In an interview with Dainik Jagran, Najma Heptulla spoke in details about the vision of Modi government regarding the welfare and development of Minorities. Here are the excerpts.

Q – As a minister, what are your priorities?

A – My biggest challenge is to move along with everyone and drive the nation on the path of development. When I am talking about everyone, our minorities are also included in that. The BJP’s manifesto spoke of providing equal opportunities to all. Fulfilling those promises is my priority.

Q – You spoke about fulfilling promises, how it will be done and what will be the approach?

A – See, we have got a visionary Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. He always speaks along with an example. He has presented the example of poor Muslims involved in kite-making business in Gujarat. No one gives importance to kites but he has turned his attention towards it. He restructured the sector and provided an all-new dimension to the kite-manufacturing business. Today, the craftsmen have started exporting kites as well. If the policies are clear and transparent, there could be hardly any hitch in framing policies and getting them implemented.

Q – What’s your road map?

A We are working on a composite policy towards it. Talks are on regarding incorporating skill as well as education. We are not only trying to preserve their forefather’s legacy, skills and tradition but also ensuring its promotion. We are thinking to develop Madarsas in villages as ‘Cyber Madarsas’. Modi is constantly talking about skill development and this would act as a pool to this idea. If the student, after acquiring religious knowledge from Madarsas wants to pursue higher education, he will be provided ‘scholarships’ in subjects like Hindi, Mathematics, Economics, Engineering, Medical etc. He will be provided coaching as well in order to support him.
Q – How will you let the minority group know about your plans?

A – Our focus is on passing on the message in an easy fashion to understand language and this will leave a bigger impact. Take the instance of MNREGA. How can a village man understand it? Had terms like ‘Our Village Our Work’ been coined, it would have been better. The plans and programmes are named after people like Nehru, Gandhi whereas they don’t have any remote association with these programmes. We are trying to make people feel that they are related to the plan. Language can help in having access to one’s heart. Once we reach out to them, all falsified facts, which have been designed till now, will disappear.

Q – Your have been quite vocal on the issue of reservation for minorities and the Congress in Maharashtra has once again spoken of providing 4.5 percent to Minorities. What’s your take on it?

A – If reservation is provided to four percent, what will happen to the remaining 96 percent? The Constitution does not allow it. The Constitution was not framed by Modi or RSS. We are functioning as per the directives laid down by the Constitution. In fact, the Congress, which framed the Constitution itself, insults it. This is just a show-off. These people want to indulge in politics of such a nature by wooing the people. Had the previous government made an honest effort in this direction, the development of minorities would have taken place in its actual sense. By talking about reservation, these people are creating insecurities in the minds of minorities. The need of the hour is to bring uniformity in development. The weaker section should be elevated and then a sense of competition should be instilled.

Q- How can the qualms in Muslim society related to Modi and BJP be done away with?

A – Muslims will see that Modi government’s intentions are clear. The government sympathizes with them and wants to bring change in their lives. When they will see that Modi government wants to pull them out of the bogs of poverty and illiteracy, they will come closer. My efforts will be to make them hopeful and when they achieve it, confidence will boost up.


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