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Khurshid clarifies his ‘controversial’ views on Sachar Report

June 30, 2011 by  
Filed under India, Persecution

Salman Khurshid clarifies his ‘controversial’ views on Sachar Report

Salman Khurshid

New Delhi: Four days after calling for critical examination of Sachar Report as, in his view, some of its aspects could lead to ghettoisation of Muslims, and consequently instigating a war of words among some eminent members of the community, Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid, in an exclusive interview with TwoCircles.net, clarified his views about the report.

Mr. Khursheed has repeated, that there are aspects of the Sachar report, which if implemented, will lead to Muslims’ ghettoization but he has also clarified that he has not questioned the credibility and the data of the report.

“Sachar Committee Report or aspects of Sachar Committee Report need to be critically examined to ensure that it doesn’t lead to ghettoization,” said Khursheed.

“By critically examining we meant obviously not the complete report because we have already accepted almost ninety percent of the recommendations. There are few aspects of the report which lead towards the direction of ghettoization. Don’t we have the right to question and critically analyze those aspects,” asks the anguished Minister.

He points out an instance from that “aspect of Sachar” which will alienate the community and not integrate it within the mainstream. For instance Indian Wakf Service which is one of the recommendations of Sachar report on Wakf. The Sachar report recommends a separate Wakf cadre in Indian Administrative Services recruited through the UPSC for the proper management of Wakf properties.

A section of the Muslim community has been criticizing Salman Khursheed for “ignoring” Sachar recommendations on Wakf and the recommendations of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Wakf.

“We want equity with integration and not equity with separation. If you have a cadre of Muslim officers under the government, what else is ghettoization,” asks Khursheed.
 
“I believe all officers should be available to Muslim institutions. If you want Muslim officers for Wakf, take them from all India service. You can’t create a special service for Muslims,” adds Khursheed.

“You want Public Premises Act to apply to Wakf. If it applies to Wakf, why should not it be applied to other religious trusts?” says the Minister adding that “We have the right to critically examine to ensure that we are not moving into the direction of ghettoization. That’s all.”

Khursheed also points out that it’s not only Sachar’s critical examination but “ there should be critical analysis of every minority schemes should be done so that they don’t lead to ghettoization.”

Although Khursheed also adds that this recommendation by Sachar was rejected by the government, “even before I came, it was found by the government as ‘not feasible.”

Not Questioning Sachar

Khursheed also categorically denies questioning the credibility of Sachar. Clarifying the context of his actual statement, he clarifies, “I am not initiating the questioning of Sachar. Neither am I questioning the credibility of Sachar. Any body saying that I am questioning the credibility or the data of Sachar, is wrong.”

Praising the Sachar report Khursheed says that, “There is no question of change of stand on Sachar as far we are concerned. Sachar report is the best thing which has ever happened in India. Its recommendations on education and reservation are outstanding. Its proposal of Equal opportunity Commission is my passion which I ham fighting for,” adds Khursheed.

Agenda of Ghettoization

Since last few months there has started a war of words between Salman Khursheed and a section of leaders from the Muslim community, which, as Khursheed claims, has opened a “campaign against him.”

Prominent of them, as Khursheed says, is led by Zafar Mahmood, who was also the Officer on Special Duty to the Sachar Committee. Soon after Khursheed gave the statement asking for “critical examination” of Sachar, Zafar Mahmood along with few other community leaders drafted a letter asking for his resignation for “over-ruled the pivotal recommendations of the JPC on Waqfs without giving any reasons thereof while presenting the Waqf Bill in Parliament.”
 
Khursheed on the other hand says that most of the recommendations which haven’t been incorporated in the Bill were not because they were found not feasible today.

He further asks, “Why not JPC on Harshad Mehta, is being implemented? Why not JPC on Air India is being implemented?”

“This is ghettoization. What happens across the board doesn’t concern us. What concerns us is the JPC on Wakf and what concerns us is that unless you accept the complete JPC on Wakf we will say you are anti-Muslims,” says Khursheed.

Hitting out at the section of the community which criticizes him for being “anti-Muslim” Khursheed says, “So what I am saying is that there is an agenda for ghettoization which gets upset whenever I speak that there should not be ghettoization.”

“What is ghettoization? Its ghettoization of mind,” says Khursheed saying that “Integration with equality is EOC and separation with non-discrimination is minorities’ commission.”

“Why hasn’t a single voice raised in my support of the Equal Opportunity Commission (EOC) which I have been raising since it was recommended by the Sachar? Why not these guys who have opened a campaign against me, appreciate even a single thing which is being done by this ministry,” asks Khursheed.

Hinting at the political agenda behind attacks on his from this group, Khursheed says, “we just want to attack our Muslim Minister because once he goes there is a space for us.”

Khursheed says that he is against nothing but “ghettoization” and the agenda of ghettoization which a section of the Muslim leaders apparently have.

“There are people who don’t want integration and if we don’t seek integration, equality will come under question mark,” adds Khursheed.

Talking about one Mr. Lekhi who approached court against Sachar, Khursheed says that, “People question what we are doing for Muslims because of the articulation that Sachar is for Muslims.”

“What we are saying is that Sachar is for citizens of India who are Muslims,” concludes the Minister.

– Md. Ali (TwoCircles.net)

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