Dr. Shariff's Comments on a Recent Discourse by Sri. Salman Khursheed on Sachar Report
When a politician is cornered, this is how he will speak - unintelligent and illogical.
He is facing the heat and practically boiled in 100 degree centigrade on the Wakf issue. But his general direction that Muslims should get going on mainstreaming and reaching out to other departments is in fact Sachar Philosophy and directions. Note that many Minsters have told me that indeed Sachar Report is used as a Bible for charting out pro-poor, pro-deprived and minority empowerment strategies.
Note his (Salman Khursheed’s) comment on EQC - this is also Sachar recommendation, then how can he be so critical in the beginning, this is an example of double standards. Salman bhai will have a lot to explain.
The Minister has lot to answer as to how he will eliminate large deficit in achievement levels which Muslims have encountered during the last 60 years or so. This has occurred mostly due to discriminatory practices followed by successive governments including the CONGRESS governments both at the Centre and the many states. Sachar recommendations are sensitive to mainstreaming and as it does that, it points to the areas in which discrimination has occurred and Muslims have suffered.
The reservation practices in India are discriminatory and have almost removed Muslims from its ambit at the national level and most states. So are access to higher education and even primary schools. Public employment, the Centre is the most discriminatory. The banking sector has almost removed the Muslims from its programs. Note that I am using the word discriminatory too frequently in this note, but Sachar report - the committee consciously avoided using this word, just to save the face of the government in power and we used some diplomacy; otherwise this report very clearly highlight the discriminatory practices. My new research is strong in highlighting how mainstreaming is not pursued by governments themselves and how public spaces are denied to minorities. Let the Minister come out with a strategy to being diversity in public spaces (Schools, Universities, Urban Living spaces, government employment ......) which this ministry is silent about since past 5 years.
Note that I am marking a copy of this email to Salman bhai. I hope he will garner enough courage and seek support from his cabinet colleagues so as to officially sponsor a comprehensive evaluation of the 5-years after Sachar which will lay bare the truth. Note also that unintelligent reviews will begin appearing both in media and discourses during the next two years, and they will damage the credibility of the Congress Government. Therefore, it would be in the interest of the people of India, to come out with officially sponsored but independent review of the inclusive development reforms in India which have been undertaken during post Sachar.
I am also making this email to Just. Sachar and other members whose email I have retained in my address book.
THE INDIAN EXPRESS FRONT PAGE STORY - June 28, 2011
Khursheed says Sachar report not Quran, sparks off war of words
Seema Chishti Posted: Jun 28, 2011 at 0301 hrs
New Delhi Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed’s remarks in Chennai last week questioning the Sachar report’s recommendations and urging Muslims to think of national issues, not just their narrow interests, has set off a raging debate in the community.
Delivering a lecture, ‘Minorities of India: Issues and Challenges,’ at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women last Saturday, Khursheed said that the Sachar Committee Report was not the Quran which cannot be questioned. “The recommendations of Sachar Committee Report are not divine like (the) Quran; they can be wrong also and that’s why one must approach them critically,” he reportedly said.
In 2006, the PM’s High Level Committee, led by Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar, had highlighted how Muslims trailed the rest of the country in almost all social indicators — from education to employment — and had recommended a set of reform measures. Sources said this is now being used as a benchmark by many Muslim advocacy groups and any questioning provokes a barrage of criticism.
No wonder then that the Minister’s remarks in Chennai have led Abu Saleh Shariff, economist and the high-profile Secretary of the Sachar Committee, to write an open letter to Khursheed — posted in an online discussion group, USIPI — ticking off the Congress at the Centre.
He criticizes the Minister for his comments urging Muslims to “mainstream” in an environment where they are discriminated against. He writes: “The Minister has a lot to answer as to how will he eliminate large deficit in achievement levels which Muslims have encountered during the last 60 years or so. This has occurred mostly due to discriminatory practices followed by successive governments including the Congress governments both at the Centre and the many states. Sachar recommendations are sensitive to mainstreaming and...points to the areas in which discrimination has occurred and Muslims have suffered.”
Shariff, who has been critical of the BJP and even Left-ruled states in the past, has written that “reservation” policy in India is discriminatory and keeps Muslims out of its ambit at the national level and in most states. “So are access to higher education and even primary schools. (On) public employment, the Centre is the most discriminatory. The banking sector has almost removed the Muslims from its programs.”
