BJP's recently released manifesto before the Loksabha Elections in 2014 has received enough criticism for including the agenda of constructing Ram Mandir. While opposition and media made this two line agenda as a headline news, what was conveniently ignored was the comprehensive agenda that the party has set for the upliftment of the minorities.
Minorities - Equal Opportunity
BJP believes that in India's 'Unity in Diversity' lies India's biggest strength. We cherish the depth and vibrancy that the diversity in Indian society adds to the nation. BJP is thus committed to the preservation of the rich culture and heritage of India's minority communities; alongside their social and economic empowerment.
It is unfortunate that even after several decades of independence, a large section of the minority, and especially Muslim community continues to be stymied in poverty. Modern India
must be a nation of equal opportunity. BJP is committed to ensure that all communities are equal partners in India's progress, as we believe India
cannot progress if any segment of Indians is left behind.We will
- Ensure that the young, and the girl child in particular get education and jobs without discrimination.
- Strengthen and modernize minority educational systems and institutions; dovetailing them with modern requirements. National Madrasa modernization programme would be initiated.
- Empower with vibrancy in Livelihood and Entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Augment their traditional artisanship and entrepreneurial skill, which are a backbone of our cottage and small-scale industry - strengthening these sectors through better market linkages, branding and access to credit.
- Empower Waqf Boards in consultation with religious leaders; taking steps to remove encroachments from and unauthorized occupation of Waqf properties.
- Curate their rich heritage and culture - maintenance and restoration of heritage sites; digitization of archives; preservation and promotion of Urdu.
- Ensure a peaceful and secure environment, where there is no place for either the perpetrators or exploiters of fear.
- Facilitate the setting up of a permanent Inter-faith Consultative mechanism to promote harmony and trust, under the auspices of religious leader.
First of all, BJP has shown its commitment to the preservation of rich culture and heritage of the minorities including Muslims and it also talks of preservation and promotion of Urdu. Now, Urdu is not a language of Muslims only. It is the language of all Indians irrespective of their religion and has been developed by taking vocabulary from Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Punjabi, Braj Bhasha, Awadhi, etc. with a Hindi grammatical structure but written in Persian script. It is very rich in poetry, literature and all other forms of writing. It has been badly neglected over the years ever since the country attained independence and should be promoted so that all lovers of this beautiful language irrespective of their religion could enjoy it. So, BJP's commitment to its preservation and promotion is a step in the right direction and would benefit not only Muslims but all lovers of Urdu language irrespective of their religion. Secondly, BJP has expressed its commitment to educating the boys and particularly the girls of minorities including the Muslims. The Muslim girls' education is suffering at present and most of the Muslim girls suffer from a lack of education. It is hoped that BJP would give special incentives to Muslims for getting their girls educated which would also help the Muslims to develop themselves and control their population as well as remove their poverty because once the girls are educated, then when they assume the role of motherhood, they would be aware of the benefits of having a small family which would be helpful in reducing the poverty also for it is due to large families that they are having that Muslims remain poor. Most importantly, the BJP has shown an intent to modernise the Madarasa education which is vital for the development of the Muslim community as well as for containing terrorism. It is a fact that most of the poor people go to Madarasas for education and only religious education is imparted in such Madarasas which combined with poverty make them prone to exploitation by the terrorists. By modernizing, science and other subjects would be taught to the Muslim students and they would then be able to get good jobs as well as become eminent scientists and technologists. BJP also has expressed its intention to strengthen cottage and small scale industry which has mostly Muslim workers. This step would help the Muslims in a big way. BJP has also shown its commitment to protecting the Waqf property and also have permanent Inter-faith Consultative machinery to remove fear from the mind of Muslims and build their trust.
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