By: Gaurav Nandan Tripathi
In a recent announcement the Minister for minority affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Nakwi, stated that the government has decided to withdraw the subsidy given to the Muslims for Haj which means no more haj subsidy. It is worth knowing that since the government of Indira Gandhi, the centre provides subsidised air travels and pilgrimage to the Muslims who travel every year to Mecca to complete their pious rituals of visiting the Qaba. Air India was the passenger carrier airlines, and all the pilgrims had to travel by it. Now recently, after the burgeoning losses on it, Air India 49% shares are sold in an attempt of bringing foreign investment in it. The government of India used to pay around ₹700 crores every year to Air India for these travels. As after privatisation it would have been quite cumbersome to do the same, the government decided to finally abolish these subsidies. In fact, the supreme court had before in its judgement advised the government to stop providing these subsidies, as it was against the religious beliefs of the Muslim Community. Moreover the pilgrims were forced to travel by Air India only.
People have seemed to welcome this step by the Modi Government. Asaduddin Owaisi had before also talked about using this Haj subsidy money in education of the Muslim girls. But this step didn’t got the same reception from everywhere. There were many online articles questioning the intention of the Modi government behind this step. They felt that this step again highlighted the religious intolerance of the government, and it’s bigot behaviour towards the minorities. The opposition was
also seen echoing the same. Social media was also seen around debating on the issue. However most of the people, specially the Muslim community seemed to be in favour of the step, as it was against the religious beliefs of Muslims to accept this subsidy for Haj. But even now, like on every other step of the government, the debate continues.
It still remains to be seen how this subsidy money will be used for benefit of the Muslim girls education. Whereas the radar on governments educational standards are already red according to recent report of media channels. Where students at government primary schools were taught with missing alphabets and wrong pronunciations seen in a video-
This video was released a year ago by aajtak.