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Published On:22 February 2013
Posted by Indian Muslim Observer

'Muslims should brace politics of development and politics of education': MJ Akbar

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: It looks that Gujarat CM Narendra Modi has hired some Muslims bigwigs to project his so-called development card. The latest to fall in line seems to be senior journalist, noted writer and former editor of The Asian Age MJ Akbar, who has chosen to ignore Modi's utterly communal facade and decided to echo Modi's parroted stance calling upon Muslims to free themselves from the “politics of fear” and brace “politics of development and politics of education.”

He was speaking as the guest of honour at the 5th annual convention of Muslim Writers Academy at the world renowned Peer Mohammed Shah Library in Ahmedabad on last Sunday, the 17th of February 2013.

Muslims, Akbar said, had seen enough of “politics of fear.” According to the noted journalist, time had now come for the community to think and self introspect. The time had come to change attitude and mindset. “Changing attitude and mindset is not easy but when the time demands a change, a change should be ushered in for power flows not from a sword but power flows from education.”

M.J. Akbar
Muslims should also start a process of regaining their self-confidence and leave behind the “politics of begging.” Akbar reminded the assembly that the Muslim community was full of talent and skills and just wanted an opportunity to show case their skills and talent. Secondly Muslims of India should also consider themselves as fortunate as India was a democratic country and all communities were empowered.

Though MJ. Akbar did not use the word of NaMO But it was widely understood that he spoke to spread the message of BJP. perhaps Mr. Akbar does not knoe the ground reality of Gujarat Muslims as thousands of Muslim students were deprived from Scholardhip under Modi rule.
As of this day, Modi has done every thing possible to deprive Muslim boys and girls of the non matric scholarship. The Central contribution of 9.5 crores is already with the State Government.

The state contribution is barely Rs. 4 crore. Modi who has spent thousands of crores on the likes of Tatas and Adanis, as well on his innumerable extavaganzas like Vibrant Gujarat, Sadbhavna, Vivekananda yatras etc, iis reluctant to spend this minor amount, bacause it benefits Muslims.
The continued degradation and brekdown ofthe economy of Muslims in Gujarat for a decade is not visible to MJ Akbar. The fact that the huge Muslim majority locality of Juhapura in Ahmedabad gets almost no civic facilities from the city of Ahmedabad.

This sorry situation of unemployment in Gujarat did not allow the state to advance into a prosperous state free from poverty.

Gujarat has a high 31.8 percent population living below poverty line, says a Planning Commission report. This is higher than several major states such as Jammu & Kashmir (13.2 percent), Kerala (19.7 per cent), Punjab (20.9 percent), Himachal Pradesh (22.9 percent), Haryana (24.1 percent), Tamil Nadu (28.9 percent) and Andhra Pradesh (29.9 percent).
Gujarat has a high 31.8 percent population living below poverty line, says a Planning Commission report.

This is higher than several major states such as Jammu & Kashmir (13.2 percent), Kerala (19.7 percent), Punjab (20.9 percent), Himachal Pradesh (22.9 percent), Haryana (24.1 percent), Tamil Nadu (28.9 percent) and Andhra Pradesh (29.9 percent). The report was submitted to the Commission by a group of experts, headed by Suresh D Tendulkar late last year.

Ranked eighth among major states, the only consolation for Gujarat is, Maharashtra, its neighbour and one of the main economic competitors, has a much higher incidence of poverty, 38.1 percent.

Poverty line for Gujarat monthly expenditure of Rs 501.58 per person in rural and Rs 659.18 in urban areas is based on National Sample Survey (NSS) norms fixed in 2005-06, which includes 'nutritional, educational and health outcomes', to quote from the report.

[Abdul Hafiz Lakhani is a senior Journalist based at Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Gujarat). He can be reached at lakhani63@yahoo.com or on his cell 09228746770]

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