Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi today hit out at the West Bengal government for the recent riots and said “unconstitutional” elements were sometimes more effective than the constitutionally-elected TMC dispensation in the state. The Minister of State for Minority Affairs said the Centre was at present studying a high-level committee’s report on establishing institutes to combat educational backwardness of minorities and would take steps accordingly. The panel had observed that Muslims were the “most disadvantaged” when it came to education and suggested setting up a three-tier educational infrastructure to address the issue. “Lack of harmony works as a speed-breaker in the way of progress. I sometimes find that, in West Bengal, activities of unconstitutional anti-social elements are more effective than the constitutionally elected government there. There is need to control such elements,” Naqvi said.
The minister made the comment on the sidelines of a workshop on inspecting authorities of Maulana Azad Education Foundation (MAEF) here. On the government-appointed panel’s observations, Naqvi said the report was being studied. The panel had recommended creation of infrastructure to proffer education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels by opening 211 schools, 25 community colleges and 5 national institutes.
“Unfortunately, Muslims lagged behind educationally post-independence. Hence, our focus over past three years has been to empower them educationally. We don’t want any child to be left without education,” he said. Among other, Naqvi said, the government had decided to launch a scheme like Tehreek-E-Talim (campaign for education) aimed at educating every child from the community.
He also reiterated the MAEF’s decision to offer Rs 51,000 marriage assistance per head to those girl students who completed their graduation availing the ministry’s scholarship named after Begum Hazrat Mahal. Naqvi said the Modi government was moving ahead for “transformation through transparency and efficiency” and hence, the inspecting authorities, posse of retired government officials, has been roped in to give the MAEF feedback on implementation of its schemes. The inspecting authorities, he said, would work as “watchdog”.
“This would help us. Hence, we have finalised 280 inspection authorities initially. These include people from technical, administrative, educational background. They will give us feedback about our various schemes,” he said. Life though had returned to normal in riot-hit Baduria town and adjacent areas of North 24 Parganas district today after communal violence broke out over a Facebook post earlier this week.