Courtesy : shankhnaad.net
India is a Hindu majority nation but Muslims are the second larget majority at around 30 Crore in population. There are various schemes dedicated to Muslims by central and state governments. Any party bringing this schemes gets a massive vote bank swing vital for their survival in elections. Any party that wishes to roll back such biased schemes fear a secular backlash.
We will take a stock of these schemes. But here the important point is that many of these schemes are run not of the basis of income group of the Muslims. These schemes are devised on religious grounds, so even if you are a rich Muslim, you can get the benefits of the various schemes.
Kerala and Gujarat have emerged as the top two states in India where poverty among Muslims in both rural and urban areas declined drastically in the last 8 years, according to the National Sample Survey (NSS) statistics. For over six decades, successive Central Governments and various State Governments have passed a whopping number of Bills and schemes that favour minorities at the expense of the majority. In wake of the recommendations made by the Sachar Commission reportfor the economic upliftment of the Muslims in India, both central and state government have launched several schemes for their welfare. Let us have a look at some of these schemes:
Schemes in Andhra Pradesh:
Tatkal financial support scheme: This scheme is to help poor Muslims who are in need of petty loans. Under this scheme a loan up to Rs. 20,000/- will be given to an individual. The object of this scheme is to give focused attention on target group that is Muslims. In this scheme 2000 Minority unprivileged women beneficiaries shall be benefited with State Government Subsidy amounting to Rs.300.00 Lakhs during the year 2015-16.
Small loan scheme: This is another scheme for minorities under which they can get financial assistance up to Rs.20,000/. Under Small Loan scheme 6000 Minorities will be benefited with State Government Subsidy amounting to Rs. 900.00 lakhs during the year 2015-16.
Adarana scheme: This is meant to improve the working conditions of the Minority artisans in the State. Govt. of Andhra Pradesh has initiated minority artisans assistance Scheme for people working in the fields of tailoring, embroidery, weaving, goldsmith, blacksmith, carpentry, wooden carving, cycles & scooter mechanism etc. “ADARANA” essentially focuses on providing loan with bank linkage for procurement of hand tools, hand held powered tools and small equipment. Under Adarana Scheme 9,823 Minority Artisans will be benefited with State Government Subsidy amounting to Rs. 1050.00 lakhs during the year 2015-16.
Dukan-Makan Scheme: It is intended to provide Pucca House with work place along with working capital for running own business. Under Dukan-Makan Scheme 1,000 Minority beneficiaries shall be benefited of which 500 from Urban and 500 from Rural areas with State Government Subsidy amounting to Rs. 818.00 lakhs during the year 2015-16.
Schemes in Bihar
In Bihar there is a scheme for students studying in minority institutions and Madrasas. Students from class 1 to 10th can get scholarships. For students from class 6th to 10th there is provision of paying them 350 rs. per month. For students staying in hostels, they will be paid 6000 rs annually.
Interest free loan to Muslims: Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar has presented a proposal of Interest free loan scheme of Rs 400 crores venture Capital Fund for the benefit of the Muslims as they are not participating in the conventional schemes based on interest due to their faith constrains. Bihari Muslims who are living in or out of Bihar, including NRIs who want to establish industries in Bihar can avail this interest free loan.
With effect from the year 2007-2008, Bihar state government introduced the scheme of Educational Loans with the objective to facilitate job oriented education amongst the minorities. The scheme envisages maximum loan of Rs. 2,50,000/- @ Rs. 50,000/- per year for persuing professional and technical courses. It carries 3% simple interest per annum which is refundable in five years after completion of the course.
Micro Financing Scheme:
Under this scheme loan @ interest of 3% per annum at a maximum of Rs. 25,000/- is provided to minorities to help them in starting small business / shops.
Schemes in Uttar Pradesh
The state of U.P. has been at forefront to lure Muslims. In 2013 the CM Akhilesh Yadav announced 20% reservation to Muslims in public welfare schemes. In an another attempt to lure Muslims, the Akhilesh Yadav government decided that at least two Muslim constables will be posted in the every police station of the state. This move will bring more government employment to the Muslim youth. The government’s argument is that such a move will help the minority community approach the police without any fear.
