India’s Concerns: Mr. Prime Minister, please answer!

By Padma Bhargav —— Bio and Archives--September 24, 2007

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Sare Jahan se Accha, Hindustan hamara….
Mazhab nahin sikhata apas mein baire rakhna
Hindi hain hum, hindi hain hum, hindustan hamara…!!

Gujarat, India These and the following lines from our national song written by the great poet Mohammed Iqbal arouse patriotic feelings in every citizen of the country, whatever religion he or she might be following. Unfortunately, the recent actions of the government have proved otherwise. Today, religion, caste, community, class are supreme in India and the national song has been buried under caste-based politics.

As India tries to emerge as one of the powerful democracies; 130 crore citizen’s of the nation seek the following replies from the honorable Prime Minister of India.

What is the need for special minorities rights and reservation in government jobs? Why is the government always trying to lure the minorities when they also feel that they are Indians and oppose discrimination of any kind?

What measures has the government taken to protect the rights of the so-called majority class in the six decades of Indian independence? Are there any plans to create a National Majorities Commission because as per the national minorities commission website, the growth rate of Hindus has declined between 1961-71 and 1991-2001 along with its proportion when compared to minorities?

As per Prime Minister’s 15-point programme for welfare of minorities, provisions are being made for modernization of Madarsas and greater resources for teaching Urdu, besides equitable share in economic activities and employment has also been framed. Does this mean that only minorities require welfare, while 26.10 per cent Indians are still living below the poverty line?

As per the same programme, it has been mentioned that severe action should be taken against those who incite communal tension under prevention and control of communal riots. What about those thousands of lives lost in the terrorist attacks over the past decades? Is the government planning to make any programme for prevention and control of terrorist attacks and take strict measures against the terrorists?

What was the reason for abandoning POTA? Why hasn’t the parliament attack accused Mohammed Afzal been hanged so far even after being convicted and given a life sentence by the Apex court?

What are the committments with respect to basic issues of unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and housing? As per the website of the Ministry of Labour and Employment the unemployment rate has increased from 7.32 to 8.3 per cent. According to the government of india website, 35 per cent of the population is still illiterate.

The suicide of farmers in Andhra Pradesh was a major election issue in the previous general elections. According to the media reports more than 2000 farmers have comitted suicide in the past five years in Maharashtra alone. What is the reaction of the government?

Why is the central government taking the side of a party, which is supposedly having close relations with China (as per media reports), a non-friendly country?

Why are religious issues raised before the elections only? Why are the religious sentiments of a particular religion always targetted, whether through Babri Mazjid or Ram setu? Does the God’s identity need to be proved scientifically? Whether Ram setu is a historical bridge or not is a different question, but how can the centre say, to quote “Valmiki Ramayana and Ramacharitmanas, admittedly form an important part of ancient Indian literature, but these cannot be said to be historical records to incontrovertibly prove the existence of the characters and occurences of events depicted therein.” Are lord Rama, Sita and Hanuman characters of a play? Why this discrimination?

Is the government trying to divert the attention of people from its performance? Will the largest democracy of the world fight elections on the basis of religious, caste, class and regional issues?

When will the government show the maturity to address the basic requirements of the people and stop dividing them for the sake of votes, power and greed?

Does secularism imply supporting the naxalites, terrorists and criminals and associating with them during elections?

Government’s actions clearly depict the casual and botherless attitude towards people’s concerns. It is not serious and sincere in its efforts. There is a strong and immediate need to introspect on these and related issues, which could help us in finding out the right direction. It is really sad to note that a wonderful country with a rich culture, heritage and diversity is being divided and divided further to fulfill selfish political interests.

Padma Bhargav is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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