People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 04, 2007
CONVENTION ON SACHAR REPORT AND KERALA
LDF Govt Takes Lead In Implementing Sachar Report
Yechury inaugurating the convention in Calicut on October 25
UNIQUE in the history of social reforms and welfare measures, Kerala has taken initiative in implementing Rajinder Sachar Committee Report by deciding to form a separate Minority Welfare Board to implement and initiate measures to alleviate the problems of the Muslim community. V S Achuthanandan, Kerala chief minister and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member stated this while addressing the valedictory ceremony of the special convention organised by the Party at Calicut on "Sachar Report and Kerala" on October 25, 2007. The ceremony was presided over by Elamaram Karim, industries minister of the state.
The chief minister also declared that a special officer would be appointed to coordinate the welfare measures. Special cells would be organised at the state secretariat and the district collectorates to monitor the measures. A welfare scheme would be evolved in consultation with the state Wakf Board for the benefit of around one and a half lakhs of Madarassa teachers of the state.
The chief minister also said that the proposals and recommendations to be submitted by the 11-member panel within three months would be fruitfully implemented for the welfare of the Muslim community. The government would take immediate measures to remedy the inadequate appointments of the Muslims in the government service. Achuthanandan criticised the central government of adopting delaying tactics in the case of the Sachar Report. The Report was received a year ago, but the central government is brooding over it. The Left-led governments are going ahead with concrete plans to implement the recommendations. The central government should take immediate measures to correct the mistakes it did successively in the bygone decades after independence, the chief minister said.
Presiding over the valedictory ceremony, Elamaram Karim said that, like in other matters, Kerala would be a role model for the other states in India. The convention and the declaration by the chief minister are going to constitute a landmark in the history of the country, he said.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP while inaugurating the special convention on ‘Sachar Report and Kerala’ at Calicut on October 25, 2007 organised by the CPI(M) Kerala state committee, said a Constitutional amendment should be brought to solve the problems of the Muslim minority in the country.
There is a Supreme Court verdict that the reservations in employment should not exceed 50 per cent. Constitutional amendment is the only way to resolve this crisis. This is the standpoint that the Party upholds in matters regarding minorities and reservation question, Yechury said. The plight of the Muslims through out the country is sorrowful and unimaginable and it is this truth that the Sachar Report has unveiled. The plight of Muslims is many areas is more pitiable than the conditions of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Therefore it is necessary to increase the share for the Muslims in the reservation quota, he said.
However, it is not easy to evolve a national consensus in amending the Constitution towards this direction. The forces of Sangh Parivar and their political outfit, the BJP would use all its force to prevent it. The Congress party does not have the will and power to amend the constitution. The only way out is to bring out radical transformation in national political equations. The Left and progressive forces should be given support and the Left should be empowered as far as possible, Sitaram said.
Yechury asked the government of India to direct all state governments to hold surveys to find out the backward sections among the Muslims. The Sachar Committee Report points to the inadequacies of our secular democracy. It is rich in examples of how the Muslim community is deprived of even basic aspects of life. There have been many other reports earlier after independence. Many of them pertained to the upliftment of the minorities, but even after six decades of independence nothing is put in practice and for most of these decades it was the Congress that has been in power, he said.
Yechury criticised the central government for not taking any action even after the lapse of a full year after the Sachar Report was finanlised. It was only due to pressure from the Left parties that the government presented the report before the parliament in August this year. But the government is silent about the social security and providing equal social status to the Muslims. It is unfortunate that the parliament could not deliberate on the report due to the opposition from the BJP. Muslims should get all rights guaranteed by the Constitution to the citizens of the country. The CPI(M) stands steadfastly for this and there is no compromise on the issue, he said.
Yechury reminded the audience that the bourgeois and communal media are maligning the Party saying that West Bengal lags behind in alleviating problems of the Muslims. The Left front government has self-critically examined this issue. It has started a series of programmes to solve the problems. One of the main causes for the severe backwardness of Muslims in West Bengal is historical. Nearly one quarter of the Muslims of India are in West Bengal. The refugee question is very complicated and severe. But as far as unemployment is concerned the rate of unemployment of Muslims in West Bengal is much lower than the national rate. We cannot forget the fact that the oppressed Muslims anywhere in India or even abroad wish to be in the West Bengal. In the representation in the Panchayati raj bodies also West Bengal Muslim community is far ahead of the national rate. Due to backwardness in education, they are backward in government employment, too. This is a reality. But the government has taken several measures, one among them being the modernisation of madrasa education. The madrasa educated Muslims could be enrolled in deserving employment or could be admitted to deserving higher courses in general education.