Money for education/marriage:
Earlier the UP government had started the “Meri Beti, Uska Kal” programme for Muslim female children. Apart from this Muslims are to be given preference in government contracts and public housing schemes.
In 2012 the U.P. government launched its ambitious scheme from Rampur in which Class X pass Muslim girls would be given money for either further education or marriage. For the scheme the government earmarked Rs 250 crore in the Supplementary Budget. Over 15,000 girls would get cheques for the scheme.
The U.P. government spent whopping Rs. 500 crores for developing graveyards and erecting boundary walls around them. The state government identified 85773 graveyards and 238 cremation grounds that need to be developed and fenced.
Free laptop distribution scheme:
Free laptop distribution scheme of Uttar Pradesh Government was the scheme of the Government of Uttar Pradesh headed by Akhilesh Singh Yadav.Under the scheme 1.5 million laptops to Class 12-pass students of the state were distributed. The laptops, which operate in Hindi, English and Urdu, were acquired from HP for the world’s largest programme of its kind. The beneficiaries included students passing high school and intermediate examination conducted by Uttar Pradesh Secondary Education Board, Poorva Madhyama and Madhyama of Sanskrit Education Board, Munshi/Maulvi and Alim of Madrasa Board.
Schemes in Kerala:
As a part of implementation of Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee Report, and consequent to Paloli Muhammed Kutty Committee report a Minority Cell was constituted by Kerala Government in April 2008. This department monitors the activities of the minority cells attached to the all District collectorates in Kerala. These cells are constituted for co-ordinating the Minority Welfare activities in each district.
Scholarships for Muslim girls:
There are schemes for the distribution of scholarship and hostel stipend to Muslim girls. This scheme is fully meant for Muslim girls. The Scholarships and hostel stipents are given for muslim girls studying for Graduation, Post Graduation and Professional Courses in Government and Aided Educational Institutions. Kerala State Madrassa Teachers Welfare fund also has been set up.
Coaching centres for Muslims:
The state government has set up 16 coaching centres in the state for free coaching to Muslim youths for the competitive examinations conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, Kerala Public Service Commission, Banking Service Recruitment Boards, Railway Recruitment Board and other agencies. The coaching is completely free of cost.
There is a scheme for providing free Laptops worth Rs. 25000/- to 1st and 2nd year B. Tech students who are the children of Kerala Madrassa school Teachers Welfare Scheme.
Scheme for divorced women:
Divorced women of minority communities who are not remarried for 5 years and not having earning sons and do not have shelter, they will be rehabilitated by providing houses/residential complexes. There is also a scheme for introducing pre- marital counselling among the Muslim communities in line with that Christian communities
Schemes in M.P.:
Computerizing 15 thousand Wakf properties:
M.P. is the first state in the country to computerise 15 thousand Wakf properties. The Board maintains total 14 thousand 702 Wakf properties including mosques, burial grounds, dargahs etc. With government’s help income of the Board is increasing constantly. As many as 3014 cases have been registered under Sections 54 and 55 of the Wakf Act to free Wakf properties from encroachments. In 306 of these cases, orders have been issued by concerning SDM for action under section 55 after hearing over one thousand cases. Work is underway to develop 16 Wakf properties. Special efforts are being made to develop Wakf properties available at Bhopal, Indore, Gwalior and Jabalpur as commercial Wakf properties. Madhya Pradesh is the first state in the country where the State Government provides Rs. 80 lakh annual grant to Wakf Board.
Madhya Pradesh tops in distribution of minorities scholarships. A target of 81 thousand 75 students was set for distribution of pre-matric, post-matric and merit-cum-means scholarships in Madhya Pradesh for the year 2010-11 against which scholarships were distributed to one lakh 47 thousand 908 students. The Central Government has set a target to distribute scholarships to one lakh 85 thousand 800 students in Madhya Pradesh.
