Dubious Secular Credentials (June 19, 2013)

News Analysis-II

In this second and concluding part of his analysis Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam says Nitish Kumar has to prove his credentials.

JDU is trying to project its split with BJP as a reassertion of its secular credentials. It is difficult to understand how a party that has cohabited with BJP for so many years can become secular overnight.

In the last piece I had tried to analyse the long association of our Socialists with the Sangh, and Nitish Kumar’s long relationship with the BJP. This relationship has harmed Muslims of Bihar even though Nitish would be the last person to admit it. Unless he undos the harm, if not fully, at least substantially, his claims to secularism will not be credible.

When the Sangh supporters tried to force shopkeepers in Patna on their Vishwaghat Diwas (Betrayal Day) in protest against JDU for divorcing NDA, some shopkeepers resisted. The Sanghis tried, as usual, violence to enforce their will. This led to counter violence. A provoked Nitish called BJP “goondon ki party” (a party of violent criminals).

This raises the question as to who legitimised the goondon ki party by sharing power with it knowing that the goondas would harm Muslims. Nitish has only himself to blame today. Because of this power-sharing arrangement BJP has become very powerful today, and would certainly pose an electoral challenge to JDU in days ahead.

Test of Secularism

The Supreme Court asked Bihar government to fill 34,540 primary school teachers’ positions and out of these 12,862 were reserved for Urdu teachers. The government of Bihar issued a fresh advertisement changing the criteria for Urdu teachers’ appointment. Only those candidates could apply who had studied Urdu at plus two level with 200 marks. Also, they must have the degree of B.Ed. or B.T. before 23rd Jan, 2006. There was no such condition in the original advertisement. This new advertisement also mentioned that if no Urdu candidate was available, this vacancy would be transferred to general candidates. As a result, only around 7,000 were able to apply. Out of these around 4,000 got appointed. The rest were appointed as general-category teachers, leaving many schools without an Urdu teachers.

Earlier, a Fazil degree holder was recognised as a trained degree holder. Now this degree holder is not recognised as a trained degree holder.

In another unjust, anti-Muslim move, Persian and Arabic have been deleted from High School board examination.

The infamous Forbesganj killings have gone unpunished. Recently almost all adults fled the area as they were being falsely implicated in various cases. No compensation has been given.

As if to culturally harm Muslims and demoralise them not even a single Muslim Vice-Chancellor has been appointed. In JDU manifesto madarsa teachers were assured of 6th Pay Commission. But till date no action has been taken in this regard, which shows somebody in influential position in government has been subverting every action that could benefit Muslims.

Pension Scheme for minority college teachers was passed by the cabinet, but till date it has not been implemented because of interference of by the bureaucracy. There is no clear-cut policy for promotion of minority college teachers.

No permanent land, building, staff has been given to Maulana Mazharul Haque Arabic and Persian University. They are running the affairs from Urdu Bhavan as other universities have got hundreds of acres of land. All that shows a consistent effort to undermine the educational progress of Muslims.

Unless the above injustices are undone the JDU claim of secularism will sound hollow.


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