There is someone in the government who does not agree with the findings of the Sachar panel report on Muslims in totality.
Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said the panel reflects the plight of Muslims of northern India. "Muslims in southern India are much better off and in many cases even better than Hindus in northern India," he said, giving example of Muslims women in Tamil Nadu having lower fertility rate than Hindu women in northern parts of the country. "What Sachar panel says is not correct for Muslims in Karnataka or Kerala," he said.
He aired his views at the valedictory function of a daylong seminar on Muslim women organised by Justice Sunanda Bhandare Foundation, All India Democratic Women’s Association and The Guild of Service.
Instead of treating it as a problem of Muslims, he advocated that the issue should be treated as a malaise of northern India. This, according to him, will help in building political consensus and having a more effective strategy to tackle the problem. "The strategy can bring in a change in policies of state and the centre," he said.
Ramesh also differed with the government on allocating 15 per cent of government resources for upliftment of Muslims. "It may not be possible. Already dalits are asking for 22 per cent. Then, Scheduled Tribes will seek seven percent and then Yadavs and others and it will go on," he said.
Rather than looking at resource allocation, the government should select 50 Muslim dominated districts for priority development, he suggested. Immediately, Suhasini Ali of CPIM reacted strongly by saying that you want to allocate 50 per cent of funds for the rich. A charge refuted by Ramesh.
The convention also adopted resolutions proposed by Murlidhar Bhandare and Mohini Giri for upliftment of Muslims in area of education, health, employment and economy.