By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net
Bhopal: The National Executive Committee meeting of Popular Front of India, (PFI), has urged the Government of India and its Planning Commission to include a specific Sub-Plan for Muslims in Eleventh Five Year Plan. The draft plan proposal as submitted by the Planning Commission before the National Development Council meeting for approval is unacceptable to Muslims who constitute India’s 15 per cent strong population far more backward than any other socio-religious category in this country. The plan document which has rejected the proposal of a Sub-Plan for Muslims with 15 per cent allocation of all developmental funds is a betrayal.
A Press release issued by E. M. Abdurahman, General Secretary of PFI, from Bangalore said the Eleventh Plan document argues for ensuring equality for Muslim women and moots a pilot scheme for leadership development among minority women. But all that the government has is the grandiosely named Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program for the Welfare of Minorities, which includes the targeting of 90 “minority districts” to provide basic amenities and employment, and creation of some scholarships and minor skill generation schemes. Unless and until specific allocations are made in the Eleventh Plan and subsequently in the annual budgets at the Centre and States, all these announcements will prove to be mere eyewash, the release emphasized.
The Plan Document is a test of Congress party’s willingness or otherwise to implement the Sachchar Committee recommendations. If the Government admits the contention of Sachchar Committee that Muslims are as backward as Scheduled Castes in many respects, there is no justification in denying Muslim Sub-Plan which is a provision already being included in the Plan for SCs and STs. Hence Popular Front of India urges the Government of India and the Planning Commission to make necessary changes in the final plan document, incorporating provision for a Sub-Plan for the development of Muslims on par with other socio-religious categories, the Press release reiterated.
The meeting condemned the Shiv Sena attack on the Babri Masjid Dharna organized by Muslim organizations on December 6 at New Delhi and asked the authorities to protect the right of minorities to campaign for rebuilding the Babri Masjid.
The meeting was presided over by PFI Chairman E. Abubacker and the General Secretary E. M. Abdurahman submitted the reports. Those who attended the meeting included MNP Tamilnadu President Mohammed Ali Jinnah, General Secretary Ya Moideen, NDF Kerala President Abdurahman Baqavi, KFD Karnataka President K. M. Shareef, General Secretary K. Abdul Latheef, Popular Front Treasurer A. M. M. Shafi, Secretary (Admn) A. Saeed, Secretary O. M. A. Salam, Prof. P. Koya, Adv. K. P. Mohammed Shareef, A. Saeed and Moulana Syed Kaleemullah Rashadi, the release said. ([email protected])