ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Evaluating Post-Sachar Interventions and the Status of Muslims in India

Institutionalizing Constitutional Rights: Post-Sachar Committee Scenario by Abusaleh Shariff, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2016; pp xxix + 485, ₹ 1,195.


In the context of the threat to the Constitution and its core values, and a gradual exclusion of marginalised and minority communities from social justice interventions, both through patent and latent means, Abusaleh Shariff’s book—which evaluates the impact of initiatives taken in the post-Sachar Committee context—is like a whiff of fresh air. For long, we have had a common knowledge that most pro-minority programmes and interventions by central and state governments have only served the purpose of a “feel-good” effect on paper. This book discusses why, how and to what extent the implementation has failed, and what can be done to address and redress the issue, so that constitutional rights of religious minorities can be institutionalised.

The Sachar Committee report, released in 2006, was significant in its study of the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims—the largest religious minority community in India. The report was followed by immense public discourse and some efforts by the central government to address and redress aspects of Muslim deprivation, particularly through the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for the Welfare of Minorities, in 2009. By 2012, there were calls for revision of the programme and increased accountability around expenditures and incomes. As the book points out, under the new 15 Point Programme, a unique provision was made for scholarships to minority students at the elementary and higher levels of education across all parts of the country. It was subsequently found that this scheme did not operate in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar, Jharkhand and Gujarat, that is, the states that have a sizeable presence of Muslims. This is an illustrative example of the dire need for evaluation of the implementation and impact of all such beneficial schemes, to ensure that they bring a positive difference to the lives of the stakeholders who are intended to benefit from the same.

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Updated On : 29th Nov, 2018
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