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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Ending Haj Subsidy: Asking for trouble?

    The Central Government stopped the Rs 700 crore Haj pilgrim subsidy and is planning to channel the funds to the education of women of the minorities.

    The official statement is that the plan is in accordance with empowering and nor appeasement of minorities. This subsidy was due to end in 2022.

    One of the minorities party leaders is listed about the subsidies given for other communities, like for Kumbh Mela(Rs1,150 Cr), UP is quoted to spend Rs 800 Cr for Kashi/Mathura/Ayodhya pilgrimage and a few other pilgrimages.

    Would this decision be viewed as a bias against the minorities and be quoted in future everytime a state or center makes an announcement of grant for other festivities?
  • #623251
    This is a good decision. Channelling the funds to the education for the women of minority communities is appreciable.
    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #623252
    Haj pilgrimage has to be taken by those capable of taking it according to Islamic rules. If you are incapable by any means including financially then there is no compulsion to take the trip. So technically, going to Haj on Govt subsidy in any case was not the right way and that is the reason that many Muslim scholors too wanted its removal.

  • #623267
    Its a good move indeed. The appeasing politics should be stopped no matter which religion it belong too. The law should be one for all. The government is rightly forwarding one nation one law theory which is the need of the current situations.

  • #623271
    It is a good move. Already there is a court directive about the subsidy withdrawal. Keeping that in mind only the central government took this decision. A good move. Another important factor here is they are going to use the funds which are available now from doing away with this subsidy will be utilised for making the minority women get educated. The money will be used for a more important issue. So there is no reason for any minority person to worry about this. In addition to that, the fundamental question is why the people should be reimbursed for the expenses they incur for a pilgrimage. As pointed out rightly, we should undertake pilgrimage if we have body strength and financial resources required. Otherwise, God is there everywhere and anywhere. We can sit in our house and pray the God. In a book which is written about the life of Shirdi Saibaba, it was mentioned that we should not undertake pilgrimage with borrowed money. We can pray God for the place you are sitting and He is present everywhere and anywhere.
    always confident

  • #623300
    By this single step, the Government has achieved the following:-

    (a) It will stop the complaint of discrimination by the majority community.
    (b) It will be in accordance with the religious practice of the particular community which forbids(?) taking a loan (here subsidy) to perform Haj.
    (c) But most importantly, it would enable the community to develop its womenfolk educationally, as the subsidy amount would be spent on the educational progress of the women of the community.

    However, there is no doubt that this bold decision will create many controversies. India's 'sicku-libu' brigade and so-called 'sicku-libu' parties would oppose this step directly or indirectly. But ultimately, the people of the community would definitely understand that this step would be beneficial for the community itself.

    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #623327
    I am glad that the replies support the move. It will help the women of the minority in question.

    For the Char Dham Yatra there is a travel grant about Rs 20,000.00. Would people be happy to forego this?
    Would we feel the same when the government cuts the grants for the major religious events like Kumbh Mela, and other yathras?

  • #623331
    There was discrimination all these years against other religion members. The court case order in 2012 to end the subsidy in ten year s that is latest by 2022. The subsidy was getting tapered by a certain percentage every year. A secular country is not supposed to help just one religion for its religious pilgrimages. That job is for the religions and their trusts or organisations to take care.

    Not only that only those who go on that pilgrimage get the benefit. So there is internal discrimination also in this. The government has to take care the general welfare of all at least in that religious community. So that is what the government is going to do now.

    The present action is a speedier correction of many existing discrimination even to the Muslim community. Previous governments were not taking such action because of their vested interests.

  • #623483
    Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru always opposed to using government funds for religious appeasement in any form. Nehru even asked to the then President to distance from attending any religious functions in the capacity of constitutional head. He was criticised and blamed for this hard line. The same congress sidelined the views of their leaders and started appeasing majority and minority religious groups with financial subsidies and helps for religious functions for the sake of votes. At one time it was supposed to be a part of the duties of the government. Lot of money was wasted on these subsidies on the cost of education of children, health of women and children in particular and all needy citizens of the country in general. Now we are seeing the toxic form of these subsidies. Whenever these subsidies would be withdrawn there would be a communal colour to it.

    The Haj subsidy started in the British Raj. The Supreme Court ordered that the Haj subsidy should be withdrawn gradually by 2022 since is not only unconstitutional but inconsistent with the tenets of Quran. The government only preponed the withdrawal probably to get political mileage before the elections. Anyway, time will show whether the savings from this subsidy would be used on real welfare works or on advertisement of welfare works.

    There is no compulsion for Hindus also to go to Khumbh Mela or Vaishnav Devi Temple or Char Dham Yatra. The subsidies given for these should also be withdrawn. The government will save more money as per the figures available. I hope that the present government will withdraw all such subsidies before any intervention from the Supreme Court on this issue. Since the present government is a strong advocate of uniform civil code, it will create history by withdrawing all such subsidies. Charity begins at home.

  • #623485
    As far as I know, every year the State Governments collect huge amount of taxes in different forms from the offerings to the temples and muths located in different States. This collection of taxes can't be seen in respect of other religious places of other communities. So, I think, in case of Hindus, Governments get back much more than what they spend as subsidies to the Hindus during Kumbh Mela. So, far as Mansarovar Yatra is concerned, I know that every pilgrim has to spend a huge amount, and most probably, no subsidy is involved.
    Beware! I question everything and everybody.

  • #623660
    Every temple, muth, gurudwara, church and mosque is run by a religious trust. These trusts are exempted from tax on religious activities but they have to pay tax on other non - religious activities. I found that all religious trusts irrespective of their religion have to register in GST (new law). I found the reports that big religious trusts like Tirupati Trust is a tax evader. Whatever, we find that the tax collection from these trusts is in few crores while the subsidies and grants run in thousands of crores. These trusts are becoming places of corruption and religious politics.

    There are reports of corruption in Gita Mahostava in Haryana. The figures involved are of concern. Hence I am strongly of opinion that the governments should stop funding any religious functions, yatras etc.

  • #623665
    Good move from the government and it was welcomed even by the Muslims in large numbers. Undertaking Haj Pilgrimage is the life time achievement for any Muslim and they have to complete that ritual with their own hard earned money and having completed all the tasks of life and they should not have any credits on their name. Such is the importance of Haj pilgrims. However since past there has been subsidy on this tour and that is now withdrawn as it does not serve purpose of the beneficiary in any way. However the government must spend that money in different way. There are some good Madarsas or the school of learning which are imparting importance of Quran to the students and there are also having some good orphans to take care off. If the money is channelled to them then the economy of Muslim community would rise.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #623721
    @Venkitesaran sir has brought out a genuine point- in a secular country why a bias in giving grants to one religion?

    @Mr.Sunilkanth- valid points, subsidies that are given or withdrawn can be exploited by vested communal interests, we should have a uniform civil code - all or none.

    @Mr.Partha: your reply implies tax is collected from temples and mutts. the Government should tax religious place of workship or trust equally irrespective of the name of the community. Does the new GST ensure this Mr.Sunilkanth?

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