Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi has said that the NDA government has fulfilled its commitment to development of minorities with dignity by eradicating the “disease of appeasement”, according to a statement here today. Without taking any names, the minority affairs minister accused the “so-called champions of secularism” of working only to appease and exploit minorities, resulting in backwardness of the communities, particularly Muslims.
But, he added, the present regime has ensured all communities, including minorities, become equal partners in the country’s development process, the statement said.
Addressing a seminar on ‘Participation of Minorities in Building a New India’ here, Naqvi also listed several schemes the government has been implementing for the welfare of the communities and talked about the proposed Haj Policy for 2018 -2022. Among the key features of the draft policy include maintaining reservation for Haj pilgrims aged above 70 and allowing women aged more than 45 to travel in at least a group of four without being accompanied by a male relative or a ‘Mehram’. “The Modi government has fulfilled the commitment to development of minorities by eradicating the disease of appeasement given to the country by so-called political champions of secularism for last several decades,” the statement quoted Naqvi as saying.
Naqvi said that previous governments claimed to spend crores of rupees for the welfare of Muslims. “But the Muslim community was kept in the dark in the name of development,” he added. Whereas, the minister said, the development works carried out by the Modi government during last three years have benefited the poor, including a large number of minorities. Naqvi alleged that some people tried to obstruct the development process undertaken by the government, but it has not allowed any “negative agenda to dominate its development agenda”. He listed job-oriented skill development schemes being run by the ministry such as Seekho Aur Kamao, Nai Manzil, Nai Roushni and Garib Nawaz. Naqvi also spoke on ‘Hunar Haat’, a platform for artisans from the communities to showcase their talents.
Under multi-sectoral development programme, schools, colleges, ITIs, polytechnics, hostels, drinking water and toilet facilities, anganwadis and primary health centres have been constructed in backward minority areas of the country, the minister. Besides, more than 250 multi-purpose community halls, called ‘sadbhav mandap’, and 23 residential schools have been constructed, he added. Naqvi said that the just-concluded Haj 2017 was “very successful and smooth” as the central government had completed all the necessary preparations “well before time” in coordination with agencies concerned.
A total of 1,24,940 pilgrims performed Haj this year. Haj 2018 will be performed according to the new policy which aims to make the pilgrimage “more comfortable, smooth and transparent”, he said. “Pilgrims’ safety and their facilities are our priority,” the minister added. “The report on new Haj policy is under consideration of the ministry,” he said.