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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Make equitable distribution of minority benefits in Kerala: MP Thomas Chazhikadan

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi did not give any specific answers to the questions raised by the MP. He just listed out the measures taken by the Narendra Modi government for minorities in the country.

Written by Liz Mathew | New Delhi |
Updated: March 19, 2021 4:58:14 am
A group of Church leaders had taken up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a recent meeting.

THE ISSUE of non-equitable distribution of benefits between Muslims and Christians in Kerala came up in the Lok Sabha on Thursday with an MP from the state demanding that the central government should take measures to ensure equitable distribution of benefits based on population of each community in the state.

Thomas Chazhikadan, MP from Kerala Congress-Mani, which recently left the Congress-led UDF and joined the CPI-M-led LDF, also sought setting up of a commission along the lines of Sachar Committee to “find out the socio-economic conditions of other minority communities also, especially Christians”.

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Muktar Abbas Naqvi did not give any specific answers to the questions raised by the MP. He just listed out the measures taken by the Narendra Modi government for minorities in the country.

Raising a question during question hour, Chazhikadan said: “In Kerala, there are only two minority communities, that is, Christians and Muslims. Out of the total population of the state, 18.38 per cent are Christians and 26.56 per cent are Muslims. Taking into consideration the population of the state, benefits accorded to various minority communities should be distributed equitably. But in the state of Kerala it is being accorded in the 80:20 ratio. I would like to request the minister to make an equitable distribution of the benefits based on the population of each community in the state.”

Church leaders in poll-bound Kerala have pointed out the anomalies in distribution of minority benefits in the state and demanded that it should be on the basis of population. The issue has become another bone of contention between the Christian and Muslim communities. The Church leaders had taken up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a recent meeting.

Chazhikadan also wanted the central government to set up a study on the social situation of minorities. “The government was good enough to appoint the Sachar Committee to find out the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in India,” he said. “In Kerala, we, Christians, are facing so many difficulties. Most of us are agriculturalists and farmers. The farming community is facing a lot of problems now. Therefore, I would request the government to appoint a Committee or a Commission on the lines of Sachar Committee to find out the socio-economic conditions of other minority communities also, especially Christians.”

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