Bengaluru: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Sunday said the state government has a plan to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to study socio and economic problems of the minorities in the state.
Speaking at a function organized to observe Minorities Rights’ Day at Vidhana Soudha Banquet Hall, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state government would take welfare measures based on the report submitted by the Cabinet sub-committee.
The chief minister opined that egalitarian society would become a reality only when the resources and opportunities were distributed equally among all sections of the society. “Our government is contemplating to enact Equal Opportunities Act,” the chief minister said.
He said that 14.6 per cent of the population belongs to minorities in the state as per the 11th Census report and the minority commission was established 33 years ago. “Protection of minorities’ rights is a Constitutional obligation. Though it is not clear who are minorities in the country, the people who are not in a majority are considered as minorities in many countries. A country can be considered as safe only if the minorities’ rights are protected. People from different castes, languages and religions will reside in a country. If the rights of all sections in the society are protected, people can lead a harmonious life,” he said.
Recalling how he had worked for the establishment of a separate ministry for the welfare of minorities when he was the finance minister and the deputy chief minister, he said the objective was to ensure minorities’ welfare in the state. “No one had asked me to establish a separate ministry for the welfare of minorities but it was the commitment of our government. No one should have any doubt about our government’s commitment towards minorities’ welfare. Our government is committed for the welfare of minorities. Our government is always with minorities. I am also aware that minorities are always with our government,” he said.
Describing Tipu Sultan as a patriot, he blamed BJP leaders for opposing the celebration of Tipu Sultan Jayanti without knowing his contribution to the country. “BJP leader Jagadish Shettar had written a foreword for the book on Tipu written by Sheik Ali. BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa had posed with Tipu sword during a function. Now, they are opposing the celebration of Tipu Jayanthi. These leaders are talking against Tipu Sultan without knowing the history. Some people are making attempts to alter the history. I want the minorities to be on alert against such attempts by some vested interests,” he said.
UAPA Commission shortly
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Home Dr G Parameshwara said the state government would establish a Commission to go through the cases registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. “The cases registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act should be submitted to the Commission. The police should take up for investigation of the cases registered under UAPA only after the Commission gone through such cases. The Commission is yet to be constituted in the state. The government has decided to constitute the Commission to avoid the misuse of the UAPA,” Dr Parameshwara said.
Naseer Ahmed, chairman, Karnataka State Minorities Commission, has appealed the state government increase the grants for the welfare of minorities in the state. “I want the state government to constitute a Commission to prevent the misuse of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. I demand the state government to constitute a Cabinet sub-committee to study the problems of minorities in the state,” Naseer Ahmed said.