The Sachar Committee was a seven-member high-level panel in India that was instituted by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in March 2005 to study the social, economic, and educational status of the Muslim community in India. The Committee was named after its chairperson, Justice Rajinder Sachar, a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court.
Justice Rajindar Sachar served as the chairman of the Sachar Committee, which was appointed by the Indian government in 2005. Justice Sachar, a former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, led the committee in conducting its research and preparing its final report.
The report was submitted to the government in 2006 and made publicly available on November 30th of the same year. The report provided recommendations for addressing the challenges facing India’s Muslim community and improving their welfare.
- Objectives of the Sachar Committee
- Key Findings of the Sachar Committee
- Recommendations of the Sachar Committee
- Important Dates and Events
- Roles of Political Parties
- Implementation of Sachar Committee Recommendations
- Latest Developments
Objectives of the Sachar Committee
The primary objective of the Sachar Committee was to understand the challenges faced by the Muslim community in India and to make recommendations to improve their socio-economic and educational status. The Committee was tasked with assessing the extent of their socioeconomic backwardness and identifying the reasons behind it.
The Sachar Committee Report, which was submitted in November 2006, generated widespread attention and debate in India. The report highlighted the socio-economic and educational challenges faced by the Muslim community and made recommendations to address these challenges.
In this section, we will examine the political response to the Sachar Committee Report and the role of political parties in implementing its recommendations.
Key Findings of the Sachar Committee
The Sachar Committee submitted its report in November 2006 and made several important observations and recommendations. Some of the key findings of the Committee include:
The Committee found that the Muslim community in India was lagging behind other communities in terms of socioeconomic development and that there was a significant disparity in their socioeconomic indicators compared to the national average.
The Committee found that the Muslim community had lower levels of education and literacy compared to other communities and that there was a lack of access to quality education for Muslim children.
The Committee found that Muslims were under-represented in government jobs and that they faced discrimination in the private sector.
The Committee found that Muslims faced discrimination in accessing housing and that they lived in sub-standard housing conditions.
The Committee found that Muslims had lower levels of access to health services and that their health indicators were worse compared to other communities.
Recommendations of the Sachar Committee
Based on its findings, the Sachar Committee made several recommendations to improve the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India. Some of the key recommendations include:
The Committee recommended the setting up of institutions to provide quality education to Muslim children and the promotion of inclusive education that would benefit all communities.
The Committee recommended affirmative action to address the under-representation of Muslims in government jobs and to ensure that they have equal access to employment opportunities.
The Committee recommended the provision of affordable housing for Muslims and the provision of subsidies and incentives to encourage private sector investment in housing for the community.
The Committee recommended the improvement of health services for Muslims and the creation of health awareness programs to improve the health status of the community.
Important Dates and Events
- 2005: The Sachar Committee was constituted by the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 29, 2005.
- 2006: The Sachar Committee submitted its report to the Prime Minister on November 17, 2006.
- 2006-2007: The report of the Sachar Committee was widely discussed in the media, in academic circles, and by various organizations and individuals. The report highlighted the widespread socio-economic and educational deprivation faced by India’s Muslim community.
- 2008: The Indian government announced the implementation of several recommendations of the Sachar Committee, including the creation of a National Minorities Development and Finance Corporation, the setting up of a national monitoring mechanism, and the introduction of a scholarship scheme for minority students.
- 2009: The Prime Minister’s 15-Point Programme for the welfare of minorities was launched, which aimed to address the issues raised in the Sachar Committee report.
- 2013: The Ministry of Minority Affairs established the Prime Minister’s new 15-Point Programme for the welfare of minorities.
Roles of Political Parties
The response to the Sachar Committee Report was largely positive, with many political parties expressing support for its recommendations. However, the implementation of the recommendations was slow, and there were differences between political parties on how to address the challenges faced by the Muslim community.
The Congress Party
The Congress Party, which was in power at the time the Sachar Committee Report was submitted, was generally supportive of its recommendations. The party took several steps to implement the recommendations, including the setting up of a Ministry of Minority Affairs to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the minority communities in India.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
The BJP, which was in opposition at the time, expressed support for the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. However, the party was critical of the slow pace of implementation and called for more concrete steps to be taken to address the challenges faced by the Muslim community.