Work of Haj House:
Two centres have been made in Madhya Pradesh for Haj pilgrims at Bhopal and Indore. Work of Haj House has been taken at both these places. A Rs. one lakh award scheme has also been launched for inviting better suggestions about construction of Haj House at Bhopal.
Job-oriented Training Scheme:
The State Government has launched Minorities Job-oriented Training Scheme to train minority community youths at countries’ selected private institutions at government’s expenses. Under the scheme, free of cost coaching of PET/PMT, PSC, UPSC, information technology and skill development is being imparted to minority community youths.
Mukhyamantri Swa-rozgar Yojna:
Mukhyamantri Swa-rozgar Yojna has been launched by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for making available employment to unemployed youths belonging to minority communities. Under the scheme, the needy people can be provided assistance worth upto Rs. 10 lakh.
Free of cost facility for lodging and study:
Arrangements have been made at training centre at Bhopal for free of cost lodging and study of both boy and girl students belonging to minority communities. Similarly, one 100-seat and three 50-seat post-matric girls’ hostel for minorities are being constructed.
The M.P. government has initiated the unique step of honouring students of minority community by giving away awards instituted in the names of great minority community leaders. The awards include:
Shaheed Ashfaque Ullah Khan Award – social service.
Shaheed Captain Hameed Award – respect to all religions
Dr. Abul Kalam Azad Award – Urdu literature
Muslim welfare in Tamil Nadu:
The Government has placed the highest emphasis on formulation and implementation of several welfare schemes for Muslims to improve their educational, social and economic status. Implementation of the policy of reservation in admission to educational institutions and employment has led to improved standard of living among minorities. There is financial assistance for Jerusalem pilgrimage, supply of iron boxes and sewing machines for their economic development, sanction of pension to ulemas and facilitation of Hajj pilgrimage are some of the schemes implemented by the Tamil Nadu government. It is interesting to note that hostels meant for minorities provide Mutton twice in a month during the first and third week and Chicken is provided twice in a month during the second and fourth week for all hostel boarders.
Few schemes of the central government:
Apart from this, in 2014 the central government launched a Rs 617-crore special education scheme to improve literacy and impart skill training to young Muslims. The scheme has been rolled out in 410 educationally backward districts in the country although it will focus its action more in the 88 districts where Muslims account for at least 20% of the total population.
The UPA government in 2014 launched schemes to focus on improving education and employability of Muslim youths in minority-concentrated districts. India has nearly 110 so-called minority-concentrated districts, areas where Muslims account for at least 20% of the total population. One of the schemes will focus on improving the education and skills of Muslim girls, and the other will focus on socio-economic upliftment of all Muslims above 15 years. The first scheme would cost the HRD ministry at least Rs.978 crore, and the second will be rolled out at an investment of about Rs.600 crore. The two schemes are expected to benefit at least 1.9 million Muslims. The government approved 277 model schools (special secondary schools in the line of central schools) in Muslim-dominated localities.
Free Coaching and Allied Scheme for Minority Communities Students:
The scheme aims to empower the minority communities. The scheme aims to make them employable in industries, services society, by assisting them as well as those institutions working for them.
There has been Computerization of Records of State Wakf Boards.
The Waqf properties are spread out all over the country. Computerization of the records of the State Waqf Boards is aimed at streamlining record keeping, introducing transparency, and to computerize the various functions/processes of the Waqf Boards.
This is a scheme for empowerment of women belonging to minority communities. The scheme will be implemented throughout the country with special focus on districts, blocks and towns/cities having a substantial minority population. It is proposed to cover 2 (two) lakh minority women during entire 12th Five Year Plan Period with 40,000 women in each financial year.
There are separate schemes for strengthening of State Waqf Boards, educational loans and employment generation, etc. But after going through the major schemes of states and central government, one question rises that why majority community is left behind in this process of development. Why Hindus do not get any financial help for their religious pilgrimages? The important point is that India is running more schemes for Muslims than Muslim nations like Pakistan and Bangladesh. The development of the nation can not be complete without taking all communities onboard. Minorities are appeased and used as vote banks. There is a need to take a fresh look at the development agenda of the nation, which can bring prosperity to all irrespective of caste or religion.