Ranganath Misra Commission has achieved a temporary glory from the
champions of Urdu. But the ground reality is that the country despite a
Fundamental Right to Education faces a shortage of 8 lakh teachers in
primary and middle schools. We already have about 10 per cent of teachers
above 55 years of age.
How does the recommendation of the Ranganath Misra Commission improve the
lot of minorities, except to give a talking point at the time of
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Government has given a waiver of Rs 500 crore of debt owed by minorities,
that is Muslims and Christians to the government’s Minority Finance
Corporation. It also used the government funds to subsidise the pilgrimage
of Christians from Andhra Pradesh to Jerusalem/Bethlehem in
In our country, we have a
penchant for setting-up of commissions to decide anything and everything,
except, maybe, for fixing a time, to be born or to die or for going to
bathroom. This has become a fashion for the Government, as an easy way, to
pass on its handling any problem or issues.
A friend, who is an avid commission watcher, said that all commissions
have one thing in common and that is the person heading the commission
does not complete the work, till he or she gets another commission to
head. One common feature of all commissions is that most of their reports
are not only outdated, but are out of the tune with the times, or they
work with a definite agenda, and are in tune with the expectation of the
government, which has set them up.
At the same time, their strategy is also to give such reports, which not
only maintain, but have an inclination to enhance the vote-bank of the
party in power, which gave them the job with a lot of perks. It is not the
best kept secret, that once having proved their loyalty and usefulness,
some worthies adorn one commission after the other, almost till their last
Some politicians and commissions have played hell with the country. Mandal
Commission was one, whose report was pulled out from the rusting
cupboards. It started the trend of reservation in the name of caste. The
then, late Prime Minister, VP Singh felt that by playing the caste card,
he would be able, to retain Prime Ministership for life.
As if there is dearth of commissions to look after the interests of
minorities, a five-member National Commission for Religious and Linguistic
Minorities headed by former Chief Justice of India Ranganath Mishra was
set-up, in October 2004 to suggest criteria for identification of socially
and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic
minorities and to recommend measures for their welfare. Its 188-page
report was initially circulated in May 2007.
It suggests "the three-language formula should be implemented everywhere
in the country making it compulsory, for the authorities, to include in it
the mother tongue of every child-including especially Urdu and Punjabi." .
The Commission has achieved a temporary glory from the champions of Urdu.
But the ground reality is, that the country despite a Fundamental Right to
Education faces a shortage of 8 lakh teachers in primary and middle
schools. We already have about 10 per cent of teachers above 55 years of
age. With 6.5 per cent teachers expected to retire or leave the profession
each year, some 35 lakh teachers will be left at the primary and middle
level by 2011-a colossal shortfall of almost 25 lakh teachers. Passing
Bills in the Parliament, like the Right to Education, does not improve the
ground reality or improves the infra structure. Instead of doing anything
about improving the quality of education, the Government is focusing only
According to a study by the National University of Educational Planning
and Education (NUEPA), about a quarter of all teachers taking Classes I to
VIII have themselves studied only till the secondary stage. Another
quarter have studied up to the senior secondary stage. So, educational
qualification of almost half of all teachers is till senior secondary or
below. And it’s not as if they are being trained while in service. Only 31
per cent of teachers got in-service training, as per the study.
So how does the recommendation of the Ranganath Misra Commission improve
the lot of minorities, except to give a talking point at the time of
elections. One recommendation says that at least 15 per cent seats in all
non-minority educational institutions should be earmarked for minorities.
According to the Commission, as "73 per cent of minorities are Muslims",
the break-up should be 10 per cent for Muslims and 5 per cent for "the
To further complicate the issues, the Ranganath Commission seek for a
sub-quota in OBC quota clearly marked out for those minority communities
which come under the broad head of OBCs. It will mean starting a sub war
with the groups, which already have been having OBC quota, thus adding to
the social and religious tensions.
Instead of ending casteism and building bridges in the society, it
recommends the further division of the society .A newspaper from Andhra
Pradesh reported the following acts of minority appeasement by a late
Christian Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh on 21/10/2008.
Andhra Pradesh Government has given a waiver of Rs 500 crore, of debt owed
by minorities, that is Muslims and Christians to the government’s Minority
Finance Corporation. It also used the government funds to subsidise the
pilgrimage of Christians from Andhra Pradesh to Jerusalem/Bethlehem in
It announced a 4 per cent reservation for Muslims, despite the rulings of
High Courts and Supreme Court apart from paying 100 per cent of the
tuition fees for Muslims in professional colleges for engineering,
medicine, MBA, MCA, B.Ed, dental, etc. The colleges had been ordered not
to charge Muslims but get reimbursement from the government.
The grants to the AP Urdu Academy are being continuously increased and now
it is about Rs 14.0 crore. The Sanskrit Academy gets only a fraction of
what is given to the Urdu Academy, just Rs 5 lakh from the Government of
India. The so-called "secular" casteist and regional parties, are outdoing
each other in their competitive bid to get "minority" votes. The unanimous
vote , on ‘humanitarian grounds’ of Kerala Assembly for the release of
Madani, a prime accused in the Coimbatore ter¬ror blasts takes the cake in
Agreed, that every Indian, including Muslim, Christians need a push-up for
bettering his or her prospectuses in life. But this push-up should not be
at the cost of the poor and deprived people of other religions including
Hindus. Probably Hindus have more deprived and poorer people, than all the
minorities put together. But the Government has picked-up only Muslims,
who can serve as its vote-bank.
No commission has either been set-up or touched the issues of infiltration
into our country from Bangladesh and Pakistan. No commission has ever been
set-up to deal with the terrorism, whereas many non issues are dragged on
for years together, under the garb of the commission. Unless the approach
of appeasement and pandering to any section of Indian population is given
up, we are in far more trouble than we can foresee.
What is required is to give an even handed treatment to all Indians,
without fear and favour. The Government should remember that nobody can
really pull anybody high, but with his two legs, a man, on his own, can
even climb the Mount Everest. If the Government continues to yield to the
policy of appeasement, soon it will have nothing left to appease.