Regional Political Parties
Regional political parties, such as the Samajwadi Party, the Bahujan Samaj Party, and the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, also supported the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. These parties emphasized the need for inclusive development that would benefit all communities, including Muslims.
Implementation of Sachar Committee Recommendations
The Indian government took several steps to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee. Some of the key initiatives include:
- Ministry of Minority Affairs: The government set up a Ministry of Minority Affairs to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the minority communities in India.
- Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program for the Welfare of Minorities: The government launched a Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program for the Welfare of Minorities, which aimed to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the minority communities in India.
- Scholarships for Muslim Students: The government introduced scholarships for Muslim students to improve access to education for the community.
- Implementation of the Right to Education Act: The government implemented the Right to Education Act, which aimed to improve access to quality education for all children in India.
The Indian government has continued to implement the recommendations of the Sachar Committee and taken further steps to address the socio-economic and educational issues faced by India’s Muslim community.
10 February 2023: A private member resolution in the Rajya Sabha calling for the implementation of the Sachar Committee report was tabled by P V Abdul Wahab of the Indian Union Muslim League.
Trinamool Congress (TMC)
Expressed support for the motion, stating that the Union budget for 2023-24 had significantly reduced the allocation for the minority welfare department by 40%.
He noted that the Muslim community in India currently operates under a cloud of fear and terror, which they never asked for.
Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Criticized the resolution put forward by Wahab for its lack of clarity in addressing the issues faced by Muslims. In reference to the hijab controversy in Karnataka, he mentioned that the controversy caused over 100,000 Muslim girls to drop out of government colleges in the state alone.
Brittas went on to say that the enrollment of Muslim girls in educational institutions has significantly decreased, and that the trend should have been reversed.
Samajwadi Party (SP)
Javed Ali Khan
Supported the motion, emphasizing the importance of focusing on education and employment for the growth and development of minority communities.
Congress party of India
Jebi Mather Hisham
Noted that there is a growing intolerance towards Muslims and backward communities in the country. She called for efforts to support these communities instead of promoting animosity.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)
Manoj Kumar Jha
Stated that a divided society is not beneficial for the country. He noted that Muslims are living in fear and do not feel free to express themselves.
Jha pointed out that dividing society along religious lines may be politically advantageous, but will have damaging effects on the nation as a whole. He also mentioned the role of television channels in spreading hatred among various communities.
Communist Party of India (Marxist or M)
Argued that the spirit of India is diversity, and accused the present government of trying to destroy it. He criticized the government’s focus on cow hugs instead of health and education.
Communist Party of India
P. Sandosh Kumar
Supported the motion, accusing the government of being against Muslims and backward communities, despite their claims of “sabka sath sabka vikas” (development for all). He also accused the government of promoting Islamophobia in the country.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Countered these claims, stating that the government’s efforts have always been focused on the welfare and development of the poor, regardless of religion or caste. He pointed to the free ration scheme and the Jan Aushadhi Kendra program, which provide benefits to all people regardless of religion or caste.
Congress Party of India
Raised questions about the government’s opposition to a bill aimed at the development of minorities, despite their claims of “sabka sath sabka vikas”. He criticized the reduction of 38% in the budget for minorities, stating that this contradicts the government’s claims.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
G. V. L Narasimha Rao
Explained that his party opposed the Sachar Committee report as it was a communal exercise and reflected the politics of minorities and appeasement. He referred to it as an example of “pseudo-secularism.”
Congress Party of India
Expressed disappointment about the discontinuation of the Maulana Azad National Fellowship.
The resolution received enthusiastic backing from lawmakers across political affiliations, including the Congress, TMC, and Samajwadi Party.
The Sachar Committee Report was a landmark study that shed light on the challenges faced by the Muslim community in India and made recommendations to address these challenges.
The political response to the report was largely positive, with many political parties expressing support for its recommendations.
The Indian government took several steps to implement the recommendations, including the setting up of a Ministry of Minority Affairs and the launch of a Prime Minister’s 15-Point Program for the Welfare of Minorities.
However, the implementation of the recommendations has been slow, and there is still much work to be done to address the socio-economic and educational challenges faced by the Muslim community in India.
The implementation of its recommendations has helped to improve the socio-economic and educational status of the Muslim community in India.