At the service of the World

It’s Time For Introspection


By Predhuman K. Joseph Dhar,

JAMMU, Jammu & Kashmir (SAR NEWS) – It is true that there are Christian members of parliament but their performance over the years has proved beyond any shadow of doubt that they justify to what William Shakespeare had said long ago: “What is there in a name.” Maybe, they are scared of speaking for the Christian community, or they are trying to prove they are secular to the hilt.

In contrast, the Muslim MPs speak for their community, irrespective of their party affiliations. This should serve as a model for the Christian MPs, legislators and corporators.
Asaduddin Owaisi scored a century of questions on the floor of the Lok Sabha during the February-May Budget Session 2010. Perhaps, this is the first time a Muslim parliamentarian has asked more than 100 questions in a single session. He is a Hyderabad MP of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party. This is the third time in a row that Owaisi leads Muslim MPs in the report card on floor performance.

Though cumulatively Muslim Lok Sabha members have asked far more questions in this session than in some last sessions put together, the majority still have remained silent. Of the 30 Muslim Lok Sabha members, 16 remained silent in the 32-day session spread over three months, probably taking cue from the Christian MPs. The 16 include four ministers. The non-speakers include 7 members of the Congress, 3 from the Trinamool Congress, 2 each from the Bahujan Samaj Party and the National Conference and 1 each from the Muslim League and the Janata Dal (United).

Among the top performers are Owaisi (102), J.M. Aaroon Rasheed (64), Shahnawaz Hussain (62), E.T. Muhammed Basheer (40) and M.I. Shanavas (40). What is good is that consistent performers have far improved their own performance, resulting in 430 questions asked by Muslim MPs in the session that started on February 22, 2010, and ended on May 7, 2010. In the November-December 2009 session, the total number of questions asked by them was 167 and only 84 in the July-August 2009 session.

The Sachar Commission Report favours the Muslims and the Christians have been left high and dry. Of the share of minorities, over 85 per cent goes to the Muslims and a meagre less than 2 per cent goes to the Christians. In government jobs, the share of the Muslims is rising steadily on the back of the Prime Minister’s 2007 directive to focus on their employment. This is what the latest government data reveals. The last three years have seen a significant rise in government recruitment of Muslims, 6.9 per cent in 2007 to 8.3 per cent in 2008 and 9.24 per cent last year.

Between 2008 and 2009, the share of Muslims on government rolls increased 24 per cent. The PM’s directive in 2007 came after the Sachar Committee, which probed the disadvantages faced by Muslims. According to its findings in 2006, Muslims held fewer than 5 per cent of government posts.

What have the Church and Christian leaders done to improve the welfare of the community? How have the clergy and the faithful fared compared to Muslims in pushing the community forward in public life? It is time for us to introspect.

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June 14th, 2010




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