If Narendra Modi is trying to please the minorities with this gesture; he should better reign in the radical elements, which have raised their ugly heads, after Mr. Modi coming to power. Only that action of his will prove his sincerity towards the minorities. He has, till now, not uttered a word on the activities of these elements………
The list also has names of Christians who participated in the Indian freedom struggle, such as TM Varghese.
New Delhi:The government, in an effort to assert its secular credentials, has compiled a list of national icons from the Muslim and Christian communities whose deeds will be commemorated.
The government plans to name schemes targeted at minorities after these individuals, which include eminent names from the freedom struggle as well as historical figures from the Mughal era.
The list includes revolutionary Ashfaqulla Khan, leader of Salt Satyagraha Abbas Tyabji, Quit India movement leader from Kerala Vakkom Abdul Khadir and political activist and freedom fighter Ubaidullah Sindhi.
The list also has names of Christians who participated in the Indian freedom struggle, such as TM Varghese and George Joseph and leaders of the Parsi community — Pherozeshah Mehta and Bhikaji Cama.
Muslim women such as Bi Amma (Abadi Begum) and Begum Hazrat Mahal, who rebelled against British rule, are also part of the list, along with Mughal prince Dara Shikoh, seen as a proponent of Hindu-Muslim unity.
Others include poet Iqbal, who penned the song ‘Saare jahan se achha’, and scholar of Indian Unani medicine system Hakim Ajmal Khan.
Minister of State for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told ET that schemes named after these personalities will soon be rolled out.
Their deeds will also be propagated through commemorative events. The attempt is to “build confidence in Muslims by celebrating people of the community who believed in Indian nationalism and fought for it”, he said.
“During Congress rule, there has been ignoring of Muslim nationalists as all schemes were centred around one family. It is sad that because of this, people tend to associate Indian Muslims with gangsters or crime. The Modi government wants to break that stereotype and wants everyone to know that minority communities have played a significant role in the national struggle,” he added.
Recently, a report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) slammed the NDA government for its “minority policy” and expressed concern about Sangh Parivar’s ‘Ghar Wapsi’ campaign.
“In the past few months I have visited over 15 states, met community leaders and spoken to officials in minority commissions. Minorities are ready to trust PM Modi because the government is delivering and they are not being politically used for the first time,” Naqvi said, adding that suggestions given by states to improve the conditions of minority communities are being passed on to the Centre for consideration.
Source: Economic times