NCM turning a blind eye to state issues, rues WBMC chief
Kolkata: The indifference of the Centre against the state has once again come to the fore with the National Commission for Minorities cooling its heels over various issues related to minorities raised by the West Bengal Minorities' Commission (WBMC) four months ago.
WBMC chairman Abu Ayes Mondal had met his counterpart in New Delhi on November 16 last year, apprised him of the issues and also wrote a letter in this regard. However, even after assuring prompt intervention, things have not moved an inch.
"I had met the chairman of National Commission for Minorities (NCM) Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi, discussed the issue in detail and also handed him a letter for addressing a number of pertinent problems of the minorities. I had once again written to him in February on the same issue, but I am sorry to say that there has been no response," said a visibly upset Mondal.
"Due to low level of income criteria set by the Central government scholarships and other schemes of National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation (NMDFC), many of the beneficiaries fail to avail the benefits. It has been a persistent demand from the minorities, particularly the Jain community, that income criteria should be enhanced for education loan, micro-finance to self-help groups and various scholarships," Mondal stated in his letter.
The education loan now can be availed against a family income of Rs 83,000 per annum for villages and Rs 1.3 lakh in the cities.
"I had also raised a demand on behalf of the Jains in respect to loan by NMDFC, to change the guarantor from government employee to a guarantor by institute of that religious organisation. The discrimination of the Sikh community by the Centre, referring their passport and visa unnecessarily to the Intelligence Bureau, was also pointed out," Mondal said.
Another important issue that was raised before the NCM chairman was in relation to 700-odd Urdu medium schools running in Kolkata due to non appointment of teachers.
"These posts are reserved under the SC/ST category. However, there are hardly any SC/ST people educated from Urdu medium schools. So, I had urged for relaxation of rules in this regard, as the schools have been facing acute crisis due to the dearth of teachers," Mondal said.
Issues of Muslims being lynched by cow vigilantes and religious fanaticism across the state was also raised by the WBMC chairman.
Rizvi was prompt enough to send a letter to Mondal on the same day, that he would get the issues looked into and take necessary steps in addressing the same. But apart from that 'courtesy' letter, things have hardly moved.