Minorities sometimes feel like second-class citizens: Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi

Naqvi subsequently said it was not a commentary on the social conditions of the minorities.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: October 6, 2016 10:20 am
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As the BJP-led NDA government fights a perception battle on the issue of minority rights, its Minority Affairs Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, left the government red-faced on Wednesday when he said that minorities in India “sometimes feel like second-class citizens”, before clarifying that he had made the statement in the context of vote-bank politics.

“India is a model country for minority rights — look around in the neighbourhood and you will know… Although the Constitution guarantees equal rights, there is a deficiency in the feeling of that equality; sometimes we feel like second class citizens. The real issues often get buried,” Naqvi said while delivering the annual lecture of the National Commission of Minorities.

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Naqvi subsequently said it was not a commentary on the social conditions of the minorities.

Although many reports, including that of the Sachar Committee and subsequently the Kundu Committee, have shown how little has been done by successive governments on bettering the socioeconomic conditions of Muslims, the Narendra Modi government, in the two-and-a-half years it is in power, has constantly faced criticism on minority-related issues — from the debates on intolerance and award wapsi to the rise in cow vigilantism.

Naqvi also made a powerful case for peace and amity between communities, saying it would be ideal if cases taken up by NCM do not have to be related to riots. “We are committed to no riots. Indian Muslims do not need certificates of patriotism from anybody — they are the reason why radical organisations have not been able to make inroads in India,” he said.

Addressing the event, Peter Ronald deSouza, professor at the Centre for Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), took examples from around the world to make his point that when it comes to resolving demands of minorities in vibrant democracies, India can show the way to the world despite the state’s attitude having been wanting on many occasions. “As the world struggles with working out the moral, legal and social terms of the majority-minority relationship, India’s engagement with this question since the last 70 years constitutes a valuable global intellectual resource,” he said. “Let us appreciate this fact even though, in its independent history, India has waxed and waned on minority rights; even though, at particular moments such as now we feel the state is backtracking, that the regime in power, both earlier and today, is insufficiently appreciative of this resource…”

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  1. A
    Abhinav Gour
    Oct 6, 2016 at 5:42 am
    Mislims
    Reply
    1. A
      Abhinav Gour
      Oct 6, 2016 at 5:42 am
      Mislims
      Reply
      1. A
        Abhinav Gour
        Oct 6, 2016 at 5:45 am
        Muslims are the most poorly represented community in this Nation and for their Proper representation they should be given reservation according to their Potion
        Reply
      2. T
        Tariq
        Oct 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm
        A nice surprise.Is Mr Naqvi leaving BJP? A very late realisation that Muslims are second grade citizens in India. Thank you for accepting this reality, Naqvi Saheb.
        Reply
        1. C
          Communist
          Oct 6, 2016 at 12:23 am
          Read here how political parties are wasting money on mullah and imams and rather than upliftment of all Indians including Muslims it is squandering money lacs of crores. No wonder Hindus are stupid. They got divided and yet continue to suffer at the hands of mullah and Islam.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Imams and muezzins are people who organise prayers in a mosque. Since April last year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's government had been paying more than 30,000 imams in the state Rs 2500 per month and over 15,000 muezzins Rs 1500. This will be tens of crores of rupees in a state called West Bengal where people have no food no education. I am ashamed to be part of India and continue to suffer at the hands of Muslims.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The state Opposition had slammed the move as a bid by Ms Banerjee to woo the minority community. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The court order today came in response to four public interest litigations (PILs) filed in May last year. lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Kanchan Chanda, the lawyer says the division bench found that the state government did not even p an order to pay muezzins Rs 1500 a month but made the payments nevertheless. "So the division bench felt it was nothing but squandering of public money," he said
          Reply
          1. A
            Amar Akbar
            Oct 6, 2016 at 12:25 am
            Did you read his news? Why are we paying mullah in a secular country? Why are we paying Muslim mullah who creates jihadi in a country that was divided by Muslims, they got stan and rest of the country is India?lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Deputy Chief Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali on Monday launched the honorarium schemes for Imams (who lead the prayers at mosques) and Mauzzans (who give call to prayer) at Haj House.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The scheme was announced in July last year by the State government where the government was to pay Rs. 1,000 every month to them. The government has set a target of 10,000 beneficiaries.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;A total of 8,901 Imams and Mauzzans from across the State had applied. All of them will be paid Rs. 9,000 this month. “We are paying them the arrears from July 2015 to April this year and now onwards every month Rs. 1,000 will be remitted in the bank accounts of all beneficiaries. We are determined to work for the welfare of the minorities,” Mr. Mahmood Ali said.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Around 20 Imams and Mauzzans were handed over the cheques. . “Everything was planned and there will be a clarity in all the transactions,” said S Omer Jaleel, Special Secretary, the Minorities Welfare Department.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;On suggestions made by a few MLCs, the Deputy Chief Minister said that the honorarium would be increased in future. “A budget of Rs. 12 crore was allocated for the scheme. We have just launched it and certainly taking into account the rising cost of living for increasing the honorarium,” he stated.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The government will also provide budget to construct an auditorium at the Jamia Nizamia, a religious seminary in old city. “We had already provided Rs. 9 crore, but the cost works out to be around Rs. 14 crore. But, we will hike the budget and ensure that the seminary is developed,” Mr. Mahmood Ali said He added that the government would ensure development of Madarsas across the State
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            1. H
              Hansa Jagan
              Oct 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm
              They will feel so as long as they are .minorities.
              Reply
              1. J
                J Parmar
                Oct 6, 2016 at 4:28 am
                It is indeed a sorry state of affairs when we start designating society into Religious groups and then calling them minorities. FIRST of all, every citizen of India whether he/she is a Hindu, Muslim, Parsi, Sikh, Christian or Buddhist must realise that he/she is INDIAN first and then there will be NO minority group. Your religion should be your personal choice BUT at the same time have Respect for the Other. Once you have this in your mind and Heart only then you will prosper as one. All of you who have posted hateful comments , stop being Holier than Thou. You are all a DISGRACE to India.
                Reply
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