People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 49

December 05, 2010


Convention on Minority Issues


A Convention on issues related to the Muslim minorities was held at the local bus stand ground in Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand, the first week of November. The organisers had proposed to hold this programme earlier, soon after the month of Ramazan, but very difficult weather conditions delayed it. However, small group meetings were held at Almora, Haldwani. Roorkee, Kotdwar, Bahadurabad, Vikas Nagar, Sahaspur, Doiwala, Adhoiwala, Chandra Shekhar Azad Nagar etc. These meetings helped the organisers to understand the problems facing the Muslims in the state.


It was the coming together of Tanzeem-e-Rahnuma-e-Millat, Mahaz-e-Taraqqi and Muslim Vikas Morcha that helped in making the initiative broad based. Qamaruddin, convenor of the Muslim Vikas Morcha, conducted the proceedings of the convention. About 400 persons, men and women, participated in the convention. Delegations came from Hardwar, Roorkee, Udham Singh Nagar, Kotdwar-Pauri, Western and Eastern Duns and the Dehradun city. The CPI(M)ís Dehradun district secretary, Sajwan, welcomed the participants and explained in brief the need for addressing the problems being faced in the state. Latafat Hussain, Nabi Ahmed, Khaliq Ahmed, Ms Nuresa Ansari, Zahid Anjum, Lal Din, Aizaz Ahmed, Yusuf Tiwari, Ali Ahmed and Ms Razia Beg constituted the presidium. The main guest and the main speaker on the occasion was Mohammed Salim, former MP and a member of the CPI(M) Central Committee.


Latafat Hussain, president of Tanzeem-e-Rahnuma-e-Millat, inaugurated the convention. While appreciating the efforts of the participants, he spoke on the problems facing the Muslims due to lack of land for graveyards in different districts of the state and the misuse and mismanagement of the Waqf properties. He also criticised the government for not appointing Urdu teachers and translators to various posts which are lying vacant for a long time.


Ms Razia Beg, chairperson of Uttarakhand Bar Council, laid special stress on the need to reach out to people at the very lowest ladder of society, where discrimination in the matter of elementary health, education, sanitation and food is rampant. She felt that a continual campaign for raising awareness among the Muslim masses was necessary.


Yusuf Tewari, a member of Almora municipality, voiced concern at the rabid communalisation of politics in the state and felt that districts like Dehradun and Nainital should be included in those entitled for centrally sponsored special schemes.


A total of 18 persons took part in the deliberations. Qamaruddin explained the problems facing the Muslim minorities in the area of education, development, employment, income generation and security. He also mentioned the difficulties facing the community in procuring domicile and caste certificates in the state. He criticised the failure of various governments to implement the recommendations made by the Sachar and Rangnath Mishra reports. Routine lapse of funds and grants has become a regular feature in the state. The neglect of madrasa education is another cause of concern.


Mohammed Salim spoke in detail about the evolution of Sachar committee report and the role played by the Left during the UPA-1 government. He said that in a way the Sachar committee report diagnosed the problems facing the Muslims in the country and exposed the propaganda of the BJP that policies of appeasement had been carried out by all pseudo-secular formations since independence. He said the Rangnath Mishra report was an attempt to cure the disease diagnosed by the Sachar committee report. He stressed that a modern secular and democratic India was not conceivable if a vast section of the population like the Muslim minority is left out in the race for equality and development. He also mentioned how communal and retrograde ideologies affect both the majority and minorities in the country.


That his detailed speech was an enlivening experience, was the comment of many participants.


Qamaruddin moved a resolution for the consideration of the delegates and it was unanimously adopted. The convention was concluded by Lal Din, convenor of Mahaz-e-Taraqqi-e-Musalmin. He is himself a Vana Gujar and an educationist. His suggestion was that a copy of the resolution must be sent to the CM of the state for action.