The recently constituted Commission of Inquiry (CoI) constituted by the Government of Telangana will look into social, economic and educational status of Muslims in Telangana, commission chairman G Sudhir said on Tuesday.
Addressing the media, Sudhir, a retired bureaucrat, said that the nine Terms of Reference (ToR) entailed that the commission conduct a detailed study on the socio-economic status of Muslims. “We will have to do a see what kind of problems there are and the level of attainment,” he said. Explaining the methodology of data collation, Sudhir explained that information from the both agencies of the state and Centre would be taken. Relevant data with the Census of India, National Sample Survey Organisation, Centre for Economic and Social Studies will also be used, he added. The CoI will also invite suggestions from the public.
The CoI will embark on a tour of the districts of the state in the first week of September to understand the level of implementation of schemes and to interact with government officials and others. Here, the commission will visit Muslim populated areas and study development vis-a-vis neighbourhoods populated by members of other communities. The CoI has been given a timeframe of six month to complete the study.
Seeking to explain the need for carrying out the study by asking questions, commission member and development economist Amirullah Khan said, “Data suggests that urban facilities across the country have improved. But have they also improved in Muslim-dominated areas? Every community in the last 10 years has seen an increase in enrolment in primary education. Muslim beneficiaries are as good as any other community. But by the time they are 11 or 12 years old, there is a 70 percent dropout rate. Is this the case in Telangana? The drop out rate among boys is more than that in girls in the Muslim community. It would be interesting to see find out why this is happening,” he said.
The CoI will also study the trends in healthcare and political representation in the Muslim community. “All over India, health is not good. But there has been meagre improvement. It is only in the health indicator that Muslim children are better. But they join levels of other communities as they grow up. What is the reason for this positive handicap and why is it lost,” Khan, who was also a member of the Kundu Committee, said. Taking questions from TOI on whether the commission’s recommendations would stand in courts of law as only a Backward Class Commission has the constitutional right to recommend reservations, Khan said that CoI would ensure that it presents a strong report which will support welfare measures. Commission members also cited the prevailing 69 percent reservations in education and employment for backward classes in Tamil Nadu as a precedent.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao was intent on providing reservations to Muslims, he added.
Other members who spoke were Tata Institute of Social Science professor Abdul Shaban, also a member of the Mahmood-ur-Rahman Committee in Maharashtra, secretary, tribal welfare GD Aruna and MA Bari.