Debating India

BJP blames Congress for Muslims’ plight

Friday 29 December 2006

Special Correspondent

Questions data submitted in the Sachar Committee

Says Congress has no commitment to Muslims’ welfare "Completely wrong interpretation of apartheid"

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party has questioned the statistics and data in the Sachar Committee report and blamed the Congress for "shying away" from a debate on the subject in the winter session of Parliament.

Party spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that as the Congress had ruled the country directly or indirectly for 53 years since Independence, it was responsible for the situation in which the Muslims found themselves now.

Mr. Prasad said: "The Congress has practised secular politics. Who is then responsible for the condition of Muslims?"

The Congress had no commitment to the welfare of Muslims and it followed no transparent welfare policy, he said.

Mr. Prasad referred to a newspaper report on the launch of a book, Population of India in the New Millennium, by demographer Mahendra Premi to draw the conclusion that the Sachar Committee statistics were incorrect.

Mr. Premi reportedly said that if the literacy of Muslim men was compared to that of Hindu men in some big States, the former had achieved higher literacy rates.

"The Government must come clean on this," Mr. Prasad said.

Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s comparison of untouchability to racial apartheid at the `Dalit-Minority International Conference’ here on Wednesday, Mr. Prasad said that it was a "completely wrong interpretation" of the meaning of apartheid. India had made laws to empower the community, a Dalit was appointed Chief Justice of India and a Dalit was a President, he pointed out.

Outside interference

He said Dr. Singh’s comments had given credit to some non-governmental organisations, which had been trying to take the Dalit rights issue to the United Nations. The BJP was against any outside agency interfering in the country’s internal matters.

See online : The Hindu

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