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Minority groups for Muslim reservation in Legislature

Monday 8 August 2005

Express views before the PM’s panel visiting U.P. for preparing status report of the Muslims

LUCKNOW: Demanding proportional representation for Muslims in the legislature, several minority groups and individuals have expressed the presence of an all-pervasive inferiority complex and sense of insecurity amongst the community in Uttar Pradesh.

These were some of the main issues brought before the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee, for preparing a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community in the country. The Committee ended its three-day visit to U.P. today.

"The people apprised us that reservation for Muslims is the only tool for proportional representation which can uplift the community lagging far behind in social, economic and educational field," the Committee members claimed.

Yesterday, the Committee met Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and appraised him about the need for inclusive development, participatory decision-making in which the Muslims of U.P. can gain access to mainstream beneficiary oriented public programmes of various types.

The Committee members also urged the U.P. Government to launch special schemes for minorities in the State with full utilisation of the funds meant for them. The educational scenario of the Muslims could only be improved by modernisation of Madarsas in the State.

Committee Chairman Justice Rajinder Sachar told mediapersons here before leaving for New Delhi that the Chief Minister has assured to take corrective action including deleting of the objectionable portions regarding Muslims in the text books at primary and elementary level used in the State.

However, the Committee felt that despite U.P. being the centre of many controversies relating to the demolition of disputed structure at Ayodhya, the State is still serene and peaceful and there is communal harmony and amity.

Justice Sachar also denied that there was any political agenda before the Committee over its visit to the State. "We are only dealing with the social, economic and educational aspects of the Muslims in the country and the Committee would be forwarding its recommendations to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh by June 2006 to uplift the status of the minorities," he added.

The seven member Committee set up by the PM in March last, also opined that it came to know from people about very low disbursement of credit to Muslims, besides another important revelation of only four per cent Muslim children attending Madarsas in the State.

The Committee members made it clear that the condition of Muslims in the State was "in shambles" since Independence and hence no political party should be held responsible for it.

Talking about their interaction with the CM, Justice Sachar said that Mr Yadav assured him about his commitment to set up the private university at Rampur in the name of Maulana Mohammad Ali Jahaur and several other measures to uplift the community.

The committee met over 800 representatives of Muslims including politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, religious and women leaders and youth activists during its three-day stay in Lucknow. — UNI

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