Left moots pension for Madrassa teachers to please Muslims

via Pioneer News Service | Kozhikode published on February 22, 2009

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.

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.

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.

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

Meanwhile, violence re-erupted at Veliyamkode, Ponnani in
Muslim-majority Malappuram district on Saturday afternoon between
activists of the CPI(M) and Popular Front, the new organization
launched by Islamist outfit NDF. Tension had been prevailing between
CPI(M) and Popular front in Veliyamkode, a coastal village, for the
past few weeks.

The house and a car of a Popular Front activist
were set afire in Saturday’s violence. The attack was suspected to be a
retaliation for hacking a CPI(M) activist earlier.

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