Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar on Saturday said members of the Muslim community have a feeling they were not getting their due share despite being a large part of the country’s population.
Addressing an event titled ‘Issues Before Indian Muslims’ organised by the Vidarbha Muslim Intellectuals Forum here, Pawar batted for Urdu but also stressed on the importance of the “main language” of states, citing the situation in Kerala as an example.
“Members of the Muslim community have a feeling they are not getting their due share despite being such a large part of the country, which is actually a reality. Deliberations have to be held on how they can get their due share,” he said.
Responding to an earlier speaker seeking the use of Urdu in government recruitment examinations, Pawar hailed the language and said several people are associated with it for generations.
“We should consider Urdu schools and education, but along with Urdu, we have to consider about the main language of a state,” he said.
Pawar said Kerala has a large proportion of minorities and one needs to study how minorities in that state, which has the highest literacy rate, are giving support to the main language and what benefits are being derived from this.
He said unemployment was an issue across all communities in the country, though complaints on this front by minorities were genuine and needs to be looked into.
The Muslim community can contribute hugely in the fields of art, poetry and writing through Urdu, he said, adding that its members have “quality and capacity” but need “support and equal opportunity”.
Pawar told the gathering the NCP has always strived to give adequate representation to minorities, citing that two of the party’s eight parliamentarians are Muslims.