December 2, 2021 4:02:32 am
Indian UNION Muslim League (IUML), an ally of opposition Congress in Kerala, has decided to take the protest against the LDF government’s “anti-Muslim stand” to mosques in the state.
Accordingly, the party has decided, talks will be delivered to enlighten the community on the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s “anti-Muslim” stand during jumma namaz this Friday. The decision was taken at a meeting of various Muslim organisations, held in Kozhikode on Tuesday.
The CPI(M) reacted by labeling it a political move, which would have far-reaching consequences. “This will lead to communal polarisation and give a fillip for Sangh Parivar to utilise temple premises for their campaigns,” the party state secretariat said in a statement.
The immediate provocation for the IUML is the state government’s decision to hand over recruitment to Kerala State Wakf Board to Public Service Commission (PSC), the state recruitment agency.
IUML state general secretary P M A Salam said there will be a campaign in mosques on Friday, followed by rallies at the mahallu level on December 7. Tuesday’s meeting was attended by representatives of various outfits, including Samastha Kerala Jamiat-ul-Ulema, a prominent organisation. In a statement on Wednesday, the CPI(M) said the move will be rejected by the faithful. “This has proved the narrow communal agenda of IUML,” it stated.
“Regarding appointment to Wakf Board, the Chief Minister had already convened a meeting of Muslim organisations and ensured the decision will be implemented only after allaying fears of the community,” said CPI(M) statement.
Last month, the state government had decided to entrust PSC with the task of recruitment to the Wakf Board. While doing so, the government had ensured that only Muslims would be appointed to various posts.
Besides recruitment to the Board, several other decisions of the government has irked IUML and a section of Muslim outfits.
After LDF returned to power this summer, Vijayan took over the Department of Minority Welfare, which since its formation has been helmed by a minister from the Muslim community under successive LDF and UDF governments. The alleged discrimination in distributing the minority schemes between candidates from Muslim and Christian communities was a major issue in Kerala before the elections. Vijayan took over the department considering concerns raised by Christians in the state.
The government’s decision to split merit-cum-means minority scholarships between the two communities as per their population figures had put various Muslim outfits on a collision course with the CPI(M).
Besides, CPI(M) recently decided to appoint a Christian, as chairman of the Kerala State Minorities Development Finance Corporation Ltd, a post hitherto held by members from the Muslim community.
Former state minister and CPI(M)-backed legislator K T Jaleel said, “When a Muslim [person] is the chairman of Kerala State Commission for Minorities, what is wrong in making a Christian the chairman of the Minority Finance Development Corporation?”