Welfare of Pasmanda Muslims: Noted Litterateur Questions Modi’s Real Intent


Bhopal’s Dr Ummeed says there is a lot of difference between what the prime minister practices and what he preaches

 Pervez Bari | Clarion India

BHOPAL — Dr Ali Abbas Ummeed, the Bhopal-based well-known litterateur of national repute, has questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent statement wherein he played the card of Pasmanda Muslims (Backward class Muslims) and pitched for a Uniform Civil Code along with the “issue” of triple talaq of Muslim women.

Prime Minister Modi raised the issues in the backdrop of the upcoming elections in several states, including Madhya Pradesh, and the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. He described himself and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as the proponents and supporters of the Muslim community. In the same vein, ironically, he said other parties are wooing Pasmanda Muslims only to create a vote bank for themselves.

Prime Minister Modi harped on the above three points amongst others while addressing BJP workers in Bhopal last week.

Questioning the prime minister’s real intent, Dr Ummeed raised many questions and asked him that if Pasmanda Muslims have been cheated by non-BJP governments, then what did his own Central government and his state governments do for them? Prime Minister Modi, he said, owes an explanation as to why the scholarship of backward class Muslim students has been closed since last year. Why is the subsidy in employment stopped for this section of society?

Rs 15 crore Grant to Minority-Dominated Districts Stopped!

Talking to Clarion India, Dr Ummeed recalled that the UPA government had declared 99 districts of the country as minority-dominated districts and fixed an annual Rs 15 crore for each of these districts for their development. Why this scheme has been stopped? Why was the grant of madrassas stopped? Why there is no appointment in National Minorities Commission? Why Pasmanda Muslims are not being given benefits through the National Minorities Finance Development Corporation?

He said even after nearly 30 years of the order of the full bench of the Supreme Court, the imams are not being paid their remuneration. It may be mentioned here that the Supreme Court in 1993, on a petition from the All India Imam Organisation, had directed the waqf boards to give remuneration to imams in the mosques managed by them.

Grants to madrassas scrapped

Dr Ummeed, basically a poet of bitter realities of life, said the questions he has asked fall under the domain of the prime minister. Why the prime minister did not ask the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, presently governed by the BJP, to initiate welfare measures for Muslims of the backward class? How much did the state government provide for the scholarships of the Muslim backward class, their madrassas and also to assist their cottage industries?

The prime minister, he said, should ask the chief minister why Madhya Pradesh Minorities Commission was not constituted; why there were no appointments in Bhopal Masajid Committee, in State Madrassa Board, in Madhya Pradesh Minorities Finance Development Corporation. The madrassas in the state have not received grants for the last three years. A whopping 85 per cent of them belong to the Muslim backward classes. There is a lot of difference between what the prime minister practices and what he preaches, Dr Ummeed said.

Dr Ummeed said Qureshis form the bulk of the Muslim backward class. “They are butchers and are into business related to meat, bone and skin of animals. Why the business of bone was taken away from them? It is well known that the meat and the bone trade is in the hands of common non-Muslims. The country gets a huge revenue from the skin business.”

He said apart from Muslim backward classes, the ancestral business of the people of the Dalit society is also affected. Who is responsible for all this mess?

Game of 80-20

Dr Ummeed said he does not have any political affiliation. “The way the game of 80-20 was started in Uttar Pradesh during state elections, on the same lines, the prime minister is trying to woo Pasmanda Muslims and calling them his supporters in this election year.” 

He said there was no truth in the claim that a section of society has politicised the Muslim backward class. “The truth is that this politicisation has been done by political outfits. There is no high and low caste in Islam. Muslims have their unique identity and they are mainly identified by the business they run. All Muslims eat on one “Dastarkhwan” (broadly speaking on the same table) and offer namaz in one “Suff” (one row).

Dr Ummeed said if the prime minister feels there has been discrimination against the Muslim backward class, then first he should look at all those things which are under his jurisdiction.


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