The conditions of Muslims are known to everyone as to what they were in the past and what they are today. At one time, they were the rulers and now they have become beggars. This is a known fact, and to know this fact of how they became beggars, we will have to go back to the history. From the colonial period i.e. from the 1870s to until now, various committees and commissions have been formed, earlier by the Britishers and after independence by various governments. In the year 1870, the Britishers’ had done a study to see the causes of Muslims unrest in India and the study revealed that the Muslims were nowhere in the government jobs and they even did not have any hope of getting government jobs except the job of an attender. Though the Britishers had studied the conditions of Muslims, they did not take any measures to correct the imbalance and injustice prevailing in the employment sector.
After independence, as well many committees and commissions were formed to study the conditions of Muslims, whatever may be the reasons for the study. In fact, independent India inherited this legacy of social injustice to the Muslims and official inaction from the British. In 1980, a high-powered panel was appointed by the Congress Government, which is popularly known as “Gopal Singh Committee”. This 10-member committee also came out with a dismal picture of Muslims in education, employment and other sectors and it made large number of recommendations to improve their situation. For a long time this report was guarded secretly and after a long time it was made public but no action was taken on it.
National Minorities Commission was set up in the year 1978 by the non-congress government. In the years 1995 and 1998-99, NCM had studied the position of minorities in Police and Para-Military positions and public employment under central government and both the times they found again a very deplorable position of minorities especially Muslims in all the sectors. No action was taken on the recommendations of these two reports as well.
Now coming to the Sachar committee, in the year 2005, a high-powered committee was appointed by the congress government to study the educational and socio-economic conditions of Muslims in India. This committee also came out with findings of terrible under representation of Muslims in all the sectors and it gave extensive recommendations to uplift the conditions of Muslims in India. And, the result is before us. At present the conditions of Muslims in the words of Sachar are, ‘Muslims conditions have become worse than the dalits’. With this, it can be understood that all the commissions and committees are the tools in the hands of ruling castes and class to play their dirty politics on Muslims. It should be clear that these are the part and parcel of power politics to continue as rulers by posing themselves as the Secular, Democratic as well as well wisher of the most depressed people of this country who are nothing but the Muslims.
The Muslim community is always targeted in various ways. On one side, the Hindu ruling caste want to eliminate them from this country and on the other side the Muslim ruling class is exploiting the common Muslims for their own benefits. Therefore, at present the Muslims are stuck between two parts of the grinding stone. They are the victims of various terror i.e. Hindutva Terror, Bomb Terror, Police Terror, State Terror and Media Terror. Under this situation, Sachar studied the conditions of the suppressed community and brought out the recommendations. This report has been tabled in the Parliament, since then various people have been interpreting it in their own manner, some name it recommendations, some name it suggestions and some name it as observations. In short, it can be said that this has become like a proverb in Urdu, which says, ‘BANDAR KE HAATH MEIN AAINA’ meaning ‘MIRROR IN THE HAND OF MONKEY’.
On every issue in India, every now and then, many commissions and committees are formed and they have given number of suggestions and recommendations but these reports are neither tabled in the Parliament or Assembly nor made public. Even if they were tabled not a single recommendation has been implemented in the span of 140 years i.e. from 1870 to till today. One thing should be kept in mind that the government of India does not implement the Supreme Court guidelines itself, that are bound to be followed then how can one believe that the recommendations of various committees would be implemented? What is the meaning of forming such committees? These so called commissions and committees are just for the sake of wiping the tears of the Muslim community. If government of India really wants to take up the welfare and development of Muslims, and improve their socio-economic conditions, there is no need of any type of commission or committee for those purposes; it just requires the ‘honesty’ and ‘political will’ which is not found among the Indian ruling class especially towards Muslim community. This community is just looked at as vote bank, but not as a human being, the government is not sincere in solving their problems. This can be understood by the latest committee and commission such as Sachar Committee and Mishra Commission. Instead of implementing their recommendations, more number of other sub-committees, boards, monitoring authorities are further created.
Indian government is forming these committees and commissions to cover the political unemployment of ruling caste and class. In actual, these committees and commissions are real beneficiaries and the people on whom these are formed are still waiting to get their share, their rights etc. Just for the sake of show put up a number of schemes and programmes are made which are not at all implemented. For example after the Sachar committee report, schemes such as, set up of National Data Bank, an Autonomous Assessment & Monitoring Authority, Multi-Sectoral Development Programme, Scholarship and Coaching schemes, Opening of Residential Schools, opening of more Public Sector Banks, Coaching for Civil Services etc. are set up but not practiced.
