Nine Years in Office (May 25, 2013)
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam comments on the nine years of UPA in office.
Now that the Congress-led UPA has completed nine years of uninterrupted rule at the Centre, it is the moment of introspection and stock-taking by both the government and the people of this country. The UPA has a patchy record of both achievements and failures as far as common Indians are concerned, but for Muslims these years have been pretty difficult.
The UPA rule began on a note of hope as the Sachar Committee was constituted to look into the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in order to start correction measures on the basis of its findings and suggestions. In the wake of the Sachar Report some progress has been made, for which the UPA should get its due credit.
Landmark policy achievements like Right to Information, Right to Education, National Rural Employment Guarantee scheme, Direct Benefit Transfer scheme, National Rural Health Mission and Bharat Nirman are duly recognised as significant.
However, what has tarnished the image of the government is uncontrolled inflation, lawlessness on the streets and crime against women. The weaker sections, particularly Muslims, feel more vulnerable than in some of the worst periods after independence.
Even though law and order is a state subject, the Centre has the authority to intervene in cases of serious law and order problems. But the Centre has barely raised a finger in the worst anti-Muslim atrocities. As many as 400,000 people, mostly Muslims, were forced out of their homes and into refugee camps in Assam, where a Congress-led coalition rules, without any substantial resistance from the state. The culprits roam free as the refugees are prevented from coming to their villages, even though their homes and property documents have been turned to ashes.
Since the beginning of Akhilesh Yadav government in UP, as many as 27 anti-Muslim riots have been organised and staged without the Centre raising a finger. Congress-run states like Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh have created new records of police brutality against Muslims.
The communal prejudice among the police has deepened so much that when a Muslim young man, whom the Nimesh Commission had found not to be guilty of involvement in a blast case, died in police custody on May 18, a former director general of police said he considered the man guilty even if the Commission and a court of justice found him innocent. Such blatant contempt of the institution of Commission and court of justice has failed to stir anyone.
Sadly, the tenure of UPA government has been marked by consistent harassment, humiliation, imprisonment, torture and murder of innocent Muslim youth across India. Those who survive the ordeal are scarred and defamed for life. The number of such youth is growing by the day.
Muslim organisations, the All India Milli Council in particular so, have made representations and got assurances of fair play from the high and mighty for the umpteenth time, but nothing has changed on the ground.
The death of the Muslim youth in UP police custody has virtually sealed the fate of Samajwadi Party. Because of the uninterrupted witch hunt against Muslim youth, Congress does not fare any better. This disappointment with so-called secular parties does not augur well.