Posts Tagged ‘Minorities’

‘If there’re no trains for Muslims and Christians…’

24 April 2013

When the Union minister for minority affairs, K. Rehman Khan, announced last November a move to set up five central universities across the country where 50% of the seats would be reserved for the minorities, it quickly became an inter-communal debate, with various BJP functionaries in Karnataka joining the fray.

Ahead of assembly elections in Karnataka, the move also served to add to the stereotype.

Mohamed Shareef, writing in Deccan Herald, helps break it somewhat:

“Some people of Mysore, under the influence of vested interests, have demanded a separate university for the community and that it has to be named  ‘Tipu University’. The very idea of a separate university for Muslims is not acceptable because Muslims do not have any separate identity in this country.

“All Indians, whether you are a Muslim or a Christian, belong to the one and the same common identity and heritage. Foreign religions have been accepted and respected in this country because of the secular and broadminded attitude of the Hindu majority.

“In one way all Indians are Hindus because Hinduism is not a religion but a way of life.

“Different cultures and ceremonies certainly add colour and vibrancy to our social fabric but the over-emphasis of the diversity is useful only from a tourist point of view. The more diversity we can boast of, the more tourists we can attract.  Apart from these utilitarian points of view, the religious sentiments of the people of any nation has to be accommodated in the broader interests of national unity and national identity.

“We do not run separate trains for Muslims and Christians because the function of a train is to transport people and not to express religious identities.  Similarly a university is a place to receive education and to conduct research and it is not a forum for expressing religious views. We do not have a separate physics teacher for Muslims because the learning of physics follows only one method of science as followed all over the world by the scientific community.

“It is high time we kept our religious sentiments away from the mainstream of the civil society. “

Read the full article: Is there a Hindu or Muslim train?

Also read: Should a University be named after Tipu Sultan?

Tipu Sultan and the truth about 3,000 Brahmins

CHURUMURI POLL: Tipu Sultan vs Kempe Gowda?

Time to save S.L. Bhyrappa from Hindutva brigade

In a flat world, we are all ‘minorities’ in a way

18 April 2009

Infosys founder-chairman and chief mentor, N.R. Narayana Murthy in an interview with Shantanu Guha Ray of Tehelka:

“It is extremely important for India to be a secular country. Every section of society must feel that they belong to society, that they are first-class citizens.

“If we start looking at ourselves in terms of a minority, there are zillions of kinds of minorities in this country! I speak Kannada at home, I am in a minority. If I speak English outside, I’m in a minority. If I’m an engineer, I am in a minority. I can go on creating differences. On the other hand, what is common between you and me is how we can work together.”

Read the full interview: ‘Rich can’t live in a make-believe world’

CHURUMURI POLL: No mercy for the minorities?

19 December 2007

Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi has said at the National Development Council meeting today that a key stipulation in the 11th Plan that earmarks 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various development schemes and programmes for the minorities should be reviewed “in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation”. “Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds based on minority status, will not help the cause if taking the people of India together on the path of development is the aim,” Modi said.

Questions: Should the minority status of beneficiaries be taken into account as the Centre maintains? Or is Modi right in contending that only the socio-economic status of beneficiaries should be the criterion? In the interests of uniform application of rules, should the Centre decide how the programmes should be implemented? Or should the implementation be left to the discretion of participating States? If socio-economic status is used as a parameter for the minorities, shouldn’t it be for the majority, too? Or is Modi playing a kind of votebank politics just like the UPA?