BJP president Rajnath Singh, at his party’s national executive meeting held recently, once again raised the bogey of ‘minority appeasement’ and protested against allocation of funds separately for the welfare of minorities. He claimed that such allocation constitutes “communal budgeting” and that the budget for minorities at the national level has gone up from Rs. 400 crore to Rs. 1,400 crore.
Bashiruddin Babukhan, former Minister of Andhra Pradesh, in a statement on February 2, criticised Mr. Singh’s diatribe.
“This is the typical falsity in which the BJP indulges in, to create the impression in the majority mind that minorities are cornering the cake to the detriment of the majority. The truth is that, in the current budgetary allocation for minorities, which include Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis and Buddhists, and which has been done for the first time, is a mere Rs. 310 crore. Out of this, for Education, only Rs. 162 crore is provided. The balance is for general development of the areas where minorities live,” he said.
“In what way does this represent ‘appeasement of minorities’, who are also taxpayers and citizens of India?” he wondered, adding that Muslims are now officially identified as amongst most backward, educationally, economically and in employment.
“And it is a shame that a national party like the BJP objects to some minor benefits accruing to some sections of Indian society, who happen to believe in religions other than Hinduism,” he maintained.
Babukhan, who is also vice president All India Muslim Personal Law Board, pointed out that the BJP has now coined a new slogan ‘communal budgeting’ and has threatened to withdraw all such schemes if they come to power.
“If that ever happens, it could be the most unfortunate thing for this country. I would be the first to challenge it before the highest judiciary of the land. Let the courts decide finally whether minorities have equality before law of the land or not,” he said without mincing any words.