Open Letter to Salman Khurshid

Open Letter to Salman Khurshid

Note: IndiaFacts reader Mr. Ram Kumar Ohri, a retired IPS officer has sent in an open letter to IndiaFacts. The letter, published without making any edits tells a squalid story of how poor children have been, and continue to be robbed of their rightful scholarships.

An Open Letter to Shri Salman Khurshid


During  times of deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”                                                                                                    –  George  Orwell


Not many people know that by using the flawed and fabricated  findings of Sachar Committee, Salman Khurshid, the  former Minister of Minorities Affairs, robbed the unlettered daughters and sons of nearly 34 crore Hindus living below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas. The High Level Committee chaired by Justice Sachar was born in sin of  grave constitutional impropriety. The task assigned to Justice Sachar had been entrusted in 1992 by the Indian Parliament to the National Minorities Commission by enacting a special law called The Minorities Commission Act, 1992. All  responsibilities for  protection of the rights of minorities   and ensuring their welfare had been assigned by the Parliament in terms of the  aforesaid legislation to the Minorities Commission.  Therefore the very act of the Prime Minister constituting a High Level Committee in March 2005, by an executive fiat for one single religious minority was  patently unconstitutional and bad in law.  The worst  aspect of the sinister move, however, was that Justice Sachar did not inform the PM that what was being was a blatant violation of the Constitution.

For  decades an unsubstantiated  belief has  been  propagated  across the country that economically and educationally, Muslims are more disadvantaged than the Hindus.  This falsehood  is  being  unabashedly  used  by the  powerful  pro-Muslim  vote bank lobby to bestow many unmerited benefits and  concessions, including  nearly twenty million scholarships and concessional educational loans exclusively on the Muslims and four other minorities.  But it was revealed by Salman Khurshid’s Press Conference on May 29, 2012, that not one single scholarship was given to the daughter or son of the poorest Hindu.  Nor were any cheaper educational or entrepreneurial  loans advanced to any Hindu poor, while funds worth several lakh crores  were advanced to the  children of doubly blessed five minorities, namely the Muslims, the Christians, the Buddhists, the Parsis and the Sikhs.

Strategy of Discrimination

This strategy of religion-based discrimination was implemented in pursuance  of  the  communally divisive  vote bank policy enunciated in the Prime Minister’s notoriously  famous  “Muslims First”  policy  statement made on December 9, 2006. Inexplicably the aforesaid policy statement was made by Dr. Manmohan Singh  on the  birthday  of  Sonia Gandhi,  Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance.

The worst aspect of the ongoing discrimination is that crores of  poor Hindus belonging to the perennially  famished  hoi polloi  of  rural India have been deliberately deprived of any share in  the 20 million scholarships awarded to the  five minorities,  including  four economically and educationally better placed  communities than the Hindus. These four super-privileged minorities are the Christians, the Parsis,the  Buddhists and  the Sikhs all of whom happen to be show stealers in literacy average, economic  prosperity and education.

The data  pertaining to infant and child mortality, degree of urbanization and life expectancy at birth available in public domain proves that it is the Hindus, not the Muslims, who are the most disadvantaged religious group. Following are the five major globally recognized human development indicators :

i)   Infant Mortality;

ii)  Child Mortality;

iii)  Life Expectancy at Birth;

iv)  Degree of Urbanisation ;

v)  Literacy.

The Hindus are far behind the Muslims in the first four human development indices, except literacy in which Hindus with 65.1 percent literacy are marginally ahead of Muslims who have the literacy average of  59.1 percent. But Justice Sachar did not have the moral courage to identify and write that one single factor responsible for lower Muslim literacy average was the lower ratio of literacy among  Muslim women at a meagre  50.1 percent.  It was lower by 3.6 percent than the national average of female literacy at 53.7.  Thus, this  important cause of lower female literacy among Muslims ignored by Justice Sachar was the diktats of Muslim religious leaders restricting education of girls beyond a certain age and insistence on the customary  veil.

Plight of Hindus

Unfortunately  most Hindus,  including their  spiritual gurus, telemedia analysts, self-anointed intellectuals and political leaders  belong to the prosperous fraternity and well-to-do middle class.  Their children do not need free scholarships.  No wonder they have thus remained indifferent  to the pathetic economic condition of the  poorest Hindu masses, especially those trapped in the terminally ill rural areas. These busybodies strutting across the political and spiritual universe have never cared to know that in four out of the five  globally recognised human development  indices, the  majority community is lagging behind the Muslims, the Christians, the Buddhists, the Parsis and the Sikhs.

