ISLAMIC RUPTURES AND FISSURES IN PARTITIONED INDIA: MUSLIM DEMANDS
Date: 07 Mar 2007
From: Muhammad Mukhtar Alam <email@example.com>
Date: Mar 7, 2007 10:53 AM
Subject: A CLARION CALL TO ALL INDIAN MUSLIMS
A CLARION CALL TO ALL INDIAN MUSLIMS
MUSLIM SHOULD HOLD PRIME MINISTER FOR THE HARD PERCENTAGES PROMISED. EACH RUPEE, COUNTS.
EACH PERCENTAGE POINT COUNTS. PRIME MINISTER HAS PROMISED 15% OF THE BUDGET.
HOLD PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH TO THAT FIGURE.
BURN THE EFFIGIES OF FINANCE MINISTER P. CHIDAMBARAM FOR NOT FOLLOWING UP PRIME MINISTER'S COMMITMENT TO RESEVER 15% OF UNION BUDGET OF RS. 680,521 CRORE OR 103,078 CRORES TO BE RESERVED FOR THE UPLIFTMENT OF MUSLIMS.
DEMAND 103,078 CRORE RUPEES. NOTHING LESS NOTHING MORE.
LONG WINDED SPEECHES, MARCHES, DHARNA WITHOUT THE FOCUS ON THE COUNTING OF MONEY IS SHEER WASTAGE OF TIME, ENERGY AND PEOPLES SUPPORT FOR MUSLIM LEADERSHIP.
THE 15% BUDGETARY ALLOTMENT IS OUR DUE AND NOT CHARITY AND IT SHOULD BE VOLUNTARILY AND GRACIOUSLY SET ASIDE TO THE UPLIFTMENT OF THE DISCRIMINATED COMMUNITY.
FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL. THE MORE SPIRITED YOUR DEMAND FOR YOUR DUES, THE MORE PATRIOTIC WILL BE YOUR ATTACHMENT TO YOUR COUNTRY. THE LESS YOU DEMAND, THE LESS YOU DESERVE.
THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT BELONG TO THE 3% BRAHMINS. IT BELONGS TO US ALL AND WE HAVE BEEN WRONGED ALL THESE 60 YEARS OF BRAHMIN RULE. EITHER THEY REFORM THEIR WAYS OR THEY WILL BE VOTED OUT, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER. REGIME CHANGE IS ON THE CARDS, IF THEY DONOT READ THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
M. J. Akbar writes in his March 5, 2007 article:
---- all this talk about helping Muslims was only lip service. When the time came to deliver in the budget, the Prime Minister had nothing to offer. We've seen the pattern before; Dr Singh's government has repeated it. Other deprived sections like the Dalits and Backwards get concrete benefits; Indian minorities get enquiry commissions. Dr Singh's historic contribution to Indian Muslims is the Sachar Commission report. I hope he will do them a favour now, and stop talking about this report, particularly because his sincerity once fuelled high expectations. Lip service can be a very cruel form of betrayal. Dr Singh once suggested that 15 per cent of expenditure should be allotted to welfare and economic empowerment schemes for Muslims, since they constitute a little less that 15 per cent of the population. So what happened when the honourable finance minister presented the budget to the Lok Sabha?
Let us check out paragraph 36 of the Budget speech. "Last year, I made a modest contribution of Rs16.47 crore to the equity of the National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation." The finance minister admits that it was modest; we should be thankful for small mercies. This year, the war drums were sounded, so how did he respond? "Following the Sachar Committee report, NMDFC would be required to expand its reach and intensify its efforts." So, a meagre Rs63 crore is added to the share capital. The next paragraph notes that there are a number of districts with a concentration of minorities, but does not specify how many, for that might be both revealing and embarrassing. What is the provision? Rs108 crore. It is so small the money may not be visible by the time it reaches the district headquarters. Add to this, scholarships worth Rs210.60 crore for all "minority communities".
There are around 150 million Muslims in India, and about 50 million Sikhs and Christians. The total allocation for them is less than Rs 320 crore. The annual expenditure of the Union government is Rs680, 521 crore. Do the math. Send your answers to the prime minister. He lives in Delhi and the post office should find him quite easily.
For a comparison, read paragraph 33: the allocation for schemes benefiting only Scheduled Castes and Tribes is Rs3, 271 crore, and for schemes in which they will get at least 20 per cent benefit, the sum is Rs17, 691 crore. In addition there are scholarships worth Rs790 crore for the children of these communities. These SC/ST communities need all the help they can, so funds for minorities do not have to come out of their budgets. There is enough money elsewhere. But there is no will to help the minorities.
This thin gruel did not come without prodding. In an extraordinary gesture, the prime minister actually wrote to his finance minister late last year suggesting that the findings of the Sachar report should be taken into consideration. It took a reminder from the prime minister's principal secretary and a formal letter from the Marxist MP Brinda Karat to persuade the finance minister to read what his leader had said. He might as well have ignored it completely. As the budget reveals, the letter produced a molehill instead of a mountain. If a prime minister cannot get his finance minister to read his letters, he can't be much of a prime minister, can he?
The budget is as dismissive of the poor as it is of minorities. There is a kind of implicit contempt for have-nots: if they don't like what they see, they can lump it.
March 5, 2007
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