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Stand united and firm on Muslim issues: Muslim Ministers, MLAs told


Friday, January 22, 2010 08:35:26 PM, Staff Reporter

Ali M Shamsi (in centre) with Abu Asim Azmi and Mrs. Fauzia Khan on his sides all ears during the program

(Photo: Obaid Khan)

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Mumbai: What Muslims in India are lacking in since independence is a joint, persistent and vociferous effort to bring the government to its knees. However, looking at the tone during yesterday’s program to felicitate Muslim Ministers, MLCs and MLAs in Maharashtra held at Hajj House in Mumbai, it seems, if not the majority at least a section in the community has realized this fact and are firmly up-in-arms to break the ice.


“The time has come for you all to work jointly for the Muslim cause and issues”, people from more than hundred NGOs  urged the Muslim Ministers, MLCs and MLAs yesterday in a determined and uncompromising tone even as the crowd that exceeded the capacity of the huge Hajj House auditorium nodded in agreement.


“Normally, a Muslim Member of Assembly does not raise the issues relating to the community in the house. Even if someone takes an effort to do so, his voice is either ignored or suppressed by other members. This happens because they know that the Muslim members lack unanimity. This is repeated again and again since last many years”, speakers observed.


“Why Muslim leaders fail to take a united stand when we see members from other parties coming together on issues that concern their people?”, they asked.


Ameen Patel - Chairman Maulana Azad Corporation and Mumbai MLA speaking at the program.

(Photo: Obaid Khan)


Arguing that government's failure in putting an end to the communal riots and violence against minorities in India, chiefly in Maharshtra, has caused enormous harm to the country and particularly to the Muslims, the forum wondered, "To address this important issue, Justice Srikrishna in his recommendations has suggested to increase the representation of minorities in police department. However, nothing in this regard is seen so far."


The other issues that figured during the discussion were recommendations by the Mahmoodur Rahman Committee for Urdu Schools, Ranganath Mishra Commission's recommendations, misuse of the wakf lands, lack of amenities in Muslim localities, harassment of the community by officials and police, illegal occupation of Ismail Yusuf College land in Mumbai and lack of interest on the part of the government to implement Prime Minister's 15-point program for minorities.


“Through this forum, we appeal to all Muslim leaders, cutting across political parties or ideologies, to come together in support of the community and announce a deadline for taking swift initiatives with the help of the present government in the state. If needed, work with the state in preparing a blueprint on the issues requiring urgent attention”, the speakers stressed.


Preparations for this meeting was on ever since the new government took shape in Mumbai.


“Besides felicitating the Muslim representatives, the primary purpose of yesterday’s meeting was to make them realize and aware of the issues we are forced to live with”, said Salim Alware one of the organizers while speaking to


“The fact is that there are always Muslim ministers and MLAs in every government. But if we look at the list of the problems, we find that hardly any issue is addressed seriously while the problems keep on accumulating with every passing day”, he added.


'Leaders accept lapses'

On their parts, Muslim leaders present in the program cleverly came to the occasion and agreed that they failed in coming to the expectations of the community.


“Yes, I am sorry! We do politics but for our ‘masters’ and parties. We will have to stop doing the politics of Sandesh", said Baba Siddiqui - Congress MLA from Mumbai adding, "The sooner we make a change in ourselves, the batter it will be for all."


On the other hand, Minister of Textiles and Minority Department Arif Naseem Khan while welcoming the initiative taken by the Muslim NGOs promised every support for the Muslim cause.


“We are in the government as your representatives and are bound to work for the solution of the issues facing the community”, he said.


“However”, he added, “We also need the support from the community. When we fight with the government we should get a feeling that the community is firmly behind us.”


The program ended with a unanimous decision to constitute a monitoring body comprising all the participants. This body will coordinate between the Muslim Ministers, MLCs and MLAs and NGOs, and also as a pressure group.







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