That explains how the children of  34-35 crore  poorest Hindus were led to slaughter on the altar of Sachar Report!  The daughters and sons  of nearly 340 million poorest Hindus were robbed in broad daylight of their rightful share in 20 million scholarships by the ruling politicians  in an ugly bid to promote the ‘exclusive development’ of five minority communities. And lo and behold, this deprivation of the poorest Hindu children was done in the garb of ‘inclusive development’ !

The ongoing  discriminatory policy  against the majority  religious group, mostly the rural Hindus,  was launched by the Prime Minister with great fanfare in June, 2006, in the garb of  Prime Minister’s New 15 Point Programme for Welfare of Minorities.  Through a sleight of hand, the poorest Hindu children were deprived of  any share in twenty million scholarships showered on Muslim, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and the Sikhs. The most shocking aspect of this biggest post-independence scam is that the Christians, Buddhists, Parsis and the Sikhs are the real show-stealers in literacy and education–way ahead of he Hindus.

Examining the Sachar Report

A careful  examination of Sachar Report reveals a series of  ugly tricks devised  to  trample  upon  the  Right to Equality of  eighty  percent  citizens  of  India on the  ground of  religion.  Could it  be  that the poorest  students belonging to the majority community   are being denied  proportionate share in millions of  scholarships and financial largesse worth thousands of crores because they happen to belong to the politically-pariahed  religion called Hinduism?  No Hindu or non-Hindu political leader showed the guts to question this  implementation of  ‘exclusive  minority  development’  programme tom-tomed as  ‘inclusive growth’.   

Enumerated below are two  prominent instances of fudging of facts by Justice Sachar in his report.

  1. Justice Sachar deliberately refused to consider the documented fact that according to the National Family Health Surveys  Nos. 1 (1992-93)  and 2 (1998-1999)  the Muslims were better placed than Hindus in four major human development indicators, namely the Infant Mortality, Child Mortality, degree of Urbanisatioin and Life Expectancy at Birth. After admitting this important fact on pages  37-38 of his report, Justice Sachar took recourse to suppressio veri, suggestio fallaci, by attributing it to the highly inventive argument that it could be due to better child feeding practices prevalent among Muslims.  Instead of candidly admitting that the Muslims were better fed and had access to better medical care the retired Chief Justice decided to weave the yarn of ‘better child feeding’  practices among Muslims. Could there be a worse example of falsification of  the data available in public domain?
  2. Another instance of  suppressio veri, suggestio falsi  is the horrid description of the plight of Muslim women on page 13 (Chapter 2) which was  false beyond belief.  It boggles the mind:

Everything beyond the walls of the ghetto is seen as unsafe and hostile–markets, roads, lanes and public transport, schools and hospitals, Police Stations and government  offices.

Can any Indian honestly believe that Muslim women are treated so shabbily in India ?

Many more instances of fudging of facts can be cited from the report of Justice Sachar.   These are being left out because of  shortage of space.

To sum up, a systematic and rational  analysis of the comparative  scores of the Hindus and the Muslims in various human development indices reveals  that in the first four globally recognised economic development indicators the Hindus are lagging far behind  the Muslims and four other religious minorities, namely the Christians, the Buddhists, the Parsis and the Sikhs. This truth was established four times by four different studies, though Justice Sachar ignored  the documented truth  for reasons best known to him.

Rebuttals galore for the Sachar Report

The  first well-documented  rebuttal of the  flawed findings of Justice Sachar  came on September 2, 2006, when a paper  was  circulated by Prof. Sanjay Kumar of the Centre of Studies for Developing Studies, New  Delhi, in a seminar organized at the prestigious Indian Institute of Public Administration. The  research of Prof. Sanjay Kumar presented in a packed hall of  distinguished scholars in the auditorium of  the I.I.P.A. revealed that there was hardly any difference in the economic and educational status of the Hindus and the  Muslims.

The  indepth research based on a survey by the  Centre for Developing Societies further highlighted that the proportion of  ‘the very poor’  Indians was higher among  the Hindus than among the  Muslims.  The survey conducted in the year 2004 showed that the percentage of ‘very poor’ Hindus was 31 percent while the percentage of the ‘ very poor’  among Muslims was only 24 percent. Thus, on the basis of  the CDS survey the percentage of the ‘very poor’ people among the Hindus was nearly 25 percent higher than among the Muslims ! It was a very  significant finding of Prof. Sanjay Kumar, based on a survey comprising 27,000 random samples.

