BARRED: No longer will Muslim ministers and MLAs from India be given special quotas to go on their Haj pilgrimage to Mecca- Madina in Saudi Arabia
By wire staff
In a further attack against the Muslim community the Modi government has scrapped the VIP quota for prominent Muslims and others.
Under this quota, people in top constitutional posts, like the president, vice-president, prime minister, and in the Union minority affairs ministry and Haj committee, could nominate up to 500 people in total.
Union minister Smriti Irani has said that the Union government has decided to end the discretionary Haj quota for Muslim pilgrims.
The Haj is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims.
Under this quota, people in top constitutional posts, like the president, vice-president, prime minister, and in the Union minority affairs ministry and Haj committee, could nominate up to 500 people in total for the pilgrimage, India Today has reported.
Outlook noted in an explainer that Haj quotas are “divided into two proportions and distributed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Haj Committee of India to various stakeholders.”
“While 70 per cent of these seats are reserved with HCOI, only 30 per cent are given to private stakeholders who are free to levy any charges for conducting Haj. Out of the total number of slots with the HCoI, 500 are held under the “Government discretionary quota” whereas the rest are distributed to different states on the basis of their Muslim population, according to the 2018-22 policy,” the explainer says.
The new move aims to “end VIP culture,” Irani told the news channel TV9 Bhara
“Prime Minister Modi had put forward his resolve to end VIP culture on the very first day of his term. VIP culture was put in place with respect to Haj during the UPA rule under which there was a special quota allocated to the Ministry of Minority Affairs, Haj Committee and all those in the top constitutional posts,’’ she said.
Now all Haj pilgrims will have to go through the Haj committee and private tour operators.
Irani has also said that a new ‘exhaustive’ policy would soon be announced.
Hearing a petition filed by the Union government in 2011, the Supreme Court had called the VIP quota for Haj pilgrims “bad religious practice.”
Courtesy : The Wire