Rajasthan govt seeks details of Muslim staff at health centres, doctors fear profiling
The Rajasthan government has sought details of Muslims staff at health centres across the state, leading to apprehension among the doctors from the minority community that they may be targeted because of their religionjaipur Updated: Dec 12, 2017 21:03 IST
The Rajasthan government has sought details of Muslims staff at health centres across the state, leading to apprehension among the doctors from the minority community that they may be targeted because of their religion.
The Centre has, however, termed the move as “not unusual” and said it “asks for such data periodically”.
A flutter was created after joint director (administration), Dr BL Saini, on November 30 issued a letter asking chief medical and health officers (CMHOs) of all districts to seek details of Muslim staff at sub centres, primary, and community health centres. The letter said the information has to be sent to the Government of India but did not mention why it was being collected.
The doctors have taken umbrage to the fact that information was being sought about health centre staff on the basis of their religion. “The Muslim staff feels they are being targeted for their religion. They are scared,” said Dr Nasreen Bharti of All Rajasthan In-service Doctors Association (ARISDA).
According to the letter, the CMHOs are required to send information about all groups of Muslim staff along with their place of posting to the health directorate in Jaipur.
HT has a copy of the letter.
Saini told HT that his letter was in pursuance of another from the Union ministry of health and family welfare on November 20 sent to health secretaries of all states. The Centre’s letter – HT has a copy of this – says information about Muslim staff was needed for “the implementation of recommendations of Sachar Committee for the welfare of the minority communities”.
However, the letter sent out to districts doesn’t mention this.
“I have received the letter for details of Muslim personnel but I am unaware about the reason for this exercise,” said Churu CMHO Dr Manoj Sharma.
The doctors’ association said the exercise tantamount to religious profiling of government staff. “The government already has information about its staff. Why does it want to know their religion now?” asked Bharti.
The Union ministry of health and family welfare, however, sought to allay the fears of religious profiling.
“The information sought from health centres, police etc. is regarding the implementation of the recommendations of the Sachchar Committee for the welfare of minorities. We are just forwarding the request to the concerned departments,” said Ziley Singh Vical, deputy secretary in the ministry. Vical had sent the request to all state principal health secretaries. “If information on other minorities was not sought, it was because the Sachar Committee asked for information only for Muslims. It’s not unusual, the Centre asks for such data periodically,” he added.
The Sachar Committee
Sachar committee was formed in 2005 by then prime minister Manmohan Singh to study the social, economic and educational status of Muslims of India. The committee found that the condition of general Muslims was worse that than that of the backwards in the Hindu community. The committee recommended setting up an Equal Opportunity Commission to look into grievances of deprived groups like minorities and also increasing employment share of Muslims, particularly where there was great deal of public dealing.