By Syed Tanveer Ahmed
“Minorities should demand their rights and should not beg for grace. These rights have been provided by the constitution of India,” says Justice Rajindar Sachar—the famed Chairperson of the ‘Prime Minister’s High Level Committee for preparation of Report on the Social Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community in India.’ Delivering the key note address in “National Conference on Sachar Committee Report and Situation of Muslims in India” here on October 16th, Justice Sachar stressed upon Muslims, “you are not beggars, and you should demand your rights with fist.”
He said, “77% of Indian population, 80% of Indian Muslims, and 84% of Dalits can not spend more than 20 rupees a day. Poverty is common enemy and we have to fight it unitedly.” Commenting on the misconceptions spread against Islam by communal forces he debunked the allegation that Islam was spread by sword in India. He said “Swamy Vivekananda had said that Dalits were living outside the society, they found Islam as the religion which would provide them equality and pride, hence they accepted Islam.”
Justice Sachar showered all praise on the Prophet Muhammad (S) “Saying Islam as most exclusive and a rigid religion is a lie.” Referring to “The Last Sermon” of Prophet Muhammad (S) in which the Prophet (S) had declared the equality of mankind and prohibited the discrimination on the basis of colour and region, Justice Sachar said, “During the crusade wars the hero of Islam Salahuddin had recognized a Jew and gave him an honourable post in his kingdom.”
On the communal situation in India, Justice Sachar said, “Whenever a bomb blast occurs, Muslims come out to condemn the act and declare that they are faithful citizens. Why are they required to do so? Why their loyalty to the nation is in doubt?” He forcefully declared that no citizen of India have right to question the loyalty of fellow citizens.
He urged the Muslim masses to start civil movements and create strong civil society for their development. Replying to a question that Muslims were not being heard in government offices, he said, “Do you think that a Hindu’s work is done in time, no. Government employees are the enemy of common people.”
RSS Using Muslim Funds
Mr. Saleh Shariff, who was a member of the Sachar Committee, replying to a question about misuse of funds earmarked for Muslims said: “I know a place in Uttar Pradesh where an RSS outfit used a huge amount meant for Muslims. Hence, it is the duty of the civil society to be vigilant. Now that they have a strong tool of RTI, Muslims should dare to use it and get their rights.” He further remarked, “It is easy to ask what the government was doing, but difficult to say what we would be doing. Muslim NGOs are geared around Masjids. Muslims’ activities are limited to managing Madrasas and Masjids. Since Masjids are considered as social centres, you have to widen the canvass.”