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Published On:27 December 2012
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

Every Muslim is responsible to protect Waqf properties: K Rahman Khan

By Manzar Imam

New Delhi: On the auspicious day of Christmas compounded by communication hazards following the fateful rape of a 23-year-old girl in the capital on 16th December 2012, the crowd of an overwhelming audience convened by a newly formed Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) was unusual. Human Chain, a Delhi-based NGO, organized national seminar on “Sachar Committee Report: Its Recommendations, Challenges and Implementation” here at India Islamic Cultural Centre on the cold evening of 25th December 2012.

Speaking on this occasion, Minority Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan lashed at some State Governments for not cooperating with the Central Government to implement several government schemes meant for the welfare of minorities. We are unable to spend even 50 percent of the funds allocated for Minority Concentration Districts (MCDs) because state governments do not cooperate, Rahman Khan said. On the questions raised by participants that the recommendations made by the Sachar Committee were not being implemented, Khan said it was wrong to think that there was no implementation of the Committee’s recommendations. Khan said that every government scheme had some monitory and implementation issues and it was not a specific the case only with the Sachar Committee recommendations. He blamed it to the bureaucracy for failing to implement government schemes properly.

On the issue of the Kishanganj Centre of Aligarh Muslim University, the minister said that the government was sincere in its intention to expedite the establishment of the Centre, but sections of Muslims were creating problems. He said that while Muslims kept complaining about their educational backwardness, there was a clear lack of interest on their part to take good steps. If there are some 600 universities in India today, they have not been established by the country’s prime ministers or minority ministers, Khan said adding that Muslims were content only with two universities. Who is responsible for what Muslims have lost, he asked.

The former Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Khan urged Muslims to come forward to support their own community instead of shifting blame on others. There is no power that can stop Muslims from demanding anything if they do so within the limits of the Constitution. Muslims should be aware of their rights, he said. More often than not, our constructive issues are overtaken by our emotive issues, he said. While I have less time, people have many expectations from me, said he adding that removing Muslim backwardness was among his priorities.

About encroachment and mismanagement of Waqf properties, Khan said that some Muslims thought that the Waqf properties were so large that only government could protect them. Every Muslim is responsible to protect Waqft properties. I have never seen an all India protest for Waqf properties and for demanding removal the illegal encroachments from them, he said.

Earlier, Dalit leader and Chairman of All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, Udit Raj spoke about the long struggle that Dalits and other backward communities had made to secure their rights. This country can progress only when people are given according what is their right, said he and regretted that Muslims had a poor habit of voting on emotional issues rather than issues of development.

Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood, President of Zakat Foundation of India, drew the minister’s attention to some of the important recommendations of the Sachar Committee report. He said the report was specifically made for Muslims. Zafar Mahmood, a former Indian Revenue Service Officer who was also OSD of the Prime Minister’s High Level Committee constituted for preparation of a report on the Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India which later came to be known as the Sachar Committee Report said that the failure of the government to implement the recommendation even after seven years was a matter of grave concern. He stressed the need for implementing minority schemes on grassroots level.

Syed Husain Waheed said that the Waqf landholdings were the third largest landholding in India after Indian railway and defence. But unfortunately they were not properly managed.

Dr Shakil-Uz Zaman Ansari, a former minister of Bihar and member of Backward Classes Commission of India observed that the issues of Muslims were a bit different from the issues of Dalits and other communities hence a slightly different method was required to address those issues.

Sirajuddin Qureshi, President of India Islamic Cultural Centre, also spoke on this occasion and appreciated the efforts of Human Chain. He said after passing quite a long time since the report came it would be interesting to see how many recommendations the Government has approved and how many of them have been rejected. Congress Youth leader and vice-president of Nehru Yuva Kendra, B P Singh also spoke on this occasion.

President of Human Chain Engineer Mohammad Aslam Alig on a high emotional note demanded proper implementation of the Sachar Committee recommendations. He said that seminar was called not only for discussing the recommendations but for demanding their implementation. Minnat Rhamani, coordinated the programme.

[Manzar Imam, a Delhi-based Journalist, is Special Correspondent of IndianMuslimObserver.com. He can be reached at manzarkhalil@gmail.com]

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