Rajya Sabha on Friday rejected a resolution which sought creation of a special fund for modernisation of madrassas in view of educational and social backwardness of Muslims, especially women.
The resolution was introduced by Indian Union Muslim League member Abdul Wahab in the Upper House of Parliament on February 10.
Speaking on the resolution, Women and Child Development and Minority Affairs Minister Smriti Irani said, "For me this resolution which casts aspersions of inequality...in fact reduces it to a slur on the basis of religion...I hope that this House unanimously rejects (it)." "A new India cannot be broken down on the basis of religion. That is why...I would request...the entire House to unanimously reject this resolution so that we, who are building the new India under the leadership of the prime minister with the support of citizens, can build it on issues of inclusion, equity and equality," she said.
The resolution was rejected by a voice vote amid a walkout staged by the Congress and other opposition parties.
Irani said the resolution states that Muslim women are not given the equal opportunity to get educated.
On the gender inclusion infrastructure fund proposed in the resolution, Irani said the new education policy takes care of the need for education of women as well as children. After three decades, India now has a new education policy, she said.
She said the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship caters to the need for skilling for a new India.
"The resolution seeks to cast aspersions on citizen and the Constitution alike. Through this resolution aspersions have been cast on one of the holiest of books...that our nation at large seeks to divide people on the basis of religion and deny access to a better life in the present and in the future to those who belong to minority communities," she said.
BJP MP Ajay Pratap Singh opposed the resolution saying that the very constitution of the Sachar Committee was challenged in the Supreme Court.
He said it is not justified to implement the recommendations of a committee on which there is a big question mark.
The resolution had sought to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and other reports that have discussed the educational and social backwardness of Muslims.
It sought to reinstate and enhance all those scholarship and educational upliftment programme that aimed to improve the higher education participation of Muslims.
It sought to help madrassas to modernise with a special infrastructure fund.
It also sought to develop and implement special affirmative actions for Muslim women to improve their presence in central universities, institutes of national importance and their work participation.
It also sought formation of a commission to study the representation of Muslims in university spaces and in private and public jobs, and enactment of a legislation for prevention of atrocities against minorities of the country so as to build confidence amongst Muslims who are vulnerable.
Six private members' resolutions were listed on the agenda of the House on Friday. However, five resolutions lapsed as the members who proposed them were not present to move them.
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