But in reality the picture is different, in Hyderabad itself, 280 Urdu medium schools have been closed, the banks do not open accounts for the minorities, giving educational & self-employment loans is far away they are not even allowed to open accounts for receiving student scholarships. The budget of Minorities Financial Corporation and the Urdu Academy has been made so limited that they cannot even pay the salaries of the people employed in it. On the other side, Telugu academy is allotted excess budget, and the Urdu academy has to request Telugu Academy to publish Urdu books. This is the condition in Andhra Pradesh alone. Even after the presentation of Sachar report, minorities are provided loans neither by the Minority Financial Corporation nor by any public sector banks. Instead, the Muslim concentrated areas are declared as ‘Red Zones’ by the banks. Because of this, people are forced to approach private financers for loans, who give loans on higher interest rate from 20-40%. In addition, when they cannot pay back the loan, they are harassed, abducted, girls are raped and to avoid this situation few people opt for suicides as well. All these things are happening in the state where the government is of the central ruling party i.e. Congress, which had constituted Sachar committee and on the other hand they claim to implement the recommendations. This shows clearly, how they are exploiting the Muslims for using them as vote banks.
After going through the report, I find that this report is submitted very cleverly in a way like snake is killed and the stick is also not broken (SAANP BHI MAR JAAYE AUR LATHI BHI NAA TOOTE).
The recommendations are given under two categories namely:
a. General policy
b. Specific policy
General Policy Initiatives and Approaches:
1. Creation of National Data Bank (NDB)
2. Setting up of an Autonomous Assessment and Monitoring Authority (AMA)
3. Establishment of Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC)
4. Enhancement of participation in governance
5. Establishing a more rational procedure for delimitation of constituencies
6. Enhancement of diversity in different spaces
Specific policy initiatives:
1. Free compulsory and high quality education
2. School textbook should reflect social diversity.
3. Create local community study centres, high quality government schools, and exclusive schools for girls for 9-12 standards.
4. Madrasa student should be treated equal to school student.
5. Providing hostel facilities to students.
6. State should run Urdu medium schools.
7. Enhance participation of Muslim women in Teacher Training Programme.
8. Linkage of madrasas with higher secondary board and recognition of degree awarded by them for competitive examinations.
9. To promote and enhance access to Muslims in Priority Sector Advances
10. Representation of the community in the interview panels and boards.
11. Providing financial support to the occupations in which Muslims concentration is and has growth potential.
12. Registration of trusts such as wages and masjid committees.
13. Improvement of employment opportunities and conditions.
The above recommendations of the committee can do wonders if implemented in proper manner with good spirit by the government. However, the previous experiences show that the governments have not acted when the time came and the same governments keep low when action has to be taken to implement the recommendations. The major drawback of Sachar committee is it failed in recommending the reservations in employment and education sectors.
After the Sachar committee findings, the Congress government has not taken any serious steps in uplifting the Muslim community. The response of the government seems to be just on the paper but the Muslims expect concrete measures. Muslims are the second largest group inhibiting India’s every nook and corner and without their participation, India cannot achieve development and progress. Hence, it is in the national interest to pull the Muslim community at par with others. Therefore, Indian Muslims deeply believe in letters and spirits of the Indian constitution. We, ‘The people of India’ and naturally includes Muslims too. Hence, it is now upon the ruling class to remove the injustice and discrimination done to the Muslim community.
Finally, it is the responsibility of the intellectual classes to aware the common people of various communities to unite and fight together. In the recent years, we have seen the demolition of Babri Masjid and the Genocide of Muslims in Gujarat. During these incidents, a large number of Dalits and Adivasis were made to participate in the demolition and genocide, and when we try to educate the common Muslims, they say how we can unitedly work with the dalits when they are killing us, burning alive, and demolishing our worship places. Some groups of these communities are even opposing the Muslim reservation and they have filed the petition in the High Court on this matter. Because of this High Court has given stay on 4% reservation given to the Muslims in Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, it is the great responsibility of the intellectual class and the leaders of SC, ST, and BC to educate common people of their respective community not to become tools in the hands of Hindutva Forces, come together with the Muslim community and fight for their rights. It is their responsibility to make them know the teachings of Jyoti Rao Phule, Baba Saheb Ambedkar, and Periyar to fight against the atrocities, by uniting with the Muslim community. It is an appeal to the leaders and intellectuals of backward classes to work at the grass root level among their communities to eliminate the Hindutva Fascism that has deeply incorporated into the life style of the common people.