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Saturday, March 22, 2008

End minority-majority divide to build national unity

Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha—Vrindavan, March 14-16, 2008
End minority-majority divide to build national unity

[In the following pages we are giving the full text of the resolutions adopted by the ABPS.]

The ABPS wants to remind the country that ever since the UPA Government came to power such blatant appeasement of minorities has become the order of the day. It was the Sachar Committee one day and Prime Minister’s 15-point Programme on the other.

The Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha (ABPS) regrets to note that the politics of minorityism has acquired dubious dimensions under the present dispensation at the Centre bringing back the sordid memories of the competitive minorityism witnessed in the pre-Partition era. Year after year this appeasement of certain religious communities is on the rise leading to serious communal polarisation in the country.

The ABPS, along with the entire nation, watched in dismay the Prime Minister taking lead by unveiling 11th Five Year Plan earmarking 15 per cent of outlays under various schemes exclusively for so-called minorities only. Following this the Finance Minister has turned his annual budget into an instrument of appeasement winning the epithet ‘Communal Budgeting’. The ABPS strongly condemns various elements of the Finance Minister’s budget speech like his provision for increasing the percentage of recruitment of minorities in Central Para Military Forces (CPMF). The ABPS sees in it a sinister design to divide our security forces on communal lines through back door and reminds him that the whole nation was up in arms against a similar attempt to create communal divisions in our Armed Forces by the same Government last year.

Various allocations in the budget smack of utter communalisation like the allocation of Rs. 1000 crore to the Minority Welfare Ministry which doesn’t have any proclaimed programme and Rs. 3780 crore to 90 so-called ‘Minority Concentration Districts’.

The ABPS wants to remind the country that ever since the UPA Government came to power such blatant appeasement of minorities has become the order of the day. It was the Sachar Committee one day and Prime Minister’s 15-point Programme on the other. One day the Prime Minister declares that ‘the minorities will have first right over country’s resources’ whereas it should have been the 26 crore poor brethren of our country who are leading pathetic lives Below Poverty Line. The Home Minister declares the next day that his Government is committed to providing reservations to minorities on the basis of religion knowing well that it is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution.

The ABPS notes with regret that taking cue from the Government at Centre certain State Governments too are indulging in crass minorityism. Declaration of a Rs. 5 crore subsidy for Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem made by the Government of Andhra Pradesh is one such example. The Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, showing scant respect for the higher judiciary, went ahead and announced reservations for Muslims and Christians in Government jobs. Post-Nandigram the West Bengal Government also unleashed unabashed minorityism by announcing 30 per cent budget allocation for minorities in the State. The Kerala Government, after constituting a committee for implementation of the controversial Sachar Committee recommendations, already made budget allocations for the same.

Another face of minorityism can be seen in the actions of certain State governments that betray their love for terrorist and communalist elements. The J&K Government has shocked all patriotic elements by announcing pension for the families of terrorists while the very same Government is betraying the attitude of utter communal discrimination against the Buddhists of Ladakh denying them basic rights like equal employment opportunities in State services, etc. While the Bihar Government’s eagerness in not only reopening but publicly calling for death sentence to the accused in the age-old Bhagalpur riots case is surprising, the Tamil Nadu Government’s utter disinterest in pursuing the case of Coimbatore blasts and securing punishment for the accused in that gory incident where 51 innocent people were killed baffles one and all.

In Karnataka, historical and sacred heritage sites like Hampi, capital of the famous Vijaya Nagar empire, have become a target for minority vandalism and illegal occupation with the Government authorities turning a total blind eye. Many ruined temples in Hampi are being converted into Dargahs. Eeranna temple near the holy Purandar Mantap has been converted into Honnur Sabi Dargah while the Mantap itself is being used as a place for cooking meat. The callous and negligent attitude of the State administration is reducing this World Heritage Site into a centre for unethical, anti-social and even terrorist activities.

The ABPS warns the Government of the pitfalls of such competitive minorityism. More concessions led to more demands which culminated in the ominous Two Nation mindset and truncation of the Motherland. The ABPS cautions the people that similar tendencies are resurfacing in the leadership of the Muslim community. The resolution passed at the much hyped Deoband meet against terrorism, while making a ritual condemnation of Islamic terrorism around the world, went after the Government and security agencies accusing them of harassing the Muslims in the country. It accused the Government of neglecting the interests of the Muslims and demanded many more concessions for the community. It even praised the banned terror outfit SIMI while heaping usual diatribe against the nationalist forces in the country.

The ABPS calls upon the people to wake up to the growing minority separatism in the country in the wake of rabid vote-bank communalism of the political establishment. The ABPS also wants to alert the country about the spread of ISI and radical Islamist network far and wide. Today the Wahabi terrorism has become home-grown as established by the unearthing of countless sleeper cells across the length and breadth of the country by our security agencies. The ABPS registers its appreciation for the courage and conviction of our security and intelligence establishment for continuing their hot pursuit of the terror mongers despite acute hostile political environment in the country.

It is unfortunate that notwithstanding the fact that the word ‘minority’ was never defined it is being misused for narrow communal and vote-bank politics.

The ABPS calls upon the right-thinking leaders of the Muslim and Christian communities to see through this dubious vote-bank game of minorityism that has actually left these communities not only poor and backward but also far removed from the national mainstream.

The ABPS reiterates its core conviction that the emphasis should be on the fundamental unity of the country. The ABPS demands that the Government put an immediate end to this politics of divisiveness and calls upon countrymen to put pressure on the political leadership to do away with minority-majority divide on religious basis.

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