In something which may embarrass the government, he adds: “Pl(ease) note I am using the word discriminatory too frequently in this note but the Sachar report ...consciously avoided using this word, just to save the face of the government in power and we used some diplomacy; otherwise this report very clearly highlight the discriminatory practices. My new research is strong in highlighting how mainstreaming is not pursued by governments themselves and how public spaces are denied to minorities. Let the Minister come out with a strategy to bring diversity in public spaces (Schools, Universities, Urban Living spaces, government employment ...) which this ministry is silent about (for the) past five years.”
Shariff endorses the Minority Ministry’s view on the setting up of the Equal Opportunities Commission and says that it’s an idea based on Sachar’s recommendations.
Speaking to The Indian Express from Ranchi, Khursheed said that “several Sachar recommendations were being followed.” He said the debate is about how to approach the issue of helping Muslims. He underlined that he was against looking at just Muslims as the minority and not others.
“Exclusive delivery to Muslims as against ensuring equitable share amongst all citizens,” was not something he supported, he said. “In that context, I have requested a critical appraisal to ensure these are not used for ghettoization. It’s in this context that I said, for Muslims only the Quran cannot be questioned. All other books and documents are subject to critical scrutiny.”
When contacted, Sachar said: “As a matter of judicial propriety, I don’t comment on my report but Abu Saleh Shariff was a very learned and valued member of the committe
Salman Khursheed's Controversial Statements
Sachar report may lead to Muslims’ ghettoization, says Salman Khursheed | By Md. Ali, TwoCircles.net, New Delhi:
In an important development, marking a radical shift in the UPA government’s approach, from pre-Sachar to post-Sachar period, the Union Minister of Minorities Affairs Salman Khursheed has questioned, both the credibility of the Sachar report and blind acceptance of its recommendations.
Speaking at a function in Chennai on June 25, Khursheed said that “the recommendations of Sachar Committee Report are not divine like Quran; they can be wrong also and that’s why one must approach them critically.”
Khursheed was delivering a talk on ‘Minorities of India: Issues and Challenges,' at the Justice Basheer Ahmed Sayeed College for Women.
Explaining his point further Khursheed said, by critical approach he meant that the overall impact and benefits of Sachar report on Muslims must be analyzed before accepting the report in letter and spirit.
Cautioning the community from uncritical following of the Sachar report, Khursheed said that it might benefit the community in the short term but it could also lead to its further ghettoization which will be disastrous for the community in the long term as it will prevent the community’s mainstreaming.
The Rajinder Sachar Committee which appointed by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India in March 2005, was a high level committee for preparation of a report on the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community of India.
Union Minister of Water Resources and Minorities Affairs, Salman Khurshid, speaking at a function, Moosa Raza, Chairman SIET Trust on extreme left
The Minister also advised the community not to expect and approach only the Minorities Affairs Ministry (MMA) because the MMA was supposed to cater to the needs of other minorities as well. He implied that the MMA can’t provide solution to each and every problem of Muslims. For some problems they need to approach other ministries as well. For instance Muslims, Khursheed said, should approach the Ministry of Human Resources and Development (MHRD), which had a budget 10 times bigger than that of his ministry.
“The Minorities Affairs Ministry has only Rs 5,000 crore as its budget. If the community is dependent on only this ministry it will be devoid of funds from other ministries like the Ministry of Human Resources Development which has funds of more than Rs 65,000 crore. Moreover, this ministry doesn’t cater only to Muslims,” he added.
Khursheed wanted the Ministry of Minority Affairs to evolve into Ministry for Equal Opportunities, “Once the Equal Opportunities Commission, which was recommended by Sachar report, is finalized we may actually start thinking of a new structure of the ministry,” he added.
Cautioning the Muslim community of limiting themselves only to the community centered issues, Khursheed also exhorted them to think on larger issues like corruption, human rights and Naxalism.
“Why are Muslims silent on the Lokpal issue or on the issue of freedom for Binayak Sen,” he asked.
Khursheed a politician from the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, praised the works done by the community leaders in South in areas of education. He appealed the Muslims of south India to migrate and bridge the north-south divide by opening up quality institutions in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
Talking about the performance of the MMA on pre and post-Matric scholarship, Khursheed said that last year the MMA disbursed 44 lakh scholarships in the pre-matric, five lakh in post-matric categories and 750 PhD scholarships. In the coming year, the MMA will issue 60 lakh matric and post matric and 1,400 PhD scholarships in the coming year.
Importantly the Minister said that, the Central government was contemplating on universalisation of the scholarship with every child qualifying for a scholarship getting it.