Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla has rejected the contention that Muslims are feeling insecure under the BJP-led regime and said the community has felt alienated since Independence because of the policies of successive Congress governments.
“Muslims are alienated because they are economically and educationally backward. Now people are saying these utterances (against Muslims) are making them feel alienated.
“It is not that today Muslims are feeling alienated. Muslims have been feeling alienated since Independence, because they have been relegated to such backward situation,” Heptulla told.
She was responding to a query whether objectionable comments and hate speeches by right wing elements were alienating the community under the Modi government.
“They were alienated already, relegated into backward situation, because they were educationally and economically alienated and social alienation is linked to it. This is the genesis of the whole situation. You just don’t feel alienated that somebody made a statement,” she asserted.
Attacking the Congress, the Minority Affairs Minister said in its successive regimes, the party only lent “vocal support” to Muslims while the present government has put things into motion through policy initiatives and programmes.
“During their rule, Sikhs were massacred. It was genocide. Did they take the responsibility? Today people are living in transit camps and they are talking about minorities,” Najma, who quit Congress in 2004, said.
The Minister, however, refused to react specifically to objectionable utterances by some BJP leaders and ministers or the controversy surrounding ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme and the ban on beef in some states.