Religion is not the medium to express and show one’s feelings and commitment. Religious preaching does not certify any individual’s patriotism. Patriotism is an abstract, which cannot be measured in words.
Patriotism is completely different from the propaganda methods of religion. Religion is different from patriotism. Many self-styled stalwarts are misrepresenting religion as patriotism. In the name of religion and patriotism, some groups are spreading hatred among fellow citizen for furthering their agenda.
The so-called groups are taking advantage of poverty, illiteracy and social discrepancies in society and developing a rift between the poor and weaker sections. They are taking advantage of the dissatisfaction of unemployed youth as their target is to explode against some social groups in the name of patriotism.
The work and service, dedicated to the development of people, is patriotism. SCs, STs, BCs and other downtrodden groups comprise 85% of the population, and they need generous planning for proportional development in all fields. This is real patriotism and only then will the condition of people improve. Patriotism is not opposing Muslims.
Working for the development of SCs, STs, BCs and Muslims is patriotism. According to their population ratio, they should get their equal share and development in all spheres and that will be real democracy.
According to the 2011 Census, the Muslim population stood at 17.22 crore or 14.23% of the total population, ie for every seven Indian, there is one Muslim. In Telangana, of the 3.51 crore population, there are 44.64 lakh or 12.68% Muslims. The ‘Samgra Kutumba Sarvey’ of 2016 says Muslims are around 14%. The weaker section and downtrodden population is more among the Muslims. Poor economic conditions have dragged them into all kinds of menial jobs.
The BC-E group reservations are provided to castes such as Chakali, Mangali, Phakeer, Turaka and Katika, who were earlier Hindus. They have changed their faith but not their profession. The three countries of this sub-continent — India, Pakistan and Bangladesh – account for about 50 crore Muslims of the world, the highest among all the continents. These Muslims belong to local DNA, they have not migrated from any other continent. Due to the local socio-political situation of the earlier times, they have changed their faith to get their livelihood. They are people of the Indian sub-continent only.
A practical action plan needs to be taken up for all the sections of the downtrodden people. The developed BCs, SCs and Muslim politicians and intellectuals must extend their help to elevate the downtrodden on a par with all other developed sections. It needs a comprehensive action plan rather than baseless criticism.
More than 52% of Telangana people are BCs. Every second person is a BC, every eighth person a Muslim and 7th person is an SC. We should, therefore, find every 7th BC and 8th Muslim in ‘elite’ jobs. Our Constitution gives equal rights to all Indians to get all the rights on a par with the other so-called upper caste sections. This should be the guiding principle for the all-round development of the nation.
(The author is Chairman, Telangana BC Commission)