New Delhi, Nov 2 (UNI) Regretting the ''discrimination'' Muslims in the country have had to suffer over the years, Delhi Minorities Commission Chairman Kamal Faruqui today suggested that the Equal Opportunities Commission ought to be constituted in such a way that its benefits percolate down not only to the community but to every section of society.
'' It is commonly known that Muslims have been shortchanged and given a raw deal in society over the years, and just to assuage the situation and to ascertain the status of the community the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee was constituted, which recommended the formation of the Equal Opportunities Commission...,'' he told a news conference here.
But he favoured that the Commission be empowered in such a way that it works for the good of not only Muslims but for other communities of society also.
''And to make the commission not like any other commissions which only make recommendations to the government, it should be endowed with such powers that it, if deems fit, can direct action for the betterment and benefit of every section of the country besides bettering the condition of Muslims who have had to confront a partisan attitude in various fields and from various quarters for years together,'' he asserted.
Demanding the setting up of the commission on the lines of Equality and Human Rights Commission in the UK, headed by Commissioner Key Hampton, he said,'' We are organising various workshops with the UK body across the country to know what the proposed commission should be like and what changes and inputs could be suggested to the government to make the panel a powerful body.'' Showering accolades on the Equality and Human Rights Commission, he said there in the UK that body was powerful enough to take action on its own and it had its own mechanism to check its activities and, moreover, its appointees were not political ones.
Meanwhile, Prof Hampton said,'' I have yet to understand the complexities of Indian society, and I am yet to know what exact model of the commission would work in the country, and that is why we are conducting these workshops in five cities, including Mumbai, Delhi and Lucknow, from October 26-November 11 to look what can be done to make the proposed Equal Opportunities Commission a powerful and effective panel.'' Muslims for Secular Democracy General Secretary Javed Anand, who was also present on the occasion, said:'' By organising these workshops we have come across several good suggestions and constructive ideas, and we in future will suggest to the government to use the same while giving the final shape to the commission.'' UNI