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Mainstream, VOL LII No 29, July 12, 2014

Broken Promises on Sachar Report, ‘Rape’ as Everyday Affair

Monday 14 July 2014, by Humra Quraishi

MUSINGS

Seven years back, Justice Rajindar Sachar and his team had brought out the Sachar Committee Report, focusing on the rather dismal situation of the largest minority community of the country—the Musalmaans of Hindustan. I have this report with me but space constraints come in the way in detailing the bleak scenario the Indian Muslims face. I recall the words of the well-known economist and one of the prominent members of this fact-finding team, Dr Abu Saleh Sharief, who had commented that in many urban and rural locales the Muslims are in a more disadvantaged, discriminated and bypa-ssed position than even the SC and ST comm-unities... He was armed with facts and figures and data to detail the very surviving conditions of the Indian Muslims vis-a-vis housing, drinking water and electricity connections, education—primary and higher, government and private jobs, business outlets, small scale industrial ventures, farming and agriculture and those connected facts and factors.

The Muslim community has continued getting bypassed by the establishment all these years and decades—in fact, their very decline began soon after the Partition of the country. Added to the list is a feeling of insecurity and apprehension and utter despair.

Sadly, nothing noteworthy or substantial seems to have been done in these recent years to rectify those gaps. In fact, on July 4, the Centre of Peace Studies has launched a volume titled Broken Promises: A Study on the Socio Economic Status of the Indian Muslims; Seven Years Post-Sachar.

Let me relay the crux of the ‘broken’ promises: ‘The Sachar Committee report established the fact of exclusion of the Muslim community from educational, economic and social develop-ment in the country. The failure of the past gov-ernment to successfully address issues of the community is no secret. With the newly elected government now in power, it is important to ensure that the constitutional obligation towards socio-economic upliftment of the minority community is on their agenda.

‘Broken Promises, a detailed study on the present socio-economic status of Indian Muslims’ attempts to trace a change, if any, in the situation of Indian Muslims in the past seven years. It is based on a detailed interview schedule directly administered to 8082 respondents from the Muslim community in 15 States. RTIs and interviews with eminent persons across these States were also important tools of this study. Our findings suggest that, Muslims continue to be left out from most government schemes concerning food and nutrition, education, health, housing, jobs and livelihoods, civic amenities and infrastructure etc. The study also documents cases of individuals across states who have been left out in spite of being the most marginalised and deserving.’

State of Confusion

Harry S. Truman’s this particular sentence—‘If you can’t convince them, confuse them’—seems rather apt for this present government.

There is confusion spreading out, even as ground realities stand unchanged. Amidst rising prices are rising tempers and obnoxious utterances uttered by the political rulers of the day. Whether it is Goa’s show-piece Chief Minister or a key member of the Mamata Banerjee brigade, these men are using the very word ‘rape’ as though it’s one of those everyday affairs!

What’s even more shocking is that these men seem to get away after vomiting this poison. Why! Because they belong to the ruling political class so can threaten rape or fit in ‘rape’ to differentiate between this or that!

Today it’s a whole brigade of such creatures on the loose! And the State seems to be in an ongoing state of confusion so can’t harness any of these political creatures who are hell-bent on raping psyches!

Street Dogs too on the Prowl!

The State seems to be in no mood to harness even the stray dogs mauling and killing! In fact, few months back I had read this report in one of the dailies that street dogs are unleashing havoc in the Kashmir Valley.

I’m quoting from the findings of these medicos of the Valley—Dr Ovais Habib, Dr Adil Hafeez and Dr MA Darzi—who had conducted the study and raised an alarm regarding dog bite incidents—“As per a study conducted by the Department of Plastic Recon-structive Surgery, Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS), Soura, dog bite cases now account for one per cent of all trauma cases at the Valley’s only tertiary hospital... Men accounted for 66.4 per cent of the patients, who were treated at the hospital. The people from rural areas were also attacked more by the dogs than urban people as 65.5 per cent of patients were from the rural background...The study further said the face was the most commonly affected part of the body, especially among children. In the older age-group, limbs were the mostly attacked part. It analyses that most of these dog bite cases have been unprovoked. As many as 96.1 per cent of the patients had between one and five injuries all over their body.”

Its a fact that that stray dogs on the streets are unleashing havoc in our towns and cities and qasbas yet the municipalities seem so far away from these ground realities of the day.