In an attempt to reach out to Muslims in the rest of the country, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) patron Mufti Muhammad Sayeed on Monday pitched for their rights and underlined the plight on the upcoming anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992.
“Unfortunate demolition of Babri Masjid had caused a deep wound into the psyche of the Muslims of India but they have responded with exemplary aplomb and a sense of responsibility,” said Sayeed in a statement in Srinagar on Monday.
Praising Muslims and their reaction to the demolition, Sayeed said “pulling down of the holy site was a great challenge to the spirit of India as much as it was for the communities in an atmosphere surcharged with emotion and rhetoric”.
Asking ruling parties at the Centre to deliver on the minority rights, the former Union home minister said, “People have through successive elections conveyed a clear message to communal forces to either fall in line with the secular constitution or remain out of the political mainstream…The faith Muslims of the country have reposed in the idea of India and its institutions should be reciprocated with empowerment now,” he said.
Sayeed claimed that the Janta Dal government under VP Singh preferred to sacrifice itself to being blackmailed into assisting the atrocity that has become a black spot on the country’s post-independent history. Babri Majid was demolished on December 6. 1992.
“Muslims continue to face socio economic problems, pushing them to the lowest strata. The Prime Minister’s initiative of appointing Sachar Committee was a positive step but lacked a serious follow-up,” he alleged.
Claiming that the committee recommendations remain unimplemented, Sayeed said the report established that Muslims are not a problem but as a community and a class is faced with problems of development and socio economic deprivation.
“Muslims of India are a politically powerful community but unfortunately their problems are dealt with in fits and starts mostly around the time of elections. Instead of false promises, there is need to have a national policy on minorities, especially the Muslims, who constitute one of the most backward sections of our society,” he said.
Our country, Sayeed said, can’t aspire to become a world power with its 17% of population struggling at the lowest ladder of poverty.