Who is a ‘minority’ in Kerala?

via Rajendrababu published on August 10, 2007

Education leads one to be wiser. He or she would clearly be able to differentiate right from wrong. A learned person would clearly understand the value of equality and social justice. Even our constitution stresses the value of equality and social justice to all. But will anyone with minimum common sense, ever think that there is equality in Kerala’s education sector?


Every day we hear about ‘minority’ rights getting ‘abused’. It has become a total irritant in a normally peaceful state. Who are these ‘minorities’? Are they any immigrants from neighborhood state? Or are they some refugees from another country? Or are they being abused because of their race or ethnicity? Answer is a big NO to all these questions. But we have seen the native people getting lured (or bribed) or converted (mostly forcefully) to different religions since the time of foreign invasions to our land. Somehow the same converted groups have been defined as the ‘minorities’. Is there any definite number mentioned in our constitution to define the limit to qualify as a ‘minority’?


Our constitution provides equal rights to all people irrespective of caste or religion. Constitution guarantees that even if certain religious groups were less in number, they would enjoy all rights as that of the majority religious groups. In short they would not be discriminated just because they are few in number.


But take the case of the 2 major minority groups in Kerala – Christians and Muslims who constitute together nearly HALF the population. These same groups manage more than 95% of educational institutions and most of them are also maintained with governmental benefits (which are denied to non-minorities!).


In the name of quality, these institutions charge hefty payments right from day one.  Even though, the government funds most of the ‘minority institutions’, the government has no right to interfere in the day-to-day management activities or recruitments! But the same government can interfere in non-minority colleges and schools. The present central government has gone a step further to appease these groups. Using a new amendment, the minority institutions need not provide reservations to the socially and economic backward classes whereas reservations are a MUST in non-minority institutions.


Are we seeing the beginning of an apartheid system in our country when certain sections are given undue rights and privileges while others are getting discriminated daily?


The principal of St Stephens College in Delhi now wants to reserve some percentage of seats to Dalit Christians! He has exposed himself that the conditions of Dalits are same even after getting converted and so they need reservations! Or he could have a hidden (fascist) agenda of using conversion (communal) tactics – ‘get converted and fetch the admission!’ These tactics could be successful against the weaker sections of our society.


Recently when the Kerala Government brought out an education bill to correct the fees structure (for rectifying the social imbalances) in the self-financing engineering colleges, the ‘minority’ groups started their usual pressure tactics. We saw the religious leaders, bishops and cardinals, instead of looking after the spiritual needs of the followers, threatening the democratically elected government like dirt-cheap politicians.


Unfortunately instead of being firm against the communal chanting of the intolerant religious leaders, we saw our government stooping low every time to appease these groups. This is the ‘high-point’ of Kerala model of secularism. Appease minority communal groups but at the same time try to control and loot the ancient Hindu temples.


Common man in Kerala has seen the evictions from the illegal land encroachments all over Kerala. Initially, it was going pretty smooth till it was exposed that there were many Churches in huge acreages in encroached lands. During the same time media exposed the human genocide at a Kerala-based Catholic centre. These exposes could have naturally angered some intolerant religious heads. They just wanted to divert the increased attention of the public from these exposes.


The idea of ‘second liberation struggle’ could have been generated in some fascist mind to scare the democratically elected government from exposing more crimes. But the Marxist leadership shivered at the sneeze of the Bishops in their palaces and started sending emissaries to appease the angered lot. Marxists too need to cling on to power and they do not want to lose their ‘minority’ vote bank.


It will be the poor who will suffer, if the government loses to the arrogance and intolerance of some communal bishops. Social justice would be denied in the name of so-called special minority rights.


In a democratic country, all should be equal before the law and dividing people on the basis of majority and minority will only lead to further division of our country. Media being lethargic will only aggravate this situation.


Unfortunately, our Media has been silent towards the recent atrocities of certain fundamentalist groups especially against Hindu organizations.


For example, during a peaceful protest in USA against the visiting Andhra Pradesh CM regarding the misuse of temple funds, a fascist head of some ‘minority’ communal group attacked a demonstrator. The news item is available at ( http://www.indiatribune.com/popuparticle.aspx?Article_ID=6471

 ). The arrest of the fascist leader, Jaychand Pallekonda is also available in this clip -( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vd39f1qDqhs&feature=PlayList&p=1C0B9498524F08C6&index=0)


In US, the criminal was immediately arrested. But will this happen in our country, where his ‘minority’ status could have helped him get away with this crime. Also we cannot forget the fact that our mainstream and vernacular press ignored the attack on a Hindu protestor. They also blacked out the protest of Christian extremists when Hindu prayer opened a US Senate session. All in the name of vote bank politics or some other hidden agenda.


It is time to prevent fascists and communal priests to exploit the constitutional rights at the cost of the majority. Rights should be equal to all; otherwise it is a disgrace to the concept of equality enshrined in our constitution.


Our youth, media and culture ambassadors have a greater role in rectifying the social imbalances rather than being silent spectators to criminal groups.

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