Abdul Bari Masoud for MuslimMirror.com
New Delhi: The Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the central government will extend mid-day meal scheme to those madrasas which are imparting modern subjects in their curricula. However, this was contested by representatives of State minorities’ commissions.
Talking to media persons after inaugurating the Annual Conference of State Minorities Commissions at Vigyan Bhawan here today, he said he had held a meeting with representatives of such madrasas on Monday to discuss the issue and asked them to offer more suggestions in this regard.
He also said this during his address to the annual conference. However, many representatives of state commissions told this correspondent that mid-day meal scheme for madrasas is already being implemented in their respective states and the minister’s statement seems to be out of ignorance or to do with the coming assembly polls.
Gurbux Singh, a member of West Bengal Minorities’ Commission, who is also a former Hockey Olympian, said that mid-day meal scheme is introduced in all Madrasas in West Bengal without any exception. He said the minister might not be aware of this, otherwise, he would not have announced this.
Echoing his views, P.K. Haneefa, Chairman Kerala State Commission for Minorities, said he was amazed by the minister’s announcement as in his state Madrasas are availing the benefit of Mid-day meal scheme.
It seems that the Minister’s announcement has more to do with the coming assembly elections in five states including Uttar Pradesh than to the fact.
Dr.Mansoor Ahmad Ajazi, Member Secretary Bihar State Minorities, also said vouched this saying in Bihar all officially recognized Madrasas affiliated to the Bihar Madrasa Board have been providing mid-day meal to students since a long time when this scheme was introduced by the HRD ministry.
While defending Madrasa education system, minority minister Naqvi also said it was wrong to think that madrasas were not part of India and asserted most of them are doing a good job.
The decision to provide mid-day meal was taken during the meeting of the general body of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MEAF) held on December 29 and it had also decided to consider grant-in-aid scheme for such madrasas, he added.
While in his address, Naqvi has insisted that the Modi government is “inclusive growth” and development of the poor is the target of it.
However, he admitted that development in the country cannot be ensured without ensuring cultural and social harmony adding that the center is committed to strengthening the social and communal harmony in the country.
His remarks can be seen in the prevailing communal tensions in the country and a realization that country cannot move forward unless there are peace and cordial atmosphere.
In his speech, Naqvi hailed the government for creating an atmosphere wherein minorities are becoming part of the country’s development process. He also claimed that communal incidents have come down significantly since this government came to power and no such major riots occurred in the nearly 32-month period. He quoted National Commission for Minorities’ (NCM) figures of complaints to buttress his point.
“The NCM received 2638 complaints in 2013-14; in 2014-15 it received 1995 complaints and 1288 until December 31, 2016.”
When this correspondent asked a member of the NCM about the veracity of the figure, he politely refused to confirm the figure. However, he admitted that the Commission gets daily complaints from across the country.
While confirming the figure, Amrendra Sinha, secretary NCM, said it was provided by the Commission and you can draw any inference from it.
In his welcome speech, Naseem Ahmad, Chairman, NCM said that during the fiscal year, by the end of December 2016, the Commission had received 1288 petitions from all over the country, including a balance of 107 pending of the previous year, of which only 82 petitions were pending disposal during the period. He said that NMC Members regularly visit their allotted states to hear the grievances of minority communities and to monitor the implementation of various minority welfare schemes. Their tour reports are considered by the full Commission and the recommendations emerging therefrom are sent to the concerned authorities for remedial action.