In recognition of the pivotal role for the protection of minorities under the constitution by its framer B R Ambedkar, a book titled “Minorities Commission 1978-2015, Minor Role in Major Affairs” authored by Professor Tahir Mahmood, Chairman, Amity Institute of Advance Legal Studies was released at Indian Law Institute, New Delhi on the day of his 125th birth anniversary .
The event saw the presence of National Commission of Minorities Chairman, Naseem Ahmad,Delhi High Court Former Judge Jaspal Singh and Dr, Ashok K Chauhan, Founder President, Amity Group apart from members of the commission, Jurists, Law Professors and Activists.
The book is a critical study of the functioning of National Commission for Minorities since its inception in January 1978. The author, its chairman during 1996-99, has made an empirical evaluation of its performance over the years. The work carries out an appraisal of the commission and various ad hoc bodies later set-up for the minorities at the national level apart from relevant legal frame work at the centre and state level.
Speaking on the occasion, Janaab Naseem Ahmad said that the author, Mr Tahir Mahmood is a renowned teacher with deep commitment towards law, who has inspired generations. He highlighted that the book provides an insight into the ups and downs of the minority situation in India during the last four decades,pointing the success and failure of governmental efforts made to ensure the minorities their constitutional rights and safeguards. He mentioned that the art of writing is not everyone’s cup of tea as it requires deep knowledge on topic. Mr. Ahmad commended that the decades of accumulative research, learning and knowledge of author reflects in the book.
Justice Jaspal Singh said that technically it is a second edition but it carries its own freshness of writing. He mentioned that Prof. Tahir has brilliantly drawn attention to the minorities who have been seeking equal rights and justice over a period of time. The book profoundly describes the insights of commission, its role for development of minority and areas it needs to focus. He averred that the author has rightly unfolded the moments of hostility and coerced homogeneity with highlighting the need of framework in secularity.
Congratulating the author for the book launch, Dr. Ashok K Chauhan pointed out that our Constitution gives fundamental rights to all its citizens. The nature of rights are not different for minorities. All are equal in the eyes of law and entitled to its protection. It is disheartening to see the efforts being made for division of communities between majority and minority. The Constitution does not differentiate on account of religion, caste, creed, sex or geographical locations. What is needed therefore is the integration of minorities in the main stream for their full participation in the development of society and nation at large. This book would be relevant specially to understand the problems and challenges in this regard. Suitable tools and mechanism under the constitutional scheme can then be made use of for their upliftment. He stressed that the minorities could be greatly helped with the useful observations and suggestions of the author who had himself served as the Chairman of the National Minorities Commission.
Prof. Tahir Mahmood expressed his gratitude to doyens for being present at the launch of the book. He pointed that the book is based on factual data and observations. He recommended that the commission may be headed by eminent judges so as to properly use the legal approach to help the minorities.