The Organiser editorial raises concerns over the increasing size of the Muslim population. Pointing out that all data tend to be conveniently interpreted and used to address insignificant issues, thereby missing the real message and policy imperatives, the editorial criticises “secular” people who dismiss census data on religion as insignificant.
Referring to Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar, who expressed apprehensions that the data showing an increase of the Muslim population by “some decimals” and a declining Hindu population could lead to communal violence, the Organiser says, “The ‘seculars’ like Mani Shankar Aiyar do not want to encounter this reality. His raising of the communal tension bogey also answers the rationale behind [the] UPA government not releasing the data earlier. Unless we accept that the issues brought up by this census are national concerns and come up with concrete policy measures… [the] whole exercise of census would be a mere ritual.”
The editorial says that Aiyar’s remarks rubbish the policy relevance of the census data: “It is clear from the data that the growth rate of Hindus and Muslims in Bharat is inversely proportionate and, at least in the last three decades, the imbalance is increasing… Is it a larger conspiracy to Islamise Bharat? Is it to do just with the [lower] economic development of the community…?”
Assam ‘D’ Voters
An article in the Organiser says that Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, sheltered in Assam, are being treated the way Hitler treated Jews. The article says they are “being hunted down and branded ‘D’ (doubtful) voters, arrested and sent to detention camps (as BJP MLA Dilip Paul says)… not different from the treatment meted out to Jews by Hitler.” The article warns that it will be a “disaster for Assam if the political class in power or in opposition ignores the harsh reality to make a distinction between an infiltrator and a refugee. This had been and is the great blunder made by AASU leaders and the AGP in power… The stand of the Congress needs no elaboration when the two chief ministers denied the presence of any infiltrators in the state.” It goes on to say that refugees have become victims of police harassment and Hindu Bengalis are being targeted and sent to detention camps despite possessing valid documents.
The report by Jyotilal Chowdhary criticises Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for washing his hands of the problem by saying it was done under the court’s directive. The Hindu Nagarik Suraksha Samiti slammed the CM and reminded him that the Supreme Court, in its directive in case No 665, said that the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act has been annulled and the Passport Act 1920, the Foreigners Act 1946 and the Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act 1950 have been revived and put in force with immediate effect. Section 2 of the 1950 act has provisions for the protection of the minorities of Bangladesh, erstwhile East Pakistan, who have been forced to migrate under compelling circumstances. The Hindu Legal Cell has described the drive against “D” voters as highly partisan, smacking of a deeper conspiracy against Hindu Bengalis and demanded a judicial probe.
For India’s second president Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan’s birth anniversary, a Panchajanya editorial advocates greater emphasis on including India’s culture and heritage in the curricula: “Seeking cultural threads through education is not an easy task, but not impossible either. On this Teachers’ Day, let us look at the challenges in education from the perspective of a teacher. Solutions can be found if we attempt to delve into the thoughts of Radhakrishnan…” The editorial is also critical of the current education system, wherein a good education is available only to people with means.
Compiled by Liz Mathew