New Delhi: Time and again the Centre has tried to improve the condition of minorities in India, but their special focus has always been on Muslims, which has drawn flak from the other marginalised sections of society.

As per Census 2001, the percentage of minorities in India is 18.4%, which includes Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis. However, for the Central government minority section in India includes only Muslims. Be it the development, upliftment or launching new schemes every planning is done for the Muslims.

Slamming the Centre for it, former head of National Minorities Commission, Sardar Tarlochan Singh, complained that the Union government’s such tactics will only lead to sectionalism.

“The Centre has always identified Muslims as minorities and Sachar Committee report on this section made it quite evident. Whether it was education, food or housing problems, all plans were for Muslims,” he said.

He elaborated that while selecting the minority-majority 90 districts also, Muslim population was given preference. Giving the example of Kerala he said the state has a majority of Christians but it was never considered.

“Beside Muslims, there are other factions in minority groups who are poor but the Centre adopts blind attitude towards them,” he accused.

Even for the strategic meetings, Muslim leaders are always called to discuss key-points for socio-economic development in society while other sections are never given much importance.

The government which has started planning development programmes for the next five years take into consideration only Muslims and discuss the plans with them.

Sources revealed that in order to develop better strategies for Muslims, Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be meeting Muslim leaders on July 7.

They also revealed that Muslim Personal Law Board leaders will suggest the names of those leaders who will work for the minorities in India in future.

JPN/Bureau