Even as elections in the five Indian
states is around the corner, including the one in the Uttar
Pradesh, where there is largest concentration of Muslim community,
there are three bills pushed by the UPA government that are facing
flake from the minority community.
The are three legislation; Direct Taxes Code Bill 2010, Wakf
(Amendment) Bill 2010 and Right to Education Act 2009, that are
creating flutter among the minority community. Unless some policy
statement from the government does not come out to sooth the
angered sentiments of the minorities, it may have bearing on the
up coming poll prospects in the several states.
Direct Taxes Code Bill 2010: The Direct Tax Code Bill 2010 (DTC
Bill) propose to tax donations received by charitable institutions
that are meant to serve certain minority or community groups.
The clause in question in the DTC Bill that the Centre is looking
to pass and bring in force by 2012, exempts trusts or institutions
from availing income tax exemption on donations if they are meant
to serve any particular minority or community group.
To be more precise, the DTC Bill proposes a 30 per cent tax on
donations received by institutions as long as they don’t promise
to serve all communities, instead of focusing on any one
The Forum of Minority Institutions & Associations and the
Federation of Charitable & Religious Trusts have attacked the DTC
Bill provisions on a variety of levels, ranging from taxation
philosophy and jurisprudence to practicality and compassion.
They say; the DTC bill strikes at the basis of Indian society and
undermines the religious character of its citizen. An Indian, true
to his nation/religion cannot bear with this atrocious
The Forum of Minority Institutions & Associations and the
Federation of Charitable & Religious Trusts are campaigning that
such trusts running minority educational institutions, hospitals,
schools, etc will be under sever financial strain if the Bill is
passed as being presented and have urged the Centre to redraft
sections of the DTC Bill.
Wakf (Amendment) Bill 2010: The Government had, with unnecessary
haste, got the Wakf Bill passed in Lok Sabha on the last day of
its session. This Bill is full of defects; even definitions are
very defective and contain many provisions which will result in
usurpation and extinction of many Wakf properties.
Muslim outfits have raised apprehensions over some clauses of Wakf
(Amendment) Bill 2010, saying they "blatantly" ignore the
recommendations of Sachar committee.
The bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha and now awaiting Rajya
Sabha's nod, proposes a series of changes in the way Wakf
properties are managed across the country.
The ministry of minority affairs that’s headed by Salman Khursheed
who is also the law minister, has overlooked and ignored vital
recommendations of the Sachar committee as well as the joint
parliamentary committee (JPC) on the functioning of Wakf boards.
The compulsory Wakf surveys recommended by the JPC have been made
optional in the bill, while suggestions of inclusion of all
post-Independence cases of Wakf for survey have also been dropped.
Treatment of Wakf survey commissioner's notification as deemed
mutation for purposes of revenue records and determination of
title of property, as recommended by the JPC, has also been not
included in the bill.
The other criticism against bill is that the ministry has diluted
the definition of the word "encroacher."
Muslim organizations have asked the Archaeological Survey of India
to properly conserve the Wakf properties under it and have
demanded that structures such as mosques and other religious
structure should be allowed to be used for the "purposes they are
They are pitching for a public movement if the government does not
heed to their demands.
Right to Education Act 2009: There are two provisions of the Right
to Education Act 2009 that intrudes into the rights of the private
educational institutions and more importantly the minority
Section 3 of the Act imposed an absolute mandate upon all schools
including private unaided and minority institutions to admit
without any choice each and every child whosoever comes to take
admission in the said schools in the neighborhood.
Second, Section 21 of the RTE Act requires that 75 per cent of a
school’s management committee should consist of guardians or
parents. This provisions if implemented, would violate the
Constitution and the National Commission for Minority Educational
Provisions of the Act violates the rights of private educational
institutions under Article 19(1)(g) which provides maximum
autonomy to private managements to run their institutions without
any interference from the government.
Under Article 30 of the Constitution, minorities in India are
allowed to run and administer their own education institutions,
without any government interference except in cases of alleged
Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution provide the right to
preserve distinct minority languages, scripts and cultures. It
also grants minorities the right to establish and administer their
own educational institutions.
Therefore RTE act 2009 strikes a lethal blow on the minority
educational institutions; it not only compromises on the quality
of education but also takes away autonomy of the management which
has been guaranteed by Art 29 and 30 of the constitution.
The minority groups are urging the government to bring certain
amendment to RTE Act 2009 and exempt the minority educational
institutions from the ambit of the act. The Section 3 and 21 of
the RTE Act specially needs revision as it can’t override Article
30 of the Constitution.
The UPA government is already in the dock over the non
implementation of the Lok Pal bill. The wrath of the minority
communities over the above mentioned three bills is going to make
the things more difficult for it at the hustings.
Unless some fire-fighting activity is not done immediately on this
count, the slipping moral of the UPA cannot be arrested.
Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. He can be contacted at