//Sachar Report Findings on Muslims may not change lives

Sachar Report Findings on Muslims may not change lives

Community members feel the Centre will find it difficult to implement findings

Tanvir A Siddiqui,

Ahmedabad, October 29, Express India : IN the wake of the media reports on the findings of the Sachar Committee on the current status of social, economic and educational condition of Indian Muslims, community members have said that the panel’s recommendations may not serve any purpose beyond creating a sympathetic public opinion. They say the findings of the panel have only confirmed what had been kept secret all these years.

Prominent Urdu literary critic Varis Alvi feels the government cannot be expected to come out with a Muslim-centric action in the light of these findings because its hands are already full with similar problems in the society like bias, unemployment and illiteracy.

‘‘In terms of jobs, the government has much less to offer while jobs are cornered either through corruption or competition…Muslims in general are not sensitive to their problems, which can be solved by abolishing wrong customs, giving up wasteful expenditure incurred in the name of following religious customs,’’ he said. He suggests that if the government is really serious about uplift of Muslims, it will have to introduce crash programmes for the community which lacks self-consciousness at the grassroots level, specially in states like Gujarat.

He said that if follow-up action was not taken, the report would serve merely as a pointer to the obvious.

Afzal Khan Pathan, a lawyer and ex-president of Sunni Muslim Waqf Committee, said once the reports and recommendations were out, the government would be required to undertake the more difficult task of ensuring a serious implementation.

‘‘In the absence of such action, it would end up in waste of public money and be reduced to just another official report without much consequence,’’ he said, not ruling out that it could be used as a political ploy ahead of general elections.

Dr Jafarhusain Laliwala, former head of department of economics at Gujarat University, felt it would not be easy for the government, despite its sincerity, to implement the report because it would have to consider aspects like mood of the Opposition parties. ‘‘But though the report is recommendatory in nature, it will certainly heighten the level of awareness about the issues discussed in it and create a sympathetic public opinion…but still, experience shows that such reports have not transformed lives of people concerned,’’ he said.

Academic and history researcher Dr Rizwan Qadri said the Sachar Panel report would have many findings in common with outcome of a Mohammadan Educational Conference that was held way back in 1901. ‘‘Only figures change but the lot of people remains same,’’ he said.