Imams not keen to take Mamata Banerjee’s largesse
Religious angle Many feel imams and muezzins consider accepting government against Islam.
Last year, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made a controversial announcement of giving a monthly financial aid to imams and muezzins. The Trinamool Congress government had hoped to receive a windfall of applications from the imams and muezzins across the state. However, almost nine months after the scheme was announced, the government has received only a trickle of applications from the community leaders.
Officials say the main reason behind the lukewarm response could be that a large number of imams and muezzins do not want to accept money from the government as they consider that Islam does not permit accepting financial aid from a non-religious body.
Unofficial estimates show that there are around 70,000 mosques in the state. The government, which announced Rs 2,500 monthly aid to imams and Rs 1,000 monthly aid to muezzins, had set aside Rs 126 crore — Rs 90 crore for the imams and Rs 36 crore for muezzins — for the current financial year.
A brief calculation could mean that government had set a target of enrolling 30,000 imams and 30,000 muezzins for this financial year. Till date, only 23,000 imams and 12,000 muezzins have submitted their applications to the Wakf Board.
"I have heard that a section of imams and muezzins do not want to accept money from the government since the fund does not come from a religious body. So, they consider accepting money from government as un-Islamic. At one point of time, we had expected applications from 3,000 imams of Burdwan district alone. But so far, we have received only 700 applications from that district," said West Bengal Wakf Board Chairman Abdul Gani.
A senior official of Minority Affairs Department said imams in most of the interior parts of the state get food and other necessary material from the locals. "This may be another reason why not all the imams and muezzins have opted for the government money," said the official.
- Modi wave is a myth, says Siddaramaiah
- In Mandya, discordant notes in show of Cong unity
- ‘Fakir’ Jankar takes on Pawar might in battle against ‘dynasty’
- Ballot paper in Braille to help blind persons cast their vote
- AAP volunteer attacked
- 64-year-old fights for Punjabi language, gets little support from political parties
- BJP dancing to the tune of RSS: Sonia Gandhi | The Indian Express
- After Sanjay Baru, former coal secretary Parakh’s book embarrasses PM; ‘Singh had little political authority’
- How can Modi honour women if he can’t mention his wife, asks Rahul
- Rahul Gandhi insulting Ambedkar by taking credit for laws: Narendra Modi