Skip to main content

Amend "discriminatory" law, give reservation to Dalit Muslims, Christians: Parties told

By Our Representative
The Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has come up with a 14-point demands list for inclusion into political parties’ election manifestos for the 2019 polls. To be sent to political parties and their candidates shortly, these demands seek obligatory formation of minority commissions in every state and having a minority department in each state by promulgating law in Parliament.
Releasing the demands at a media conference in Ahmedabad, Mujahid Nafees, convener, MCC, said, currently, minorities in Gujarat are feeling neglected, as none of the two major political parties are ready to take up their cause. He told media, while “one cannot expect anything from the BJP, which has been undermining the minorities’ rights at every step, we are left with an alternative in Gujarat in the form of Congress, which doesn’t represent their demands in the same way as some parties do, say, in Uttar Pradesh.”
Seeking to drop Article 341 of the Constitution, which names specific religions (Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist) for providing reservation to scheduled castes, Nafees said, originally, when the Constitution was made, there was "no obligation" to be part of a particular religion for scheduled caste status. "This article was inserted by promulgating the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956, which is discriminatory. There are Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians, too, who are discriminated in the same way as other Dalits are, yet they are not being provided with the advantage of reservation", he said.
Claiming that minorities in Gujarat have “considerable influence” and can be “decisive” on eight to 10 seats of the Lok Sabha out of 26 in Gujarat, Nafees suggested there is a need for a “right kind of alliance with other oppressed sections, such as Dalits, who also have suffered under the BJP rule." Citing the example of Ahmedabad West (one of the two scheduled caste reserved seats), he added, the ruling party can be defeated here if minorities and Dalits come together.

Text of the demands

1. The National Minorities Commission Act 1992 should be amended and it should be given constitutional status and the State Minority Commission should be made mandatory for all the states 
The National Commission of Minority Act 1992 is an ineffective legislation, which lacks distinguishable mechanism for the creation of a commission in different states. The powers of the commission are not clearly marked, due to which the effective and proper disposal of complaints of minority communities cannot be done in the country. There are state minority commissions in 18 states of the country. But there is no minority commission in Gujarat. Therefore, we demand that the National Minorities Commission Act 1992 should be amended, it should be given constitutional status and the formation of minority commission should be made mandatory for all the states.
2. Establishment of equal opportunities commission
The Sachar Committee Report showed that the Muslim population of the country is behind the national average in employment (government, private), education and opportunities. This is due to rampant discrimination; they are being deprived of opportunities. Therefore, to meet the basic sense of the Constitution, "Equal Opportunities to All", an equal opportunities commission should be formed and constitutional powers be given to it so that all the minority communities of the country can get equal opportunities.
3. Establishment of department of minority affairs in all states
The Sachar Committee Report shed light on the plight of the minority community and the kind of discrimination they are facing in the country. The minority affairs ministry should be made to work on matters of fundamental infrastructure, education, employment and security in minority populated areas. Due to lack of proper ministry in Gujarat, 11.5% of the population is deprived of opportunities; hence the formation of separate minority affairs department is required in all the states.
4. Special component plan for minorities to ensure allocation in budget
The minority community of the country is lagging behind mainstream in all spheres. The reason behind this is lack of proper budgetary allocation by the government for the development of minority communities. In order to ensure population-wise budget allocation for the minorities in the entire country, there should be a special component plan for them.

5. Minorities (Prevention of Atrocities) Act should be made
To prevent organized attacks on the minority community across the country, an urgent minority (prevention of atrocities) law should be made, and crimes against them should be made non-bailable.
6. Removal of religious obligation from Article 341 of the Constitution
Religious compulsion should be removed from Article 341 (Scheduled Castes) of the Constitution. There was no obligation of religion for Scheduled Castes at the time of implementation of the Constitution, religion was inserted into it by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956. This article seeks to enhance religious discrimination, and it should be amended, so that the dream of justice can be extended to everyone.
7. Enact law for the prevention of communal violence
To prevent increasing communal violence in the country and to rehabilitate the people affected by it, to get timely justice and to remove fear from the hearts of the minority community, a communal violence prevention law should be enacted, in which special courts should be set up for early hearing of cases related to such violence.
8. Prime Minister's new 15-point programme should be implemented in all the districts of the country
The country's minority society is far behind mainstream; to alleviate its plight the Prime Minister's new 15-point program should be expanded and implemented in all the districts of the country to enable the development of the backward and marginalized sections.
9. Judicial Inquiry Commission on Police Encounters
There is a large number of police encounters allegedly reported across the country and there is a tendency to glorify them. It is a matter of concern as to why only people of minority community are targeted by the police. Therefore, a judicial inquiry commission should be formed on police encounter sin the country, which can bring out the truth.
10. Arms training, exhibiting organizations should be banned
There is a growing trend of arms display in the country; some organizations are openly conducting arms training, demonstration, trident distribution etc., which should be stopped by the government with immediate effect because they are used to scare the minority community. Such arms training, and organizations performing them, should be banned.
11. Protection of Wakf properties
There are large numbers of Waqf properties across the country, which have illegally been encroached upon and sold. There should be a mechanism to save, promote and settle disputes quickly. Waqf tribunals should be made in each district of the state to work for the development of the community.
12. Strengthening of Minority Finance and Development Corporation
The national and state Minority Finance and Development Corporations should be established, for which funds should be earmarked so that the minority community can get small loans and assistance from the corporation time to time.
13. Make laws to ensure political participation
The minority community is a victim of political untouchability in the country. The Constitution of India states and believes in equal participation of all the deprived, weaker sections of the country. But we see that minority representation in politics is considerably less than that the proportion of the population. Therefore, to ensure political representation of deprived classes, laws should be made.
14. Higher secondary schools should be established in minority multi-prong areas
There is a shortage of secondary and senior secondary schools in minority multi-pronged expansions, due to which children, especially girls, drop out of school after getting primary education, and their further education is affected. To ensure equal educational opportunities for all, higher secondary schools should be established in minority multi-pronged areas.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

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".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

Upholding labour rights, Nehruvian scientific temper, Rajni Patel opposed Emergency

By Harsh Thakor*  Rajni Patel, who died 40 years ago, whatever his flaws, had one great quality: his human touch to offer selfless service and ability to galvanise or influence human beings from all walks of life. Few people would ever go out of the way to help someone or serve as selflessly without aim of personal gain. Rajni championed Nehruvian secular ideas and scientific temper. As a master in public relations he revealed utmost humility. As a barrister, he never appeared against the trade unions or workers. A Fabien Socialist he opposed liberal capitalism and radical socialism. Unlike most lawyers, he did not succumb to the lure of amassing wealth. Rajni was born in Sirsa, in Gujarat, on the very day Gandhi set foot on Indian soil, on 9th January, 1915. He gained his baptism through one of Gandhi's speeches calling for the boycott of foreign goods, which was the virtual turning point of his life. Rajni toed Gandhi to organise boycott of foreign goods. Rajni was able to cros

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

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.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Haven't done a good deed, inner soul is cursing me as sinner: Aurangzeb's last 'will'

Counterview Desk The Tomb of Aurangzeb, the last of the strong Mughal emperors, located in Khuldabad, Aurangabad district, Maharashtra, has this epitaph inscribed on it: "Az tila o nuqreh gar saazand gumbad aghniyaa! Bar mazaar e maa ghareebaan gumbad e gardun bas ast" (the rich may well construct domes of gold and silver on their graves. For the poor folks like me, the sky is enough to shelter my grave).