Citing the issues of identity and security, education and empowerment and a fair representation in decision making process as the core issues confronting Indian Muslim community, Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari opined that the state has to develop the strategies to address the said problems. Emphasising the need of an “affirmative action”, the Vice President further added that it is the responsibility of the state to “correct” the principal problems of exclusion and discrimination faced by the minority community.
“It is evident from the compendium of official reports that the principal problems confronting India’s Muslims relate to: identity and security; education and empowerment; equitable share in the largesse of the state; and fair share in decision making,” VP Md. Hamid Ansari said on Monday during the inauguration of the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat Golden Jubilee in New Delhi.
“The shortcomings in regard to each have been analysed threadbare. The challenge before us today is to develop strategies and methodologies to address them,” the Vice President added.
Lauding the incumbent BJP-led central government’s oft-repeated objective of ‘sab ka sath, sab ka vikas‘ as “commendable”, the Vice President said that a pre-requisite for this is an “affirmative action” to ensure a common starting point.
“Inequality traps prevent the marginalised and work in favour of the dominant groups in society,” Mr Ansari said.
Calling it a responsibility of the state to take necessary steps in dealing with the issue like exclusion and discrimination, including the failure to provide security, he was of an open view that “the corrective has to be both at the policy and the implementation levels”.
Emphasising that the Indian experience of a large Muslim minority living in secular polity should even be a model for others to emulate, the Vice President further stressed that the nation must also develop the ways and means for the minority community to address the issue like empowerment, getting equitable share in states wealth and fair share in decision making process.
Vice President Hamid Ansari also referred to Kundu report, which was commissioned to review the implementation of the much-talked Sachar Committee report on welfare of Muslim community.
“Major sections of it (Muslim community) remained trapped in a vicious circle, and in a culturally defensive posture that hinders self advancement,” the Vice President said adding, “Modernity is a tainted expression”.
The Vice President also called upon the community organisations like Majlis-e-Mushawarat to play a vital role which should go beyond looking at the questions of identity and dignity in a defensive mode and explore how both can be furthered in a changing India and world.
“This effort has to be made in the context of Indian conditions and the uniqueness of its three dimensions such as plural, secular and democratic,” VP Hamid Ansari summed up.
(With inputs from the PTI)