ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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against the same forces as the rest. Unlike the well-off Muslims, they do not have to have a .seat in official bodies. Indeed, West Bengal's Chief Minister, S S Ray, pointed this out: "A vast number of minority community belonged to the poorer sections of society. They did not want high posts." The resolutions of the convention thus smacked of the hackneyed and demogogic as the privileged sought a larger share in the privileges. One resolution said: "While fully appreciating the national economic policy aiming at a fair deal to all, this minority convention cannot help taking note of the fact that certain lacunae, coupled with other factors in its implementation, have resulted in the continued deterioration in the economic conditions of sizable minorities, particularly the Muslim community which constitutes the largest minority in the state." With regard to the 20-point programme, Mohammed Astnanvi said: "Lakhs of acres of land have been distributed among harijans and adivasis. The landless Muslim tillers are yet to avail of it." Also, under the apprentice training scheme, the representation of scheduled castes and tribes had "con- AGRICULTURAL LABOUR siderably" gone up while that of Muslims was yet to improve. Yet, all this only underscores the illegitimacy of treating Muslims in isolation from the common masses. After all, did not the convention president, Jamilur Rehman, himself declare that "what is not generally understood is that the solution of their [Muslims'] problems is not peculiar or sectarian; only through a common mass action the uplift of our people, Hindus, Muslims and others can he brought about".

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