Mysteriously  this important finding was ignored by Justice Sachar despite a  clear directive in the Prime Minister’s Notification dated  March 9, 2005 to  Justice Sachar’s High Level Committee to “obtain relevant information from Departments/  agencies of  the Central  & State Governments and also  conduct an intensive literature survey to identify  the published data, articles, and research on  relative   social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India at the  State, regional and district levels”  to address the problems faced by Muslims.

More importantly,  Prof. Sanjay Kumar’s research paper highlighting these important  findings was duly sent to Justice Sachar by a Think tank named Patriots’ Forum. But the former Chief Justice of Delhi High Court  chose to ignore the truth altogether.

The second rebuttal  of Justice Sachar’s fabricated findings came in October, 2010 when the National Health Survey- 3 (2005-2006)  revealed a quantum jump of  5.4 years from 62.6 years in the life expectancy of Muslims within a short span of 7 years, i.e., between 1998 and 2005.  The advantage  which  Muslims had over their Hindu counterparts in life expectancy at birth was  barely 1.2 years in 1998-1999, but it grew to 3 years in 2005-2006, as revealed by the  National Family Health Survey -3.

And the  master mystery of mysteries was that the results of the National Family Health Survey of 2005-2006 were released in October, 2010–i.e. after a long delay of four years!  This inordinate delay was responsible for facilitating the implementation of Sachar Committee’s recommendations favouring the Muslim community. The  discriminatory largesse of 20 million scholarships and cheaper educational and entrepreneurial loans of several lakh crore rupees was showered on Muslims, along with 4 minorities in gross violation of the Right to Equality enshrined in the Constitution.

The third rebuttal  of Justice Sachar’s fudged facts was made public in the findings of Rajesh Shukla, a Senior Fellow of the National Council of Applied Economic Research published in the Economic Times, New Delhi, on April 5, 2007,  reconfirming that there was hardly any difference in the economic status of the Hindus and Muslims. Among other things Rajesh Shukla’s survey disclosed that the Sikh community were ‘the Sardars in Prosperity’ with Christians closely following behind  them.

The fourth rebuttal of Justice Sachar’s findings came on February 24, 2011, in the reply to a Parliament Question answered by Vincent H.  Pala, the  Minister of State for Minorities  in Lok Sabha  admitting that  the central government  had   no data pertaining to  the number of persons living below the poverty line according to religious denominations.  If as late as  the year 2011, the government  had no data about  the number of  Muslims and Hindus living  below the poverty line, why were the fudged  findings of   Justice  Sachar  accepted and implemented  several years ago?


The fifth   demolition  of  the lies propagated by Sachar  Committee came on October 24-25, 2011, when in a Seminar jointly  organized  by the  United Nations Development Programme and India’s Planning Commission at Claridge’s Hotel,  two scholars of the Jawaharlal Nehru University (Sukhdeo Thorat and Amaresh Pandey) presented a research paper  reconfirming that there had been far greater poverty reduction  among the Muslims than among the Hindus  between 2004-2005  to 2009-2010.

Despite these five research-based rebuttals of the Sachar Report, the multidimensional discrimination against the unwashed daughters and sons of the  poorest Hindus, living below the poverty line has continued at a fast  pace,  perhaps in deference to the policy announcement made by the Prime Minister  in  December, 2006, on Sonia  Gandhi’s birthday.

Radio silence from Hindu secularists say

It is, however,  for the self-anointed  Hindu secularists  to analyse and explain  why no poorest of the poor Hindu child was considered eligible for even one  single scholarship out of twenty million freeships showered by Salman Khurshid on the  privileged children of  Muslim and Christian parents. According to a half page advertisement published in The Pioneer, New Delhi, on February 15, 2014, “over Rs. 1,95,000 crore of bank credit was showered on 5 minorities”. In sharp contrast, not one  rupee worth of bank credit was made available to anyone of the 35  crores  Hindus living below the poverty line.

Most importantly, Prof. Suresh Tendulkar’s  research  had revealed that  in 2009 approximately 37.2 percent Indians were living  below the poverty line. It meant that roughly, the unwashed  children of 34-35 crore Hindu les miserables were  debarred from applying for scholarships and educational loans in an unethical  bid to consolidate a  vote bank of five minorities. Such a policy of robbing the  poorest on the ground of religion by recourse to a  sleight of hand has no parallel  in the history of any democratic country. Only a legal eagle like Salman Khurshid could do it with remarkable dexterity and finesse !

Now the time has come for the  hon’ble Minister to explain to  34 crore Hindus living below the poverty line, mostly in rural areas, why their hungry, emaciated and unlettered children were robbed of the rightful share in 20 million scholarships and educational loans totaling several thousand crore rupees.

IndiaFacts Staff

IndiaFacts Staff articles, reports and guest pieces