The Indian government has ended the subsidy for Haj travelers from India starting this year. There was a judgement from supreme court of India to end subsidy for Haj in a phased manner in 2012. The Haj subsidy scheme was initiated during the British Raj as part of their divide and rule formula / appeasement formula. But post independence the Indian government also continued with it. It also passed an act called Haj act in 1959. The withdrawal of the subsidy was asked by prominent Muslim leaders and MPs. Indian Haj pilgrims can travel much cheaper if they plan well in advance and fly from destinations where tickers are comparatively cheaper. Also, government should end the monopoly of state run airlines like Air India and Saudia airlines. There by allowing existing airlines to complete and bring down price or it can also call for a global tender. Overall it should help the Haj pilgrims.
However, we want to discuss a very important matter which arises out of this. The minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said that the subsidy amount thus saved will be used for empowerment of Muslim minority specially girls. Now why only girls? What crime did the boys did! Education and welfare should be for all children and there should be no discrimination. It is the constitutional right of every children. It has become a fashion this days for the government to play women card in almost all matters.
The formative years of a children are very important because in those years the cultural values, nation building ideas and human values are inculcated. If the government start discrimination in the early formative years itself and teach them discriminatory ideas then they will grow up with discriminatory and divisive values. This definitely do not arguer well for the nation or society. The government talks of Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas and appeasement of none. But is the government walking the talk? Government should focus on equality and not on appeasement of a particular gender. Both genders are important for the proper functioning of society and the Indian nation. Such appeasement by the government by creating biased norms, laws, criteria is sending a wrong signal in the society that by playing a particular gender card they can play with law and human values. Is this the outcome we are looking out of Women empowerment?
True empowerment of women will happen only when she will stand on her own feet and not dependent on anyone. The government should create opportunity for girls but not by discriminating the boys. Boys are also human and equal citizen of India. Their upliftment is also very important for the advancement of the nation and society.