Amidst the ongoing turmoil over Citizens Amendment Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the country, the Union Minister of Human Resource Development Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ gave a miss to an event organized by the state Minority Commission on the Minorities Rights Day in Dehradun on Wednesday. The Union HRD Minister was supposed to address the function as a chief guest but decided to skip the moment at the last minute putting the organizers in an embarrassing situation.
R.K. Jain, who heads the Uttarakhand Minority Commission said that he was not informed about the minister deciding not to attend the function till the last moment. He further said that the minister had consented to be the Chief Guest ad the programme was finalized earlier but he did not turn up. There was no official response from the minister on his absence but the participants most of them from Muslim community felt that the minister skipped the programme to avoid answering any akward questions on CAA or NRC or even seen with the minorities.
Interestingly, Uttarakhand Higher Education Minister Dhan Singh Rawat who is also supposed to attend the programme also did not turn up. R.K. Jain said that when the organizers contacted Dhan Singh Rawat they were informed that he was busy in the election campaign in Jharkhand. Both Nishankl and Dhan Singh Rawat are former RSS ‘Parcharaks’. Both were unavailable for comments. The participants were disappointed as many of them wanted to highlight their problems. Muslims being the largest minority in Uttarakhand comprise nearly ten percent of the population of the state.
Suryakant Dhasmana, a senior Congress leader has condemned the behavior of the BJP ministers in skipping the event. “ The event was organized by the State Minority Commission which is a statutory body but ignoring the function on Minority Rights Day explains the attitude of the BJP and ‘Sangh Parivar’ towards the minorities particularly the Muslims,” he said.