Chief Minister Mamata Banerjees announcements for imams and her steps towards the recognition of the Urdu language with effect from April 14 have encountered hurdles.
Wakf Board officials said that only imams of those masjids that are registered with the Wakf Board would get the honorarium with effect from the Bengali New Year.
At present,there are 12,465 masjids in the state of which only 1,400 are registered. Imams of those would get the honorarium of Rs 2,500 per month and the others will have to be registered with the board to get the benefit, said Md Abdul Gani,chairman,Board of Waqfs,West Bengal.
He said the registration application will be followed by an inquiry and then approval. So the process will take at least another two to three months to be effective.
The imams who are directly under the Wakf Board already get an honorarium of Rs 2,500. This announcement has doubled their remuneration. There was a little confusion but I had a word with Khalil Ahmed,the special secretary in charge of the minorities department,and he confirmed it, said Gani.
There was also a discrepancy as to what would be the exact status of the Urdu language. MLA Abu Taher Khan said,Government schools that have at least 10 per cent Urdu-speaking children will have Urdu as the second language and the state will provide teachers for the same. However,it is too late this year. It can be implemented only from the next academic year.
Taha Siddiqui of Furfura Sharif said minorities had been promised a lot of things during the CPM regime,and the situation seemed to be continuing. Mamata Banerjee promised a lot of things before she came to power but nothing has been done. I think the people are heading for a lot of false promises,again, he said.