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April 4, 2012 at 5:14 am #67319
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday proposed a monthly honorarium and a plot or house for every imam in the state.
In an attempt to prevent any controversy, Mamata has formed a task force comprising clerics to consider the schemes and decide whether they are acceptable.
“Please do not think that I am forcing these schemes on you. I understand you might have some religious compulsions for not accepting any of the schemes. Please convey your concern to the members of the task force. I will start the process of implementing the schemes only after the task force gives its nod,” the chief minister said.
Mamata proposed that each imam — there are “30,000-40,000” in the state, according to the chief minister — be entitled to a monthly honorarium of Rs 2,500 to be paid by the Waqf Board.
She also proposed a scheme — Nijo bhoomi, nijo griho (Own land, own house) — to solve the problem of housing that many clerics face.
“In rural areas, the government will give three cottahs to every imam and money to build a house on it. In urban areas, the urban development department will allot homes to imams,” the chief minister suggested.
She also proposed scholarships and stipends for the children of the imams. “Our imams do not have the means to educate their children. We will help them through loans, scholarships and stipends from the West Bengal Minority Development and Finance Commission,” said Banerjee.
Around 3,000 imams attended the meeting, announced last weekend, at Netaji Indoor Stadium. “This is the first time since Independence that a chief minister is holding a conference of imams in Bengal. We have a lot of expectation from Mamata Banerjee,” said Maulana Mohammed Shafique Qasmi, the imam of the Nakhoda Masjid in central Calcutta.
Union minister Sultan Ahmed, who was in charge of inviting the imams, said the chief minister had “kept her promise by meeting the imams and proposing so many welfare schemes for them”.
News Source: http://www.telegraphindia.comJune 30, 2012 at 4:31 pm #73008
I do not subscribe to the views of the honourable Chief Minister of West Bengal. The decision taken by her appears to be based on political considerations and vote bank politics rather than on humanitarian grounds. While only Imams? There are many more persons of different religions in the state of West Bengal who are as needy as imams. Properties worth several thousand crores of rupees fall within the category of Wakf Estate. Instead of making so much publicity on different Manch about the so-called salaries to the imams, she should have ordered the West Bengal Wokf Board for streamlining the records of those properties which have been leased out to the promoters by the Mutawallis with the help of some dishonest officials as well as other office bearers of the government involved in the matter of wakf. There are several thousand persons who are living on rents in the properties owned by Wakf Board against an very small sum of rent. If the rents of those properties are revised according to the prevailing market rate, I personally believe that there will be no dearth of finance for paying salary to the imams, for construction of the walls of the burial grounds and for opening schools, colleges, hostels and hospitals by the Muslims in our state from the exchequer of the West Bengal Wakf Board.July 1, 2012 at 6:48 am #73021
The decision taken by her appears to be based on political considerations and vote bank politics rather than on humanitarian grounds.
I think this decision ultimately could not provide any political mileage. People are smart enough to understand that helping Imams is not as such the upliftment of Muslim community.July 1, 2012 at 7:57 am #73023
Yes, You are right and I wish that every citizen of this State must understand this. On the other hand also think that whether the general masses who are the vote banks would also think in the same line in which we think? I believe NO.In a democratic state good governance is an important factor and not the issue whether any Imam or pujari eats Biryani or vegetarian Bhoj. We will be cruel to the State and its people if we do not make our friends and relative understand the factual position. India is going through financial and political instability which we can not overlook as we are inseparable part of India.
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