Supplementary Edition 2021 of ‘India 2047: Empowering the People’ – ‘A stupendous job’

The Supplementary Edition 2021 of “India 2047: Empowering the People” was released sometime back at Bangalore. It is the flagship document that Empower India Foundation (EIF), has prepared incorporating the visions, ideas, suggestions, practical solutions and ways and means for the empowerment of the Muslim community.  

The India 2047 Project Document is a “Vision-to-Action” document which was released by Rajinder Justice Sachar on August 15th 2016. Releasing the document Justice Sachar had then remarked: “Empower India Foundation has done such a stupendous job which the governments of the nation could not do in last 70 years”.  

Let’s not be pessimists who see only difficulties in opportunities; let’s be optimists who can turn every difficulty into an opportunity. Stop lamenting the past; Start striving for the future. Thus, reads the blurb of India 2047 Document (2016) and this Supplementary Edition (2021).

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Since 2016, India and its people including Muslim community have undergone various transformations. Along with the lessons learned through the field experiences, the socio-political changes in India and their impact on the developmental status of communities call for additions to the contents prepared five years back. The present volume, Supplementary Edition 2021, the supplement to the original publication, is to fulfil that task.

Dream plan for empowering Muslim community by 2047

In India 2047 EIF submitted before the community, the society and the nation, a dream plan for empowering the Indian Muslim community on par with national standards by 2047, the dawn of the second century of our independence. It was not just a vision document, but a comprehensive conceptual frame for community-level actions with specified Focus Areas, Goals, Objectives and Initiatives.      

Now, this Supplementary Edition 2021 of India 2047 is relevant at this point of time when EIF is moving ahead by resetting priorities: Research and Liaison at the apex and Chapters at the grassroots. At the end of first phase of the project, as part of catalysing the empowerment activities, EIF is in the process of building a system and network of academics and activists to perform the role more like that of a pro-active think-tank, committed to the task of empowerment. Based on this concept, the idea of EIF is to focus on three areas, namely Relations building, Research and Publications activities. The Relations Division is concentrating on the outreach of at the grassroots, other agencies, organisations, groups and individuals working in the field of empowerment; and making part of the project. The Research and Publications Division focuses on promoting short-term and long-term research with regard to community empowerment and issues and topics that affect the community.

Forming Chapters

A significant initiative in taking the mission of empowerment to the ground is the concept of forming Chapters. The idea conveyed is that: “you can think globally, plan nationally, but you have to act locally”. The people at the grassroots know better about their deficits, requirements and the best solutions of the problems. Waiting for Messiahs to come and solve the problems is not the solution. The formation of the local collectives of committed community workers is found to be the best way to motivate and activate the people and get them involved in implementing the projects specifically helpful for their locality. Hence, EIF has now started forming Chapters at select locations across the country with a special focus on the most Backward Muslim Concentrated Districts.     

This Supplementary Edition 2021 is mainly intended to analyse the current national and community situations, update the developmental data tables, and introduce the new initiatives and paradigm shifts at EIF.

This Supplementary Edition 2021 opens with reminiscing the bereavement of a few scholars and colleagues closely associated with EIF. The document is broadly divided into four sections. Part I is the National Situation Overview since 2016. These are articles by different authors covering the changes during the period and current status in social, political and minority development situations. Part II contains a revised version of the two chapters from the first document, Project Frame and Organisation & Infrastructure by incorporating the essential changes in strategy. This part also recounts experiences in the past five year journey on the path of India 2047. In Part III contains the updated statistical data pertaining to various Focus Areas like demography, governance, economy, education, health etc. Annexure providing details of the Advisory Board, Trustees, Project Team, Chapters and its office-bearers, State Coordinators and the editorial Board constitutes the IVth Part.

Meanwhile, Prof. Amitabh Kundu, Chairman of the Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee and also a retired JNU faculty, has hailed EIF, for trying to look at the overall macro scenario. This concern for building macro scenario came to EIF even before the Government of India formally launched the programme for 2047 vision. “So, I am glad that EIF thought about this vision document to be prepared before even Government of India could conceptualise about it in a way”, he opined.

Data is like a lighthouse

While former Union Minority Minister and former Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson Dr. Rahman Khan has complimented EIF by describing the data collection made available as a good effort. He said data is very necessary for undertaking any constructive task. Data is like a lighthouse. The economic, educational and social developments of Indian Muslims which has to be undertaken, the data collection made by EIF will be very helpful, he has said.

Mohammed Raphy PP, Chairperson of EIF, in his Foreword message says: “2047 is just 25 years away. Stop lamenting the past. Come out of the web of disillusionment. Work hard for results. Get ready for sacrifices. Continue to strive for a bright future. Sure, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s remember all martyrs and warriors in the path of our struggles for independence. Let’s vow to stand together to protect the sovereignty and security of India and its people”.  

EM Abdul Rahiman, former Chairperson of EIF, says: “No lofty goal can be accomplished without adequate endeavours. Life will not be without hardships. But Allah’s promise is true. “For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease”. (Qur’an – 94 Ash-Sharah 5, 6). Readiness to lose is a quality essential for gaining the desired result. Multiple paths of success will be opened for those who move forward by sacrificing on the right path”.  

Dr. Jawed Alam Khan of the Centre for Budget and Governance Accountability, (CBGA), New Delhi, writing an article in the document titled “Budget and Minorities: Need for Community Participation” says for the development of minorities, there have been two policy strategies, namely the Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme (15 PP) for the welfare of minorities and the Area Development Programme or Multi-Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP), since 2006 and 2008 respectively.

No mention of budgets for welfare of minorities in Union Budget

However, Dr Jawed reveals, in the Union Budget for the last many years, the Finance Minister has made no mention about the budgets for the welfare of minorities, and no new scheme has been announced for their development. Minorities have not been included in the budgetary process by opening a minor head in the detailed budget book and introducing a budget statement on minority-related programmes. He has given some key recommendations in the respect of Community Participation.

Meanwhile, in the changed socio-political milieu in the country, Mohamed Shaffeeq N, CEO of EIF, says: “the Recommendations of the Sachar Committee Report are being gradually subjected to Euthanasia, by deferring the decisions, cutting short the budget allocations and ignoring or neglecting the recommendations in the report, which if properly implemented would have bettered the socio-economic status of the minority Muslim community in the country. The failure or the lethargic attitude of the community to proactively involve and ensure to avail the government welfare schemes is also a key factor in getting their rights denied”.

Dr. Khalid Khan, Assistant Professor, Sidho Kanho Birsha University, Lagda, West Bengal, points out that statistically Muslims continue to be marginalised in terms of indicators of human development. High poverty, low-quality job, low access to higher education are the common features emerging from the latest data.     

Overall the publication of Supplementary Edition 2021 of India 2047 is a superb effort of its Executive Editor Mohamed Asif Ben Mammutty and his dedicated team members namely Faiz Mohammed KMuhammed Rasheed P.K and Mohammed Sabith who left no stone unturned to bring out a near perfect document for the benefit of the Muslim community.

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