Minority Development Department Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra
Arif Naseem Khan Thursday lamented the Central Haj Committee and
his own government at the centre saying that the two had failed in
getting the sufficient Haj quota based on the current population of
the Muslims in the country.
"The current Haj quota for the
country is measurably less than the actual population. Thousands
of the people submit their applications to the Haj Committee every
year hoping that they will get a chance. But they don't get the
chance. They just helplessly watch as their applications are
rejected", he said.
Arif Naseem Khan was speaking after
inaugurating the ceremony organised to hold the draw of lots by
the Maharashtra Haj Committee at the Haj House on Thursday.
"The current Haj quota allotted to
India by the Saudi Haj Ministry is based on the population of the
Muslims in 2001. The government should demand an increased quota
as per the current population", he demanded.
Criticizing the overall handling of
the Haj by the Indian Haj Mission, Arif Naseem Khan said that
despite assurances given every year, Indian hajis face
difficulties during the haj. "They don't even know where is the
office of the Central Haj Committee", he said demanding concrete
measures to make the haj journey easier.
Applauding the construction of Haj
House in Nagpur for the Hajis of Vodarbha region of Maharashtra,
Arif Nseem Khan promised that the proposed Haj House in Aurangabad
would soon be completed. "The land for the purpose has already
been acquired. The project will be completed very soon", he said.
After today's draw of lot for the
Maharashtra Hajis, the computerized list of 05,512 hajis were
declared. The haj committee had received more than 35,000
applications for these 05,512 seats.
Maharashtra has a quota of 10,763
based on the population of Muslims in the state. Out of this,
applications of a total of 05,251 were approved as
they were either of the aspirants above 70 years of age or of
those who had applied consecutively for the fourth time.
Maharashtra Haj Committee has
received a total of 41,311 applications for the Haj 2013. Of them, 20,401 are
males, 20,608 females and 28 children below two years of age.
The applicants whose age are above
70 years and who have been approved for the Haj 2013 without draw
of lots are 2458 whereas the hajis who have applied consecutively
for the fourth year are 2793.
The entire haj quota of the state is
divided to different districts based on the population of Muslims.
For Nashik district, the quota allotted is 867, for which 4,028
applications have been received by the Haj Committee.
More than 3.5 million hajis from all
across the world go to two holy cities Makkah and Madinah in Saudi
Arabia every year to perform the annual ritaul called haj.
To control the crowd the Saudi Haj
Ministry has allotted quotas to different countries. India has
been allotted a quota of 1,70,000 hajis. Of them, 1,25,000 hajis
go through Haj Committee of India whereas 45,000 hajis go through
private tour operators.