Rejoinders / Letters to the Editor

"Casteist" welfare schemes of Gujarat govt, is this Secularism?


The Government of Gujarat has brought out certain welfare programmes. The nomenclature of Government schemes which carry the names which legitimize upper Caste Hindu rituals and customs. The names of such schemes are as under:

  1. Gokulgram Yojana
  2. Mata Yashoda Award (for anganwadi- ICDS workers)
  3. Kunverbainu Mameru (Assistance to married daughters)
  4. Mai Ramabai Sat Fera Samuh Lagna Yojana (Mass Marriage Scheme)
  5. Maharshi Ashtavakra Community Based Scheme
  6. Bechar Swami most backward community scheme

The Government of Gujarat has created a board named Gujarat Pavitra Yathradham Vikas Board in 1995 after the BJP came to power. It did not sanction a single paisa for development of any pilgrimage site belonging to Muslims, Sikhs or Parsis.

The board spent 38 crore between 2003 and 2011 for development and organizing fairs at the Hindu Temples (Times of India, Feb 12, 2014). This is over and above infrastructure development in and around the temple towns.

The present Government of BJP has successfully used the state resources and machinery to legitimize Hindu ideology.

Farooq Abdulgafar Bawani