The Muslim community remains more or less ignorant of their constitutional rights still, National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions chairman M.S.A. Siddiqui has said.

He was addressing a press meet here on Monday. “They (Muslims) are still sleeping over the rights assured to them by the Constitution,” he said.

Maintaining that the general status of the Muslims in southern States was much superior when compared to that of the Muslims in northern India, Mr. Siddiqui, however, said that they still had to attain sufficient levels of awareness of the rights and privileges assured to them by the Constitution.

Comparing the general awareness of different minority communities in the country of the rights assured to them by the Constitution, Mr. Siddiqui said the Christian community was far ahead in enjoying what was due to them in a ‘systematic way' while the Muslims were far behind in effectively claiming what was due to them. “It is quite visibly so even in Kerala,” he said.

Stating that the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions had disposed of as many as 9,000 complaints it had received, Mr. Siddiqui said that around 1,200 cases were now pending before it. More than 50 per cent of both settled and pending complaints were from Kerala.

Mr. Siddiqui said that any of the minority communities could approach the commission if it had a genuine grievance including delays in getting a minority status certificate or a no-objection certificate for CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) affiliation for their institution. Action will be taken on any complaint in less than 90 days.

Shabistan Gaffar, chairperson, National Committee on Girls Education, Kerala coordinator of the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions P.A. Hamza and others were present.

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