By Soroor Ahmed
Though the Bihar Government is considered to be free from communal bias and benign towards Muslims, the official data regarding development work for Muslims speaks something else. It either exposes the utter bias or sheer indifference of the uppercaste-dominated bureaucracy.
The ratio of Muslim beneficiaries in the centrally or state-sponsored schemes is negligible. The irony is that the neglect continues even when the government has appointed a watchdog in the name of Bihar State Religious and Linguistic Minorities commission. The 1991 Act in this context specifically asks the Commission “to undertake the review of the implementation of policies and schemes of the state government for the welfare of the minorities of the state”. And the Commission cannot be accused of inefficiency. It had, during its six years of tenure, had persons like Jabir Hussain and the current incumbent Sohail Ahmed Khan as chairmen. Yet it was only recently that the first such review was made by the latter. What is surprising is that the district officials of various districts are not even aware of provisions of the Act. They never prepared a separate list for Muslim beneficiaries.
Here are some figures from selected districts that speak about the Muslim representation in various Schemes:
I. HAJIPUR Beneficiaries
-- Muslim -- Total
* TRYSEM -- 7 -- 253
* DWACRA -- 16 --319 groups
* Borings installed -- nil --10 villages
* Pregnant Women’s Scheme -- nil --3032
* Land Gift from the Govt. -- 44 --1581
* Total area Gifted --6.5 acres --241 acres
* Pistol Licence issued -- nil --13
* Single barrel gun Licence -- 404 -- 51
* DBBL Licences -- 1406 --295
* Rifle Licences --1002 --102
II. SARAN DISTRICT
* IRDP --253 --3682
* TRYSEM -- 186 --1021
* Old age pension (Central- --3571 -- 21143
* Old age pension (State - --3591 --9135
* Pregnant Women Scheme --260 --5
STIPEND FOR STUDENTS:
* High School --12882 --398
* Primary School -- 10980 --311
* Sanction of PDS outlets -- 2423 --365
* Kerosene Hawker -- 85 --33
* Ghairmarzua land given --5289 --1723
III. NAWADAH DISTRICT
* PM Rozgar Yojana --6 --76
* IRDP -- 266 --2528
* TRYSEM --56 --561
* DWACRA --1 --10
* Indira Awas Yojana house loans --197 --1811
* Nehru Rozgar Yojana training --94 --305
* Pregnant women stipend --217 --1409
* Old age pension
* Central Scheme --1609 --9693
* State Scheme --1664 --13445
* Students’ stipend
Primary --65 --395
Middle --42 520
High School -- 73 --441
* Kerosene hawker -- 8 --199
* PDS outlets --51 --976
* Ghairmarzua land gifted to --1051 --32826
* Industries registered --15 --170
* Homestead loans --215 --10596
* DBBL licenses --146 --539
IV KAIMUR DISTRICT
* Students stipend
* School --263 --1315
* College --25 --101
* IRDP --319 --3061
* Trysem --57 --659
* Old age pension
* Central --1147 --6980
* State --49 --213
* Pregnant women’s scheme --345 --1990
* DWACRA --12 --46
IV ROHTAS DISTRICT
Vacancies in Urdu Schools
20 out of 200 total posts in primary schools
95 out of 175 total in the middle schools
In Patna district the work for minorities is negligible. Not a single member of the minority community figures in 27553 settlements. Not a single Muslim got land acquired by the government under the Land Ceiling Act, though the total number of beneficiaries are 3046. No effort was made to implement the government schemes to benefit the bidi mazdoor children’s education. Biharshariff, the headquarters of Nalanda district is known for bidi-making.
The above statistics, though not of all the districts of the state, provide an idea of the development work done for the Muslims. To gear up the work the state government has issued notification asking BDOs, COs and other field officers to hold camps at the Panchayat level twice a month. The district officials have also been asked to issue instructions in this regard.
(Soroor Ahmed is a Patna-based Journalist).
By Hassan Mansur
Muslims are on the defensive when charges of stocking separatism, responsibility for partition and being fanatical about their faith are made. The cliche, “knowledge is power” is no longer a cliche because knowledge, about events leading to the partition, will empower the Muslim intelligentsia to rebut the slanderous charges made against their community. This is the year of the 50th anniversary of Indian Independence and it is all the more necessary that armed with this knowledge the Muslims walk tall, holding their heads high, taking their rightful place among other communities in this land instead of feeling besieged, inhibited and diffident about their role in the country’s struggle for freedom.
There has been a spate of books written on the events leading to partition of India. The slander that Muslims were primarily responsible for partition has been gaining ground with the falsification of history, notably perpetrated by Hindutva nationalists in the Sangh Parivar as well as the Indian National Congress (INC). The truth saw the light of day when the British Government in the 1980s declassified documents held as highly confidential, relating to events leading to partition. Based on that, the eminent jurist, H.M. Seervai, author of that monumental, ‘The Constitutional Law of India’ wrote his “The partition of India”, exonerating Jinnah and holding mainly the INC responsible for the partition. Then came the renewed Pakistani social scientist, Ayesha Jalal who in her, ‘M.A. Jainnah-The Sole Spokesman’ convincingly argued that Jinnah did not want partition. This was followed by Raj Mohan Gandhi’s, ‘The Muslim Mind’ in whose book the longest and best essay is on Jinnah; he is critical of the role of his grandfather, Mahatma Gandhi and is outspoken in his eulogy of Jinnah. M.C. Chagla, a close associate of Jinnah, later Indian Foreign Minister and C. Rajagopalachari, were both convinced that Jinnah was not keen on partition.
