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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

An open letter to the Prime Minister of India

Peer Mohamed,
Chennai – 600 032
June 29, 2009

Hon’ble Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India,
New Delhi

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

It is an ordinary citizen’s open letter to the man who holds the highest office in the country.

I have been a journalist for ten years. I could see people of power in the media houses trying to treat me as a ‘second class worker’ denying me opportunities as the Indian Establishment does with its Muslim citizens and the poor.

The poor and the Muslims in the country don’t have proportionate space in its Army or in the police forces. They do belong here but are treated like untouchables when it comes to recruitment into the Army or the police forces.

I know of a Muslim boy – Jaffer Sadiq in Tamil Nadu who cleared all the tests for a police selection but not recruited as he is a Muslim. He had to go to the Judiciary (Madurai branch of the Madras High Court) to get a verdict in favour of his recruitment but to no avail.

And the country should be ashamed to fight its own poor with its security forces. The alienation of the poor and the Muslims of the nation should stop for its own good. Muslims and the poor are an equal partners in its struggle for freedom and later in its development process.

The situation obtaining today is the outcome of a historical neglect of the poor in south, north, centre, west and north-east of the country and that of the Muslims across the nation. Justice Rajinder Sachar has pointed out the results of the state’s discrimination on its Muslims.

Gujarats, Kandhamals and Nandigrams have forced the Muslims and the poor to create their own armies and fight injustices and police atrocities against them.

Sikhs had felt alienated in this country at one point of time. I think the government had made amends to correct the flaws as the Sikhs fought aggressively for their rights. Muslims and the poor are scattered across the country and do not have a unified leadership to fight aggressively for their cause.

Please don’t suppress the Muslims and the poor in the name of ‘terrorism.’ Their uprisings are genuine attempts to assert their space in the country of their birth. Please talk to them and understand their issues instead of treating them with suspicion and cruelty.

What is the representation of the largest minority in the country in its Army or its police forces? Can you please come out clean on this?

Affirmative action, Equal Opportunity should not be mere utterances. Such pronouncements should lead to ‘real’ action to make our democracy more inclusive.
Dear Prime Minister, give it a thought and let us free our country of discrimination against its own people. That will make our country a better place to live for everyone.

Sincerely Yours

Peer Mohamed

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