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The Pending Promises

Policital Jiggery Pokery


DR. S. AUSAF SAIED VASFI comments on the PRS Legislative Research analysis, which reveals that 65 per cent of the promises made by President Pratibha Patil in Parliament are yet to see the light of the day.

Only six of the promises made by the President of India in her customary addresses in Parliament have been fulfilled by the Congress-led UPA dispensation, although it is about to reach the half-way mark of its tenure, almost 65 per cent of the said promises made by the Head of the State remain pending. Can they, and will they, see the light of the day or the countrymen will have to replace ‘pending’ with ‘unkept’ in future?

According to an analysis of the PRS Legislative Research, 21 of the 32 issues raised by Mrs. Pratibha Patil between 2009 and 2011 are pending before the House. One of the significant measures waiting for clearance pertains to Prevention of Communal Violence, Amendment in the Waqf Act, and establishment of National Council for Higher Education and Research are also in the queue.

Can the President apply pressure on the Government to honour the ruling conglomerate’s commitment to the plural nation made through her? Perhaps she cannot, and probably she would not, for too-obvious reasons.



What about the election promises put before the electorate in the form of manifestoes? Are they less-sacrosanct? And what about the findings of the Inquiry Commissions, instituted by the Government and headed usually by the retired Supreme Court Judges? Do their perspiration and tears of the victims and the next-to-the-kin deserve non-implementation simply because any punitive action might foul the atmosphere for the ruling clique? Even for smaller but horrendous blunders are ignored by the powers-that-be. Why? Because the record of the superiors is equally tainted. They have no face to face their tainted subordinates.

Dr. Manmohan Singh earned kudos from all and sundry, of course except the Saffron segment for setting up the high-level committee headed by Justice Rajinder Sachar. The operative part of the report which came to light on Nov 2006, was that the condition of Indian Muslims was worse than that of the Dalits.



Before proceeding further let us note that the Dalits and tribals constitute one-fourth of the country’s diverse population. But their lot has not changed to the extent it was expected to, during the last six decades. The reason behind this sad state of affairs is laziness, neglect, insincerity and dereliction of duty by the central and state governments. The progress of the Dalits is slow and patchy. But this is not the tragedy. The tragedy, as pointed out by a study conducted by the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability (CBGA) is: In 20/11/12 the Dalits were deprived of about Rs. 23,200 crore and tribals of Rs. 12,187 crore by deficient allocation by the Central Government.

As everybody knows today, the uplift of the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other sections of the downtrodden has the support of the Constitution. It is really surprising that the Central Government and the state governments did not, and do not, pay proper heed in this regard.

The truth is that it is not only the Dalits or tribals but other religious and linguistic minorities also which suffer from deliberate neglect. If it was not deliberate neglect, then what it was as according to the Sahcar Committee Report:



Share of Muslims at higher government positions in states where their population is at least 15.4% is just 5.7%.

Muslim presence in lower judiciary is 7.8% in 14 states with significant Muslim population.

In education, Muslim OBCs lack other OBC categories.

Among matriculates and graduates, Muslims trail the national average by 30% and 40% respectively.

In poverty levels, deprivation of Muslim OBCs is 40%, more than the national average. In land holdings too, Muslim OBCs are behind the belonging to the majority community brethren.

Percentage of Muslim inmates in jails is disproportionately high. In Maharashtra it is as high as 40%, whereas the community makes up 10.6% of the population.

There are 9.06% Muslims in Gujarat but they form 25% of inmates in jails.

Poverty level of urban Muslims is 44%, as compared to the national average of 28%.

In judiciary, level of Muslims represented in West Bengal and Assam is 5% and 9.4% respectively. The Muslim population in these States is 25.2% and 30.9%.

In 12 States with high Muslim population, the average presence in judiciary is 7.8%. In Jammu and Kashmir, where 66.97% are Muslims, their representation in judiciary is 48.3%.

Only in Andhra Pradesh is their proportion in judiciary higher than the Muslim population – 12.4% as compared to 9.2%. In no State (for which figures are available) is the percentage of district Sessions Judges higher than 7.2%. In U.P., Jharkhand and Maharashtra it is 3.1%, 2.9% and 2.3%.

In all government jobs, including PSUs, the average representation of Muslims in the 12 major states is 15.4%. In state jobs it is 6.4%.

In Assam there is no Muslim in higher PSU posts. The percentages for Kerala, U.P., and Bihar are 9.5%, 6.2% and 8.6%.

In Gujarat, Muslim representation in higher and lower PSU posts is 8,5% and 16%.

What is to be remembered is that these figures date back to 2006 and now we are in 2012.



Earlier an equally comprehensive study had been made by the Justice Ranganath Commission. It was made public in May 2007. The report had jolted the nation. But neither that was implemented nor has the Sachar Committee report in full.

As by the force of judicial decisions, says the Justice Ranganath Commission Report, the minority intake in minority educational institutions has, in the interest of national integration, been restricted to about 50%, thus virtually earmarking the remaining 50% or so for the majority community – we strongly recommend that, by the same analogy and for the same purpose, at least 15% seats in all non-minority educational institutions should be earmarked by law for the minorities as follows:

(a) The break-up within the recommended 15% earmarked seats in institutions shall be 10% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share of the former in the total minority population at the national level) and the remaining 5 % for the other minorities.

(b) Minor adjustments inter se can be made in the 15% earmarked seats. In the case of non-availability of Muslim candidates to fill 10% earmarked seats, the remaining vacancies may be given to the other minorities if their members are available over and above their share of 5%; but in no case shall any seat within the recommended 15% go to the majority community.

It looks as if the so-called commissions and enquiries are set up just to silence the protesting sufferers belonging to the underdog section of society. It is just an exercise in wiping the tears and cooling the tempers of those who suffer excesses. It is just an essay in futility; so feel the cynics. But even to the non-cynics these commissions and committees do not improve the situation and provide justice for the justice-denied.

The reason is simple. Non-implementation!

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