Sunday, 22 February 2009

Kerala LDF Goes Islamic

Left moots pension for Madrassa teachers to please Muslims

Daily Pioneer: Kozhikode: 22 Feb 2009

The CPI(M)-led LDF Government in Kerala are planning some quick pre-poll measures to regain the trust of the minorities, especially Muslims, which has been affected of late by moves like the one by the Law Reforms Commission which has suggested strict controls on polygamy.

Local Administration Minister Paloli Muhammad Kutty, who had headed a panel for studying the possibilities of implementing the Sachar Committee recommendations in Kerala, announced on Saturday that the Government wanted to implement a programme for providing a handsome pension to those who retired as full-time Madrassa teachers.

At a function organized here to announce the formation of a welfare fund for the Madrassa teachers, Paloli said the plan was to give a sum of at least Rs 4,000 a month as pension to those who had completed at least ten years' service as full-time Madrassa teachers.

He also said that the Government was also considering to institute 5,000 scholarships for students from the minority community. There was also a plan to provide Rs 1,000 towards hostel fee for minority students in the higher education sector. Centres would be started for imparting training to minority candidates for preparing for civil service examinations, he said.

The Paloli-headed committee appointed to study the ways to implement the Sachar Committee recommendations in Kerala had in February 2008 last suggested that all Muslim children below poverty line should be given all the educational concessions presently enjoyed by those in the scheduled tribes. The committee's report had said special scholarships of up to Rs 2,000 should be given to these children on the basis of an income ceiling.

The report had also asked for a hike in the grant for children living in orphanages (Yateem Khanas) from the present Rs 175 to Rs 250 per month and for increasing this by Rs 25 every year. The LDF Government, disregarding the serious concerns and criticisms raised by leading political parties and community organizations in the State, had on April 30 last decided to implement the report of the Paloli committee. Various organizations had complained that the CPI(M) effort to implement the report was part of its efforts to win the Muslim vote-bank even by jeopardizing the religious harmony in the State.

The report had recommended creation of a Muslim Development Corporation, establishment of an Arabic university and more government schools in Muslim majority areas, etc. The committee also recommended constitution of minority cells in the district level. It also suggested starting of more educational institutions in the Government or aided sector in places with higher density of Muslim population.

Paloli's new announcements have come just when several Muslim outfits, including Jama'at-e-Islami and the Sunni sect led by Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliar, have indicated that they could not support the Left in the coming elections. Jama'at-e-Islami's Kerala Amir T Arifali had recently said that they might reconsider their association with the CPI(M)-led LDF.

To pay a monthly pension of Rs.4000/- each to about one lakh Madrassa teachers is an abuse of public funds.
These Madrassa teachers, unlike all other segments of pensioners in the country, are to be allowed pension after a mere 10 years of service. A large number of the pensioners would thus be in their 30s and would henceforth be free to spread Jihad on a government pension. The quantum of pension [Rs. 4000/-] is higher than what even most government employees would receive after 30 years of service. The annual burden to the exchequer would be around 500 crores. This in a State with a mere Rs 30000 crore Budget!
The Madrassa teachers are without any specified academic qualifications. Many of them are even illiterate. They are not appointed on the basis of any reasonable standards. There are no recognised or approved track trails of their service either. That many of them are responsible for all the communal tension in the State is known to all. They are merely teachers of Islam and not of benefit to the general society. In the absence of any such pension scheme to priests and religion teachers of other communities, the government move is extremely partisan. Before long, pension would be demanded by Christian priests and preachers also.
That Communists have always been responsible for much of the religious divide in Kerala, beginning with their creation of the Moslem Malappuram district, is beyond dispute. In West Bengal, they drive out Taslima Nasrins or imprison Statesman editors to appease Moslems. If the move is not opposed and force backed, a dangerous trend of communal appeasement and misuse of government funds to catch votes would be further impressed upon styles of administration in the State for times to come.

Government to fund maths and science in madrassas

New Delhi. January 22, 2008
The human resource development ministry will link madrassas with the National Institute of Open School and introduce mathematics, social sciences, Hindi, English and other regular subjects as part of the modernisation process of the religious schools.
There are demands to treat madrassa degrees at par with those of public schools.

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