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All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat
writes to PM regarding Indian Waqf Service

Jan 28, 2012 (New Delhi):

Dr Manmohan Singh
Hob’ble Prime Minister of India
New Delhi

Mohtaram Janab Dr Manmohan Singh Sahab,

You are aware that Waqf management in India has been mostly going by default as recognized and documented by the then Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi through her letter of 1976 addressed to the chief ministers (reproduced in Sachar Committee). The 28 Waqf Boards of India suffer from a chronic maladministration because the CEOs are usually low level, incompetent and untrained officers whom the rest of the state bureaucracy does not consider as one of them – not even a poor cousin. This is because Muslim officers (statutory requirement since 1954) of required seniority are very rare to find and spare. This has been reported by both Sachar Committee in 2006 and the JPC of Waqf in 2008 after years of all-India touring, observation and consultation. The facts have been re-affirmed through the information received by Zakat Foundation of India (ZFI) under RTI Act for the decade 2001-2011.

Nonetheless, this one most useful Sachar recommendation (to create a separate Waqf cadre) was thoughtlessly rejected by the Union Ministry of Minority Affairs without any serious consideration thereof at any senior level. This is evident from the ZFI’s inspection of the Ministry’s files as ordered by the Central Information Commission.

Ever since 1863 (when Religious Endowments Act was issued), the Indian religious establishments and endowments are managed by persons of the relevant faith. Consequently, in several states, Hindu temples and endowments are managed by very senior government officers of Hindu faith specifically recruited year after year by the state government by virtue of specific laws enacted for this purpose by state legislatures. Their remunerations are paid by the state government. A separate service cadre exists in Tamilnadu to manage Hindu temples affairs.

On the other hand, untrained low level persons like veterinary doctors, retired teachers etc. manage the state waqf boards as CEOs. Rarely a government officer is appointed. Even if this happens, the “Waqf CEO” is such an officer’s additional charge. The reason: in the bureaucracy, Muslims consist of 2.5% as against their national Census population of 13.4%.

Muslims of India are hurt at this discrimination meted out to them. The All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat appeals to you to have a relook at this vital issue of mass concern to the Muslims of India. A separate Waqf cadre, suggested by Sachar Committee based on thorough reasoning - Indian Waqf Service - must be created without any further loss of time. Such arrangement is fully covered in the scheme of the Constitution.

Yours sincerely

Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
President, All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat
New Delhi