a list of eight demands signed by over one lakh individuals, mainly Muslims, on February 14, to chief minister Vijay Rupani, has said that it wants the state government to raise the "negligible" allocation made in the budget for them, which is just Rs 55 lakh.
Founded as non-political body on World Minority Rights Day, December 18, 2016, MCC convener Mujahid Nafees told media persons ahead of the state budget session, which begins next week, that the current budgetary allocation for the minorities -- clubbed with other socially excluded communities -- stands in sharp contrast to what it is in other states.
Minorities are about 11.5% of the state population. The Gujarat budget for 2017-18 is Rs 1.72 lakh crore.
"The allocation in other states for minorities, too, is low compared to their population, but it is not as pitiable", Nafees said, rolling out approximate figures of other states. Thus, he said, it is Rs 700 crore in UP, Rs 1,700 crore in West Bengal, Rs 600 crore in Kerala, Rs 2000 crore in Telangana, and Rs 900 crore in Bihar. The Government of India allocated Rs 4,304 crore for minority affairs in the 2018-19 budget.
"The signatures were collected after the third phase of the campaign began January 15", Nafees said, adding, "During the previous two campaigns, we sent over one lakh postcards to the chief minister, and then represented to the collectors of all the Gujarat districts with identical demands."
Other demands include formation of a separate minority affairs department headed by a minister, a state minority commission, recognition of madarsas equivalent to Gujarat board, with the state providing them with necessary support to modernise them, and opening of government higher secondary schools where the minorities live in considerable number.
Then, there are demands regarding a policy for the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons due to natural disaster and communal violence, and implementation of the Prime Minister’s new 15 point programme for minorities' amelioration. "We find that none of the 15 points are being implemented in Gujarat, except for two, that too marginally", Nafees said.
"We are not demanding anything more than the Constitutional provision", Nafees said, adding, "As many as 18 states, including those rules by the BJP for quite some time, like Madhya Pradesh, have separate minorities department, with a minister heading it, while Gujarat doesn't have it. Same is the case with the minorities commission."
Asked whether the chief minister has agreed to meet his team, which would consist of representatives from all the districts, Nafees said, "Not so far. We submitted the letter seeking appointment to the chif minister's office on February 2, yet there is no communication. We hope he would meet us."
"However, if he does not, we have other options, such as intensifying our campaign, representing to the governor, starting demonstrations, and so on", he added.
"We hope such situation will not arise", he said, insisting, "We will be meeting him on the Valentine's Day, a good day to begin an amicable relationship between the minorities and the authorities. We will present him rose. During our campaign, we found, for the first time, there was some hope that a solution to minorities problems is possible if we make the authorities understand them."

Comments

TRENDING

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.

Dalit, Adivasi protest in Jharkhand against 'illegal' transfer of land for development

By Rishit Neogi Displacement and eviction are not new terms. It is surprising that they are still continuing and have become a tool in the hands of state backed corporates to forcibly occupy lands in the name of development.