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Salman Khurshid on an announcement spree. But Muslims not impressed

'Announcements sans action would be meaningless', they observe

Tuesday, July 14, 2009 10:09:31 AM, Staff Reporter

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Mumbai: The statements made by Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in last few days have failed to impress the Muslim leaders and activists. They are meaningless unless they are backed by concrete actions, they say.


"Minister's statement that the government has issued guidelines on communal harmony and is committed for prevention of riots and communal disharmony  is a welcome sign", says Ibrahim Ansari, a social worker.


"However", he adds, "Unless these statements are backed by concrete measures on the ground level for their serious implementation they are nothing but meaningless."


"Guidelines on communal harmony have been issued by the ministry of home affairs," Salman Khurshid had reportedly said in the Rajya Sabha while replying to a question related to the steps taken by the government to address the socio-political issues of the minority community.


Shabbir Shakir of Pasban-e-Talim is more vocal. "The UPA government during its earlier tenure promised on more than one occasion to clear the Anti Communal Riot Bill. But the bill is yet to see the light of the day. Why then the government is not coming with any statement on this", he says.


Shakir was also critical of the Minister's announcement about equal opportunity commission and other schemes for the welfare of the minorities.


"The UPA government in its earlier tenure as well as after taking charge again after winning the recent parliamentary elections has announced several schemes for the welfare of the minorities. However the government has absolutely no mechanism to check whether the benefit of the schemes actually reaches to the deserving people or not", he says.


Shakir was referring to Salman Khurshid's statement that said, his ministry has selected five schemes for the welfare of the minorities under its 100-day agenda that aim to enable the deprived section of population, including the minority communities, and create an efficient waqf administration that could generate resources for the welfare of the Muslim community.


"Moreover", he says, "The officials at least in Maharashtra it seems are using all their efforts to stop the benefits of these schemes from reaching to the people they are meant for."


The Minister's announcements have also failed in impressing Karim Salar who runs a chain of institutions in North Maharashtra.


"The UPA government used the whole of its earlier term for the announcements. Now it is starting them all over again", he says before adding, "Owing to the tremendous support the minorities had extended in the election to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) and specially to the Congress and enabled them to form the government, it is now their responsibility to ensure that the announcements are not only translated into actions but they actually benefit the deserving people."






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