Delivering his inaugural address at the Golden Jubilee Session of All India Muslim Majlis-e- Mushawarat, Vice President Hamid Ansari described the Government’s resolution towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” as commendable, saying that the ‘essential pre-requisite for this is affirmative action to ensure that everyone moves forward together’.
“The remarks by Ansari over the Muslim community is not of a person occupying the vice president’s chair but of a Muslim leader”, Vishwa Hindu Parishad spokesperson Surendra Jain said. In 2005, the UPA government had appointed a high level committee, headed by Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar to assess the “Social, Economic and Educational Status of Muslims of India”.
The community comprises 14% of the country’s population.
Praising the contributions of Muslims in India during and after the independence of the country, Vice President Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said Muslims reflect in good measure the diversities that characterize the nation as a whole. They have hesitatingly sought to tend to their wounds, face the challenges and seek to develop response patterns.
“Reservation should be given to those who are in bad shape economically, irrespective of their community”, Sajjad said.
Tracing the condition of Muslims since Independence and the work in the past decade to delineate the contours of the problem, Ansari said studies bring forth sufficient evfidence to substantiate the view that “inequality traps prevent the marginalised and work in favour of the domkinant groups in society”. It makes specific recommendations to remedy these. According to this report, “While the overall levels of education in India, measured through various indicators, is still below universally acceptable standards, the educational status of the Muslim community in particular is a matter of great concern” (P.84). “It’s now up to the government to decide what it means by development for all”, he said.
“Various reports of different committees have asserted that there are backward Muslims and Christians too”.
“Each of these is a right of the citizen”.
The vice-president said deprivation, exclusion and discrimination (including failure to provide security) is to be corrected by the state; this needs to be done at the earliest and appropriate instruments developed for it.