Minister for minority affairs Salman Khurshid has stated that creation of Wakf cadre is untenable ‘because we do not want to create a different world for the Muslim citizens of our country.’ The Zakat Foundation of India would like to ask Mr Khurshid as to why he has chosen the constitutional institution of ministership to commit unconstitutional discrimination (prohibited in article 15) against Muslim citizens on the basis of their religion. In the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, there are statutory and administrative arrangements in place by virtue of which separate selections are made through provincial Public Service Commissions for special cadres and posts of additional commissioners, joint commissioners, deputy commissioners and assistant commissioners to manage the affairs of the temples and Hindu religious endowments. As per the legal requirement, only those candidates can apply for these positions who profess Hindu religion. The salaries and pensions of these officers are paid out of the consolidated fund of the state concerned. In all the above mentioned states, there is an IAS officer sitting as commissioner and his being Hindu is also a pre-requisite. How does Salman Khurshid reconcile this state of affairs with his refusal to institute the Indian Wakf Service, except through the string of state discrimination whose specific prohibition in article 15 forms the basic fabric of our sacred constitutional structure?
Dr. Syed Zafar Mahmood
Zakat Foundation of India