Amendments brought in the Delimitation Act could help them to some extent: Union Minister for Minority Affairs

Union Minister for Minority Affairs K. Rahman Khan has stated that poor awareness among Muslims has been the major impediment in accessing government schemes by the community, even as he admitted defects in the delivery systems.

“Defective delivery mechanisms are not a problem just to minorities’ schemes but it’s glitch for all schemes implemented by governments in the country. However, lack of proper awareness about the schemes being designed and implemented for Muslims has been denying them of the opportunities,” the Minister felt while participating in a debate on the implementation of Sachar Committee recommendations here on Friday. He noted that the Centre had accepted 72 out of 76 recommendations made by the committee but could not implement three aspects due to some technical reasons. He said that they were in the process of putting in practice national diversity index, preparing a data bank and setting up an equal opportunities commission.

Faulting NGOs (non-governmental organisations) for not involving them much in the implementation of schemes for Muslims the Union Minister said they were planning to set up NGOs’ advisory councils from national to block level to improve their participation.

Responding to remarks and suggestions of other panel members – Amitabh Kundu of JNU, Zahed Ali Khan, Editor of Siasat, Wajahat Habibullah, Chairperson of National Committee for Minorities, and others – the Minister said it was not possible to implement political reservation for Muslims but the amendments brought in the Delimitation Act could help them to some extent in future.

On the “attitude of hatred towards Muslims whenever the incidents of terrorism occur” the Union Minister said change must come in the society and the social inclusion of Muslims could help overcome the problem.

Later, at the valedictory of a conference on the “Status of Muslim women in Indian sub-continent” in Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) Mr. Rahman Khan said reservation to Muslims in education and employment had limited purpose and it was not a solution for their emancipation.

Social activist from Gujarat Teesta Seetalvad said Muslim women must overcome patriarchy, prejudice and majoritarianism to put an end to their oppression.

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