India’s Constitution tells us that we are a Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. That is by definition the government and administrative system is supposed to maintain an arms distance from religious establishments and religion would not influence policy of the state. Our Constitution also grants us fundamental rights of equality and equal treatment of all citizens without any discrimination of race, colour, creed, caste or gender. But, curiously, a secular state gives special provisions for minorities to set up educational institutions and religious establishments with unfettered rights to manage and control them. Minority educational institutions also do not have to cater to reservation of seats for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes as they have been exempted to do so by several amendments to the Constitution. Not just that, the minority educational institutions also do not have to provide 25% of seats for free education to children from economically weaker sections of the society.

That is to say the Constitution as it stands now puts the onus on the majority Hindus to cater to the economically weaker sections of society belonging to their own community as well of the other minority communities as well viz the Muslims and the Christians. It is therefore not incumbent on the very rich and resourceful Christian and Muslim community which runs several schools and colleges to provide certain free seats for its own community, leave alone for children from underprivileged backgrounds from Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain communities.

We had the Nehru family government at the Centre predominantly for nearly 54 years after independence which perpetuated minority appeasement, i.e., of the Christians and the Muslims. Muslims form a huge chunk of the population about 25 crores in total which is larger than the total population of many countries in the world, yet they are always pandered to for vote bank politics. Christians also forms a large number of the total population, though officially recorded as 33 million (2.3%) in the 2011 Census  nearly five times the number are undeclared Christians so as to enable them to fraudulently avail the SC, ST reservations. Whereas the real minorities are the Parsis who are a total of mere 60,000 in India. The Parsis never seek reservations in employment or education, in fact despite being a micro-minority they have enriched the nation in every sphere be it industry, science & technology, law etc with legendary figures like JRD Tata, Homi Bhabha, Sam Manekshaw etc.

Pandering to Muslim and Christian appeasement, Ministry of Minority Affairs was created in 2006 and based on the Rangnath Misra Report on National Commission for Religious and Linguistic Minorities, a slew of schemes and funds were released to appease the Muslims.

The Rangnath Misra Report recommends a slew of appeasement measures of which a few unconstitutional ones are listed below: –

  • 10% quota for Muslims and 5% reservation for all other minorities in government jobs and seats in educational institutions.
  • 8.7% of the total 27% reservation for minorities.
  • SC reservations to include Dalit converts to Christianity and Islam.

Following the submission of this report in 2007, when the Congress headed government at the centre wanted to extend SC reservation quota for Christian and Muslim Dalit converts, which the BJP opposed tooth and nail and termed it unconstitutional and immoral as Dalits are converted to Christianity and Islam citing caste discrimination in Hinduism; how can converted Muslims and Christians retain caste when Islam and Christianity are supposed to be casteless faiths?

The BJP also then criticized Congress’ action of providing special scholarships for education of Muslims and Christians calling it discriminatory and against the principles of equality enshrined in our Constitution. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat refused to implement these obnoxious special treatments to Muslims and Christians.

So, naturally we expected the BJP led government in the Centre which succeeded the UPA in a historic verdict in 2014 and an equally thumping mandate in 2019 would scrap the highly discriminatory Ministry of Minority Affairs and allocation of hundreds of crores of rupees just for the welfare of Muslims, which in itself provides an incentive for conversion as these special facilities are not available for the economically weaker sections of Hindu society.  

But alas, the BJP continued with the same policies  of providing special funding for education, self-employment, supporting artisans and artists of solely Muslims and Christians under the garb of social welfare. What about the education of poor children, struggling artists and artisans living in rural and semi urban areas of the Hindu community?

If PM Modi wishes to really break away from the old rusty appeasement policy of the past which retarded Bharat’s development and standing in the world as a force to reckon with, he needs to get rid of the legacy of appeasement he inherited for a true “Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas”. As the minority appeasement till now has only nurtured the feeling of otherness which has resulted in various secessionist tendencies, fanned jihadi and Christian evangelical fundamentalism.

These policies are very dangerous for the security and integrity of our nation as they give impetus to conversions of Hindus to Islam and Christianity which in turn has resulted in secessionist tendencies wherever Muslims and Christians are in majority, like in Jammu & Kashmir or in the North Eastern states of India.

Note: This article is the first part of the two-part article on minority appeasement. This part gives a historical background of the appeasement baggage carried by the BJP led government at the Centre. The next part will focus on the pernicious appeasement policies still continued by the BJP led government which needs to be discarded and abolished at once.  

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.