Congress hesitant in protecting rights of minorities: CPI(M)

Education, employment are major source of frustration among Muslim youths

By Andalib Akhter,

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New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has accused the Congress-led Government at centre of being hesitant in protecting the rights of the minorities and ensuring their socio-economic development. Releasing a Pamphlet on ‘In Defence Of The Rights Of Minorities’, here on Friday, the party general secretary Prakash Karat said indiscriminate rounding up of innocent Muslim youth, detaining and torturing them after terrorist violence has continued under UPA rule. “The case of 21 Muslim youth who were awarded compensation for wrongful detainment and torture after the Hyderabad bomb-blasts and the Batla House encounter are examples,” he contended.

The pamphlet was part of strategy to woo Muslims before the general elections. It said that the experience over the last five years has been that the communal BJP-RSS combine still poses a grave threat to the secular fabric of India. “Even though the Congress-led government came to power on a mandate against the communal forces, it refused to take stringent action against them” the pamphlet said adding the fight against the BJP and Hindutva communalism and the defence of minorities remains a cornerstone of the CPI(M)’s national policies.

Mr. Karat said that lack of access to education and employment was a major source of frustration for Muslim youths. He said that the destruction of traditional crafts and industries has hit their livelihood further. Muslim women are the most exploited and have no protection. “The condition and well being of the minorities is a critical measure of the functioning of our democracy”, the CPM supremo contended.

The CPM pamphlet said that the Congress-led government has ignored even the recommendations of its own commissions. It said that the Sachar Committee Report has revealed the deplorable social and economic status of Muslims and made a strong case for boosting the community’s share in jobs and educational institutions. It has exposed the false propaganda of the BJP and Sangh Parivar that the Muslims have been ‘appeased’. “The Congress-led government’s approach towards implementing the Sachar Committee recommendations has been half-hearted and most of the wide-ranging recommendations ignored” the CPM minority report said.

It also said that the Ranganath Mishra Commission, in May 2007, recommended that scheduled caste status be granted to Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims, but the government has failed to table the report in Parliament. The National Commission for Minorities too made the same recommendation, it added. It said that the CMP assured that the UPA would “strive for recognition and promotion of Urdu language”. The Congress-led Government did nothing in this regard. The National Minorities Commission demanded a 15% budgetary sub-plan. However, the Congress-led government rejected this demand.

Boosting its performance vis a vis Muslims in left ruled states the report said that in Left-ruled states the CPI(M) was doing its utmost to remove the gaps that exist. “The government of West Bengal has a 15% state level budgetary sub-plan for the advancement of minorities in the state since 2007. The government of Kerala has adopted additional state-specific schemes in addition to existing schemes”, the CPM pamphlet said.