A congress political leader happened to be my co-passenger in a Delhi-Trivandrum flight in 2006. A series of anti-reservation protests (Anti-quota) was going on pan-India. We talked about caste/religion- based reservation and discrimination.
He said: “On a global perspective and in an international platform, our country gets a good name and reputation when we protect and support minorities…”
“That’s why you give Haj subsidy (= is an airfare subsidy given to Indian Muslim Hajj pilgrims)?”
“Yes- because we care for the minority”
“In that case, Christians and Jews are also minorities in India. Why don’t you provide subsidy for Christians for pilgrimage to Bethlehem?”
He didn’t have answer. I said: “I don’t think you love or care for minorities. You just want to appease Muslims…”
“That, all political parties do…”
“Sir, please NO politics. I am coming back from Malaysia. All government jobs and benefits will go to the majority community – Malay Muslims. Minority – Hindus that reduced to just 5% of the population now – is told to just get lost. Nobody cares for minority there. Still Malaysia has been recognized in the international platform – may be a step ahead than India…” I said.
“You mean to say we shouldn’t support Minority…”
“We SHOULD, but there should be criteria for it… Why don’t you support Minorities in Kashmir and East Indian states? I belong to linguistic minority community, why don’t you support us…
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