Sitaram Yechury deplored the attempts of the Sangh-parivar and the BJP questioning the patriotism of the Muslims of the country. He reminded these divisive forces that the Muslims of India are those who remained in the country even though they had an opportunity to go to Pakistan. Hindus had no option but to remain in India. Muslims need not produce any credentials before anyone because the fact that they opted to remain in India after partition itself is evidence to their ardent patriotism. Why do these critics forget the martyrdom of Havaldar Abdul Hameed and the likes for the sake of the country? Yechury asked. He brushed aside as meaningless criticism of the Sangh-parivar that Muslims were in power in India for nearly five centuries and if at all they have any problem left unsolved, it is their own fault and why should they be compensated. He said the rulers ruled with their ruse and the ruled always were at their mercy. Yechury said that the central government and the Congress party is paying a mere lip service to the cause of the Muslim minorities.
AN AMALGAM OF FAITH AND SECULARISM
More than ten thousand people from and around the Kozhikode district attended the convention. The pavilion overflowed with people belonging to all categories to witness the historic moment.
The convention was virtually an amalgam of faith, struggle and hope, a new chapter in the fusion of faith and secularism. The pavilion constructed for the convention was fully equipped for prayers and sanitation. An Ibadat Khana with sections for women and men separately was arranged at the pavilion. Women in purdahs, cap-wearing Muslim gentile, and old people with Tasbih chanters filled the pavilion. Around three thousand women participated. The assemblage ranged from the illiterate to the academicians.
The member secretary to the Sachar Committee Dr Abu Saleh Sheriff addressed the special convention. He called on the audience and the people of Kerala to be part of the patriotic task of implementing the Sachar Report. He reminded that considering the plight of the Muslims in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the Indian Muslims have all the rights to ask for redress of their grievances. However, the Indian Muslims do not present a glossy picture. They lag behind in all walks of life that came to light in the findings of the committee after a thorough study. He congratulated the government of Kerala for its concerted efforts to improve the lot of the Muslims. He reminded everyone that it is a Constitutional right to express one's religious identity, as also his national identity. Both should not be at loggerheads.
Dr Intheas Ahmed, Dr Mubarak Pasha, Moulavi Mulloorkara Mohammed Ali Sakhafi, and Dr P K Pokker also addressed the convention.
Presiding over the convention, Pinarayi Vijayan, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Kerala state secretary said that the UPA government is reluctant to implement the report and it preaches a lot, but practices very little. Muslims constitute 14 percent of the population of the country. If 140 million remain illiterate, unemployed and ill-educated in a society cannot, it cannot be called a civilized society, Vijayan said.
He said that each ministry tries to put the blame on the other and the Report remains unrealised. There were earlier reports also on the issue. History proves that they were all stalled or unimplemented. The 1995 Minority commission report was never attended to and no attempt was made to implement it. The people of the country at large are afraid that the same fate might befall the Sachar Committee Report also which was presented before the parliament in November 2006. Pinarayi questioned as to why should there be a delay in forming a national data bank and the formation of autonomous monitoring authority. He said the draft of the Eleventh Plan does not mention the Sachar committee and the budget also ignores the Report categorically and blatantly. The CPI(M) has presented a charter before the government of India asking the government to go ahead with the implementation of the proposals in the Sachar Report. He said 20,000 scholarships would be awarded to Muslim wards in Kerala.
Pinarayi asked the people to be vigilant and put great pressure on the government to implement the proposals. There should be a popular upsurge to achieve this. The convention is a prelude to this, he said. CPI(M) central committee member and MP, A Vijaya Raghavan, state secretariat members V V Dakshina Murthy and M V Govindan Master, T K Hamza MP, A P Abdullah Kutty MP, members of the Kerala assembly, George M Thomas, P Krishna Prasad, P Viswan, A Pradeep Kumar, K Kunhammad, KYT Jaleel, former MP A K Premajam, former MLAs C P Kunhu, VKC Mammad Koya, writers U A Khader, P Valsala, actress Santa Devi, Kerala Nadvathul Mujahideen president Hussain Madavur, Dr Fazal Gafoor (president MES state committee), C P Kunhu Mohammed (MSS state committee), P Sasi (CPI(M) Kannur district secretary), P A Mohammed (Wynad district secretary), Party state committee members M Kelappan, C P Balan Vydiar, national president of the DYFI Sreeramakrishnan, KTDC chairman, Cherian Philip, N K Radha (Women's Development Corporation chairperson) P K Zainaba(Women's Commission member), Prof C P Aboobacker, K P Basheer, K L Sadiri Koya (NCP leader), Dr K Moidu, Mr Ibrahim of Karanthur Markaz and a number of others were among the dignitaries who participated. T P Ramakrishnan (CPM district secretary), Kozhikode city Mayor M Bhaskaran, district co-operative bank president M Mehbub, Kozhikode Jilla Panchayath resident K P Kunhammad Kutty, deputy Mayor P T Abdul Lathif hosted the convention.