Is ministry of minority affairs serving its purpose? The answer is a tricky one. Governments have been thumping their chests for a long time and giving themselves credit for the ministry of minority affairs and its 'meager' outlay. But the ministry seems to be a toothless tiger.
The ministers who hold its charge are handed down this 'trophy' to reward them only for their longstanding 'loyalty' to a particular party and not their expertise in the welfare of minority communities in the country.
Not just ministers, even National Commission for Minorities has remained an institution in name, doing precious little for minority communities. It is also paper tiger like the ministry of minority affairs.
While the National Commission for SC/ST has done wonders for the disadvantaged sections of the society, the minorities' commission has been doing nothing and is happy for being nothing more than of an ornamental value.
A report in Hyderabad based Daily Etemad says, "Ministry of Social Justice has castigated the Ministry of Minority Affairs for its inefficiency and utter lack of comprehension of issues affecting the minorities in the country. A latest report by a Parliamentary standing committee has said the ministry of minority affairs has not conducted nay study on the psychological impact of communal riots on minority communities across the country".
"The parliamentary Committee also expressed its disappointment with the fact the ministry hasn't conducted a single study about the socio economic development of the minorities in the country or the inter-religious relations and understanding among different sections of the society in India during more than a decade long existence of the ministry" the report says.
"The Parliamentary Standing Committee was informed by the minority affairs ministry that the country suffered as many as 2000 communal riots in the last three years and that as many as 910 people lost their lives in these riots while more than five thousand people were injured in these communal riots. Committee said it believes social and communal discrimination, lack of trust and fear are the main reasons for low standard of life of many people in the country belonging to minorities. It went on to add that community leaders should take the responsibility of taking the community out of fear psychosis, lack of self assurance and help them become part of the nation building".
The Etemad Daily report said, "The committee went on to add despite the huge number of welfare schemes that the government has lined up for minorities, the largest minority community in the country, the Muslim community, has been left behind other communities in the country in terms of social and economic standing. Nonetheless, the committee noted that in terms of education, Muslims are catching up with other communities. The literacy level among Muslims that was just 52.1 percent has shot up to 63.5 percent in the year 2010.
Yogi, Khan Spat
BJP leader and MP from Gorakhpur, Yogi Aditya Nath, and senior minister in UP Government, Azam Khan, are giving some good time to people. While they may be trying to serve their respective vote banks, they are making people laugh with their insane comments aimed at each other. Azam khan who had asked Yogi Aditya Nath to offer namaz as he said it will give him peace of mind besides being good source of physical activity, has got similar advice from the Yogi.
A report in Hyderabad based Siasat says, "Yogi Aditya Nath has asked Azam Khan to follow Surya Namaskar as Yoga will stop him from giving foolhardy comments. He said no one gives a damn to what Azam Khan says and went on to add if he performs Surya Namaskar with all the related mantras, it will not just improve his health, it will also improve his psychological condition too.
"The firebrand Yogi who is known for his inflammatory speeches and communal rhetoric went on to add no one will be forced to perform yoga. Whoever wants should perform it and the ones who don't want to perform, no one can force it on them. This is a matter of great pride for the nation that 189 nations have accepted the importance of Yoga and have taken to it in a big way. But some anti-national elements feel ashamed to perform it” the report went on to add.
Syed Ubaidur Rahman is a New Delhi based writer and commentator. He has written several books on Muslims and Islam in India including Understanding Muslim Leadership in India.