Many readers are not aware that the genesis of separatism could be traced to the Hindu nationalist leaders who are guilty of this original sin.Madan Mohan Malaviya, a stalwart of INC wrote a series of articles in the ‘Punjab Tribune’ arguing that Hindus and Muslim were two separate nations. Savarkar in his notorious book, “Hindutva” trotted forth forcibly the same view as Malaviya’s. Gol walker, revered as Guruji by the Sangh Parivar, went to the length of declaring that Muslims could live in Bharat as second-class citizens, denied of all rights. The latest on partition, “Liberty or Death: India’s journey to independence and division” has been written by Patrick French who “takes a refreshingly irreverent look at icons of Indian Freedom Struggle”, a book well documented by rigorous research and most objective in approach. He is harshest on Gandhiji, holding him individually responsible alongside Congress, for Muslim alienation. Historians, native and non-native, objective on outlook are of the unanimous view that three factors drove Jinnah to lose faith in the Congress; Nehru committee’s rejection of the demand for onethird representation of Muslims in the Central Legislature, Congress going back on its promise that two Muslim League ministers would be taken into the UP cabinet after 1937 elections and the last straw when Nehru declared that only two forces counted, British Raj and Congress. These tactical mistakes, pointed out by Moulana Azad in his, “India wins freedom” led to the tragedy of partition.
Another point to be borne in mind is that partition was the outcome of the vested interests of the upper class elite Muslims. The poor and the marginalised who formed the majority of the Muslim community had no right to vote as the franchise was qualified by property and educational criteria. By no stretch of imagination can the Muslim community be blamed for the partition of this country.
Attention has to be drawn to the conspiracy of silence that envelopes the role of Muslims in the freedom struggle. But that is another story that needs to be retold in great detail. It suffices to recall the sacrifices made by thousands of Muslims, their notable role as apart of the Indian National Army and the Indian Naval mutiny. It is the poetry of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Maqdum Mohiyuddin and Sardar Jaffri and a host of other Muslim artists who inspired the people to confront colonialism.
All the texts cited in the course of this article, it is obligatory, that they should be studied by the Muslim intelligentsia to meet the cacophonous slanderous charges of the Sangh Parivar and its allies found in the rightist and centrist political parties, not to speak of some Gandhians. The knowledge gained from these texts will enable Muslims to meet the challenges posed by the Hindutva separatists.
By Zafarul Islam Khan
In a letter to the The Times of India (August 8, 1997), Gil Haskel of the Embassy of Israel has asked those interested in peace to condemn ‘forthrightly and in no uncertain terms’ last month’s Jerusalem attack.
Gil Haskel should be reminded that resistance is a sacred right of all nations whose lands are occupied. This right is accepted in international law. Israel is in occupation of Palestine. Indeed it is the only country in the whole wide world today which is in outright and plain occupation of other peoples lands as we prepare to enter the twenty-first century. The majority of Palestine lands were occupied in 1948 and the rest in 1967. The victims, the Palestinian refugees, still outnumber the total Jewish population of what is known as ‘Israel’ today, which comprises of Jewish emigrants from every part of the world, while the Palestinian victims, totalling over five million people, still live in refugee camps in Gaza, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon etc.
There came a golden opportunity for Israel to get legitimized by its hapless victims who, finding themselves alone in a cruel world which believes in and respects the old principle of ‘might is right,’ surrendered their basic rights in even those territories which Israel was always willing to return due to demographic problems. This was done at Oslo on 20 August 1993 where stringent and specific deadlines were incorporated in the agreement in order to bind the Palestinians in the first place. (By the way, it is that very Oslo agreement which allowed Israel to open embassies in many foreign capitals including New Delhi).
But the Israelis, in their greed for more and more stolen lands, went back and slowed down the implementation of Oslo. Against the letter and spirit of the accords, they are trying to change the demography of Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank in order to stick to those areas in the final settlement. They have already fully changed the demography of (Arab) Jerusalem in their favour by building illegal settlements and gerrymandering its boundaries by excluding Arab villages from its municipal limits.
If there is any resistance by the victims, Israel alone is responsible. Israel alone is to be condemned. Lest your readers forget, it was the Jewish terrorist gangs like Haganah, Stern, Lehi, Irgun etc., which introduced terrorism to a peaceful and tranquil Middle East. Leaders of these terrorist gangs were ruling Israel until very recently. Remember ‘Prime Ministers’ Begin and Shamir? Leaders of terrorist groups, both of them were on British wanted lists with huge rewards on their heads. The current Prime Minister is also their spiritual disciple. They are followers of the ‘revisionist zionism’ of Jabotinsky who dreamt of a greater, mightier and purer Israel.
Palestinian Arab victims resorted to violent resistance in 1965, only after they lost all hope of returning to their homeland through the good offices of Arab and foreign governments and the UN. They also went in for Oslo when they felt that they were going nowhere within the Madrid Conference framework. All they could get is municipal powers in a fraction of their homeland whose chairman has been threatened by Israeli officials of expulsion!
(Dr. Zafarula Islam Khan is a Delhi based writer and is Director, Institue of Islamic and Arab studies).