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GUEST EDITORIAL: Salman Khurshid vs Shri Krishna Singh: Two models of community development

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By Syed Zubair Ahmad


Salman Khurshid
Few days ago when I went through a news item in The Times of India titled ‘Bihari babus rule the roost at power centre’ I was not surprised. It further said “Bihari babus are virtually dominating the corridors of power in New Delhi. Nine Bihar-cadre IAS officers are heading as many crucial ministries, including home, defense, road transport and highways and rural development. Six IAS officers are serving as additional secretaries, while 17 others are in the rank of joint secretaries.”(TOI, 15 July, 2011).


After having a look at this news I recalled a story told by a Bhumihar friend on how Bhumihar community became so powerful in the administrative set-up of this country. Dr. Shri Krishna Singh, a Bhumihar by caste, after becoming the first Chief Minister of Bihar wanted to do something for his community, so he consulted with the experts on this issue extensively, finally he decided to open a residential school known as ‘Netarhat Residential School’ in 1954. Ramnaresh Singh, a Bhumihar, was appointed its principal. The rest is history. The students from Bhumihar community were admitted en masse and this residential school became famous as the launching pad for the success in Indian Administrative Services.


Within few years this residential school became a milestone in the way to the development of Bhumihar community. Getting admission in this school was synonymous to becoming an IAS officer. Most of the IAS officers from Bihar cadre are products of this school, and mostly they are Bhumihars. Once an illiterate Bhumihar requested for a job, Dr Singh apologized and said that since he had no education so getting a job for him was a very difficult task .Then after a pause he asked his community man if he had some farming lands? The answer was in affirmative. Dr Singh ordered him to sow the seeds of Neem as much as possible in those lands and meet him after six months. When six months passed by that community fellow came to meet him.Dr Singh guided him to a tender notice seeking for six month old of Neem plants in thousands to be planted both sides of the roads. This is how a community grows up and develops. When Lalu Prasad became the CM of Bihar, Yadav community developed surprisingly, when Ram Vilas Paswan became the Railway minister, Paswan community was given preference in Railway employments as well as small and big contracts. Now look at the community of Mayawati! There are thousands of similar stories on how these leaders tried their best to develop the communities they belonged to. And they were not wrong. Their community voted them topower so it was their moral duty to do a favor for them.


On 13th July there was a discussion on the topic of “South Asian Minorities: Enemies of the nations or Survivors of the Violence”? (In the light of Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to justice and Reparations) Bill, 2011 and Enemies Property Bill).The discussion was organized by SAMLA (South Asian Minorities Legal Association) at India Islamic Cultural Center. I also reached there. Fortunately when the discussion was on, Shri Salman Khurshid also arrived to grace the occasion. It was his first public meeting after becoming the Union Law Minister. During the discussion an Alig advocate interrupted and tried to explain the discrimination against Muslim lawyers and judges in judiciaries. He questioned why there had been not a single judicial jugde in Delhi courts from last 20 years while many Muslims qualified the written tests but couldn’t make it to the interviews? The Union Law Minister Shri Salman Khurshid quickly replied ’There is one Mr. Badar Durrez ‘.


When the discussion ended up many from the audience were complaining about the non-cooperative attitude of Shri Salman Khurshid ji. The high court judge whom Shri Khurshid ji referred to was an advocate and he was elevated as an additional Judge of the Delhi High Court. Shri Khurshid ji was himself elevated just one day before. Badar Durrez happens to be the son of ex president of India late Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, and the father of Shri Salman Khurshid ji, Khurshid Alam Khan was also a cabinet minister.


Few days back Shri Khurshid questioned the relevance of Sachar Committee Report and said ‘Sachar Committee Report is not Quran’. Shri Khurshid is a very secular politician. He puts tikka and smash coconuts regularly. He is a great admirer of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, but he started Delhi Public Schools with business minded Banyas. Later Banyas kicked him out of school management. Once a friend of mine Iftekhar Alam who deals in computer applied for a tender of DPS regarding the supply of computers and their annual maintenance .He met Shri Salman Khurshid ji and wanted some favor. Shri Salman Khurshid ji told him flatly that ‘It’s not his concern, some xyz is responsible for that’. Later, some Sharma ji or Verma ji got the tender. No need to mention the Sanghi Pracharak politician like Shahnawaz Hussain and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who get enraged at the utterance of Sachar Committee and generally pronounce it as ‘Sachar ka Khachhar’. These politicians forget the fact that their parties give them only tickets and that too out of compulsion, but Muslims give them votes to reach them parliament and become ministers. If their secularism has any credentials then let them elected from a Hindu dominated constituency and speak in the tune of their parties. In that case even their parties will not give them tickets. Ironically, these leaders after becoming ministers avoid mixing with their own community, keep away from their functions and try to adopt Hindu culture, so that their secularism couldn’t be doubtful.


During election times we hear non Muslim politicians advocating for the development of Muslim community. Now after Sachar committee report doing a favor to Muslims won’t be termed as ‘favor or appeasement’. Being an Indian citizen it is our legal rights to share the resources of this country like others .Those who want to deprive us from our rights are not doing a favor to this country. Helping Muslims to develop would be like giving a tonic to an ailing member of the family if India is our home otherwise there would be no difference between BJP and Congress. In that case Congress will be more dangerous than the BJP, because in case of BJP we wouldn’t expect a tonic from it and we will try to get the tonic at our own, whereas will die waiting for the falls promise of ‘Congressian Tonic’.


The fault also lies with us equally. There are many examples that in past few politicians tried to oppose their party line in favor of Muslim community and never got elected .Once their party dumped them, Muslim community also rejected them senselessly. If our political leaders don’t think about us, we also don’t care for the sincere leaders as well. On which support our leaders will fight on behalf of us if we will not support them. We never stood behind our sincere leadership. In fact we have become worse than Yadav and Harijan in terms of vision and wisdom, sincerity and sacrifice. Can’t we learn a lesson from Yadavs and Harijans who stood firmly behind Lalu Prasad and Mayawati?


Dogs are very loyal animals, their loyalty is unquestionable. But do you know why they are so cursed? Their loyalty is for others, not for their own community!


[Syed Zubair Ahmad is a Writer & Journalist. He can be reached at smzubairahmad@gmail.com]
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