TN Minorities Commission seeks exclusive dept to handle issues

October 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Issues, Minorities, National, newsletter-india, Persecution, Tamil Nadu

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Tamil Nadu, October 04, 2012: The best thing is to have a separate department to run Minority affairs or related works. In the present system, there is a Secretary and Commissioner (in Tamil Nadu), who function in different departments. If a single agency is set up, they may function better,” Commission Vice-Chairman Dr H T Sangliana told reporters. He said Manipur was the only state to have set up such an exclusive department.

Sangliana said special programmes for minority students could be fully implemented if there is such a department. He said various posts in the state minorities commission, including that of its chairman, are lying vacant since the AIADMK government came to power and should be filled as early as possible.

Sangliana said he had interacted with Additional Director General of Police to hold an exclusive recruitment for minority students in Tamil Nadu as part of a scheme to provide more job opportunities to them. He said he had also met minority community students and had a brief interaction with them yesterday. Sangliana said one of the major issues faced by these students in Tamil Nadu was lack of awareness on various scholarships and government schemes.

To a query on recent incidents of North East students leaving cities in South India to their home towns following rumours of attacks, he termed it as an “unnecessary exodus”.

– pti

EFI calls upon India to observe international obligations on human rights

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Rev. Dr. Richard Howell, General Secretary, Evangelical Fellowship of India

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

New Delhi, October 1, 2012: EFI calls upon India to observe international obligations on human rights; regrets India’s negative stance at UNHRC Universal Periodic review on Communal Violence Prevention legislation, Dalit Christians, and recalling so called “Freedom of Religion Acts” by States.

The Evangelical Fellowship of India welcomes the Indian Government’s assurances of its commitment to Human Rights and specially the Rights of Religious and other minorities, reiterated its Universal Periodic Review under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council at its sessions from March to September 2012 at Geneva. The EFI however deeply regrets that the Government has deliberately ignored urgent international and entreaties for an early enactment of laws against communal and targetted violence, an abrogation of the so called Freedom of Religion legislation several states, and accepting the long-pending demand of Dalit Christians for their Constitutional rights.
The Indian and global human rights activists’ community has noted that the Government of India’s response to the 169 recommendations of the UNHRC reflected a pattern of only accepting recommendations that were generalized and broadly worded, lacking a targeted course of action directed to tackle discrimination and specific human rights challenges. Recommendations pertaining to specific as well as serious human rights issues were rejected, despite the Council’s expressed concern.
It is widely regretted that India has not accepted recommendations asking to create a comprehensive framework to deal effectively with the particular circumstances of communal or targeted violence. The government says communal violence is only a sporadic problem. We religious minorities contest this argument as we continue to be violently attacked in a number of states. As we have seen in Kandhamal and Karnataka specially, victims are also not able to access justice. And this situation, we fear, will continue to be repeated in future unless some immediate steps are taken by the government to prevent and pre-empt acts of communal violence.
The Evangelical Fellowship of India therefore most respectfully urges the government to bring forth the Bill on prevention of Communal and Targetted Violence, including issues of compensation rehabilitation, and reparation, at the earliest. We note that such a Bill was drafted by the National Advisory Council in 2011 and given to the government. This Bill should be taken out of cold storage, refined in consonance with principles of federalism, and enacted as law to effectively bring an end to communal strife which has ravaged this country in the last six decades.
The EFI also urges the Government to take necessary legislative and legal steps to recall the so called Freedom of Religion Acts promulgated in several states. These Acts are being used to harass and intimidate religious minorities, and in particular the Christian Community and their pastors, house churches and community gatherings.
Above all, the EFI calls upon the government to grant Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Christians as recommended by the Justice Rangnath Misra Commission, the National Commission of Minorities and the National Commission for Scheduled Castes. Not giving Dalit Christians this status amounts to discrimination on grounds of religion and denial of Freedom of religion to India’s Dalits.
Ending such discrimination and taking steps to pre-empt communal violence will go a long way in burnishing India’s image internationally as a secular democracy which is a haven for religious minorities, dreamt of by Nobel laureate Rabindra Nath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
– rev. dr. richard

TDP’s ‘Muslim declaration’ has placed the community on cloud nine

October 1, 2012 by  
Filed under Election, Issues, Minorities, National, newsletter-india

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`Andhra Pradesh, September 29, 2012: 10% quota in job and education; 8% quota in assembly; Rs. 2,500 Crores in annual budget

Perks for Andhra Pradesh Muslims were driven high in the Minority convention of Telugu Desam Party. Promises which sound highly tempting are being laid for Muslims by the largest regional party in Andhra Pradesh.

