New Delhi: As incidents of violence against minority communities in the past few years across the country have seen a spike, what specifically raises eyebrows is the fact that a bulk of complaints, or 71 per cent of total complaints and petitions received by the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) in the past five years are related to the Muslim community alone.
Uttar Pradesh has been the only state for the last five years, from where the maximum number of complaints related to the Muslim community have been received by the commission.
According to the Ministry of Minority Affairs’ data, of the total 10,562 complaints received by the commission related to all the minority communities, namely Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists between 2017-18 and 2022-23 (till January 31, 2023), 7,508 pertain to the Muslim community alone. This is 71 per cent of total complaints received by the minorities’ panel from all the minority communities.
As per Section 9(1) of the NCM Act, 1992, among its various other functions, the commission is required to look into specific complaints regarding deprivation of rights and safeguard of minorities and taking up such matters with the appropriate authorities.
The complaints now being received by it are mostly related to police atrocities, service matters, minority educational institutions and encroachments to religious properties.
Reports are sought from the concerned authorities under the Union and state governments. On receipt of the reports, the commission makes appropriate recommendations to the respective authorities for redressal of the grievances.
A closer analysis of the data pertaining to the total complaints received in the last five years by the NCM, a majority of them come from the Muslim community.
In 2017-18, of the total 1,498 complaints received by NCM, 1,128 of them or 75 per cent of the complaints came from the Muslim community. Of these, 529 complaints were from Uttar Pradesh alone from Muslims.
Similarly in 2018-19, 1,344 complaints of the total 1,871 complaints (72 per cent) received by the commission, belonged to the Muslim community. Here, too, Uttar Pradesh led with 810 complaints from the Muslim community.
This pattern could also be seen in 2019-20, when 73.7 per cent of the total complaints received by NCM, were from the Muslim community, with Uttar Pradesh leading with 728 complaints.
In 2020-21, too, 75.5 per cent or 1,105 out of the total 1,463 complaints received by the panel pertained to the Muslim community, with 646 from Uttar Pradesh alone.
In 2021-22, 68 per cent of the total complaints came from the Muslim community to the NCM, 659 being from Uttar Pradesh.
During the current fiscal (2022-23) till January 31, 2023, the NCM received 1,984 complaints, of which 1,279 or 64.4 per cent came from the Muslim community, with 662 from Uttar Pradesh.
According to the Ministry’s data, complaints received by the panel from other minority communities have been very few during the last five years, if the figures are to be compared to those sent by the Muslim community.
However, with maximum complaints lodged with the NCM coming from the Muslim community and that, too, mainly from Uttar Pradesh, which is easily miles ahead of other states in terms of sheer number of complaints received from there, indeed shows the growing level of intolerance towards a particular community, especially in a state considered to be one of the most politically conscious and significant.