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Opinion: Multiculturalism is the essence and strength of India

By Farooq Ahmad and Asma

The uniqueness of India lies in its diversity there are varied types of people with different religions living in the country. Everyone has its social norms and own ways of worshipping, and it is this Multiculturalism which is the essence and strength of this country.

Let us talk about the policies of the Indian Government for the development of Muslims in the country. The Indian state is the welfare state, and the welfare state plays a crucial role in the protection and promotion of the social and economic well-being of its citizens. In this state, the government must provide the requirements to its citizens without any discrimination or preference towards any religion or caste or group. Aside from this, the constitution of the country emphasizes the right to equality fraternity and justice in irrespective of caste gender and faith. According to the law of the land, every citizen has equal right to take the access to the Government welfare programmes.

The majority of the population in the country is our non Muslim brothers, and after them the number comes to the Muslims. However, when we look towards Muslims, the image is very pathetic and miserable. The socio-economic conditions of Muslims are meager as compared to the other religious communities. The Muslim community is facing dual impediments in the country on how to raise the economic status, and other is how to maintain their cultural and religious identity. The areas dominated by the Muslims lack the necessary infrastructure and modern quality institutions. However, what we Muslims are doing are we pondering on these issues, which are vital for the survival in the country because unless we do not try to change our selves, nobody can change and rescue us.

Various government reports have already highlighted that the condition of Muslims in the country. On the other hand, the government made claims that there are different schemes for the development of the Minorities as the Muslim community comes in the category of minorities and there are also constitutional provisions that give them right to safeguard their culture and heritage.

Indian Muslims2However, if we see the minority, there are various other groups in the list of minority and for all these groups the government has developed the plans. Now think how much would be the portion of these policies utilized for the Muslim community in the country. These handful of plans for the large population of Muslims are also not administered efficiently and always remain with short of funds. Moreover, one cannot skip the impediments that the Muslims are facing while accessing these little policies. These policies are not enough for the development of Muslim population that is profoundly in the flood of poverty.

Recently the Niti Agog released the data of the most backward 20 districts of the country in which 11 districts were the Muslim dominated districts. Therefore, this is the matter to heed as the population that is after the majority population in the country is in such a position. The people who give the slogans of inclusive development during their lectures and election rallies are just political speeches the ground reality is very different. It needs the Multidimensional and holistic approach to address the deep-rooted concerns of the Muslims.

After the Sachar committee report, The UPA government of that time took some measures, but the question is how much of the recommendations of the Sachar committee has been implemented. The Kundu committee (2013) showed the actual position of the recommendations of the Sachar committee. The committee reported that Muslims are still out of the Government jobs. The schemes under 15 point Prime Ministers programme lacks the sufficient funds, the problem of the dropout rate is still high, and there is lack of health facilities in the Muslim dominated areas of the country, which results in these Muslims face lot of troubles during the diseases.

The second issue is that the Muslims are not well aware of these small programmes of the government.E ven we have seen in Delhi while talking with the Muslim youth in Nizamuddin area and with the students of Jamia Millia, it was found most of the students are unaware about these tiny programmes of the Government. The thing, which I see after the intensive discussions with the Muslim students that most of these students are not, interested in discussing this type of issues related to the polices. So when our youth are not interested in the Matters that are very important for us then how we can articulate the voice against the discrimination. If we want to come out from the cloud of poverty then first we to unite and organize the movement, which will work as a pressure, group and raised the demands through the means of democracy.

In the present times instead of the development of the marginalized sections, the politics of emotions is played to gain the political motives. The questions were raised on the identity issues, religious issues instead of the developmental concerns of the weaker sections of the country. Every day the T.V debates have discussed the problems, which has nothing, doing with the pages of development it looks the atmosphere is escalated which is not suitable for the development of the country.

[Farooq Ahmad and Asma are Research Scholars at Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand. Farooq has worked briefly as a researcher in Indian parliament, while Asma is UGC Senior Research Fellow. He can be reached at [email protected]]

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