Party’s Chief and former chief minister N. Chandra Babu Naidu wearing a ‘Rumi topi’ flanked by other senior TDP leaders in skull caps, addressed the convention at N.T.R. Bhavan, party’s headquarters and caught every participant in enthusiasm with the raining sops for Muslims ‘if voted back to power’. Although Mr. Naidu seemed more than confident that he will be the next CM of the state, he asked Muslims to vote for him and the reasons he gave was not one.

His list of promises was so extensive that his whole speech started and ended on assurances. However, he managed to slam Congress govt. in between. He held Congress party responsible for the condition of Muslims not only in A.P. but all over India. ‘For decades Congress has used Muslims only as their vote bank, they don’t have any serious concern for Muslim community’ charged Mr. Naidu. TDP chief was also candid enough to term his past alliance with BJP as ‘biggest mistake of my life’, and assured that situation will never arise again.

The first promise he made is to expand the annual Budget for Muslims from Rs 480cr to Rs 2500cr, almost five times bigger than the present budget in a separate sub plan as provided for SC and ST. He promised on the lines of Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission recommendations 5 lakh rupees loan will be provided without interest to the Muslim youths to start businesses, Rs. 50,000 loan will be provided to develop an existing business. Special self-help groups for Muslim women will be formed with a govt. grant of Rs. 20,000, for marriages of poor Muslim girls Rs. 50,000 will be provided as subsidy.

The foremost promise made by TDP chief was regarding reservation. He assured Muslim community that if voted back to power, his govt. will provide 10% reservation in educational and employment sector. However, he failed to explain how his govt. will provide such a major percentage, when Congress govt. has to fight legal battles to implement even less than half of it i.e. 4%. Mr. Naidu didn’t stop here in the reservation game. He batted strongly for political reservation for Muslims, and he assured them he will take steps to assure at least 8% reservation in A.P. legislative assembly and will pressurize central govt. for the same in the parliament.

Mr. Naidu also assured Muslims that his party will not interfere in Muslim personal law and will make endeavors to provide Rs. 5,000 for Imams and Rs. 3,000 for Muazzin of the mosques which are financially weak. He also promised if voted back to power he will change the face of AP. Wakf board which according to him is being transformed as most corrupt institution, and land allotting agency for politicians by Congress govt. and to straighten wakf board he planned to form wakf tribunals in all three regions of Andhra Pradesh.

Mr. Naidu also made an unexpected promise. TDP which is known for its long hostility for Urdu language promised that in any school in village, town or city if at least 20 students are ready to study Urdu govt. will provide facilities for the same in order to promote the language.

The major promise and might be the most decisive one which can change the course of the state elections, TDP chief promised that his party will allot 25 tickets to Muslims for Assembly and parliament and will ensure victory of at least 15 of the candidates.

Mr. Chandra Babu Naidu termed his party’s promises for Muslims as ‘Muslim empowerment policy’, and he designated 2012 TDP minority convention as ‘Muslim declaration of TDP’. The convention was also addressed by Ahmed Shariff, general secretary of the party, Zahid Ali Khan, polit bureau member and editor of Siasat Urdu daily, former M.P. Lal Jaan Basha, former minister N.M.D. Saleem, former chairman of wakf board Mohammed Saleem and others.

– tcn

CSF: What about Christians? Muslims at the bottom of healthcare: Kapil Sibal

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Kapil Sibal, minister for HRD, communications and IT

Kapil Sibal, minister for HRD, communications and IT

Uttar Pradesh, September 30, 2012: Kapil Sibal, minister for HRD, communications and IT Saturday said that the Muslim community in India was at the “bottom of the pile” as far as healthcare was concerned.

“It is unfortunate, but health parameters indicate that the Muslim community in India are at the bottom of the pile. We face great challenges in the field of health. Our health services in rural areas are inadequate, availability of doctors and trained health personnel is far from satisfactory, Sibal said while addressing an audience at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU).

He added: “The cost of healthcare is creeping up beyond the reach of the common people. Lower level of education and income, which are important social determinants of our nation’s health, also severely affect health outcomes in rural areas as well as amongst the Muslim community.”

Sibal was the chief guest at the ceremony held to observe the golden jubilee of the college.

He also called upon AMU students to play their due role “by coming forward and fulfilling the dreams of their founding father, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, by playing a lead role in serving their environment through poverty and illness elimination programmes”.

Earlier, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ghulam Nabi Azad inaugurated the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, built at a cost of Rs.397.81 lakh.

Azad also laid down the foundation stone for the upgradation of Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College hospital under Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Suraksha Yojna (PMSSY), Phase-II at a cost of Rs.150 lakh.

Addressing the golden jubilee celebrations of J.N. Medical College at the Kennedy Auditorium, Azad announced that 19 medical colleges of the country including J.N. Medical College were being upgraded to the level of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

He also announced that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare would provide all financial grants and amenities at par with those of top central government hospitals in New Delhi.

– ians