Indian Muslims were cheated in name of Hajj subsidy: AIMPLB

  • All India Muslim Personal Law Board general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani said the subsidy was not given to those going on Hajj but it was for Air India

NEW DELHI – The government’s decision on revoking Hajj subsidy has no meaning as there was no such concession and Muslims were being cheated in its name, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said Tuesday.

“The subsidy was not given to those going on Hajj but it was for Air India that is running in losses. It was an eyewash. Muslims were cheated in the name of the subsidy,” said AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani.

“In normal days, tickets for Saudi Arabia come for Rs 32,000 but during Hajj, Air India used to charge Rs 65,000 to Rs 1 lakh from those going for Hajj. The fare will be less without subsidy,” he said.

“Hajj-bound Muslims are bulk purchasers of Air India tickets and so their fare should be less. It’s rule of International Air Transport Association that if anyone is going for pilgrimage, he will be given 40% discount. If the fare is not less, it should at least the same as on normal days,” he said.

All India Shia Personal Law Board Chairman Yasoob Abbas, on the other hand, said the board favoured subsidy on Hajj.

“The government used to give subsidy to reduce the loss of Air India. If the amount is now spent on the education of Muslim children, it will be good but the poor who used to go to Hajj will not do so now,” he said.

Samajwadi Party spokesman Rajendra Chowdhury said that Hajj subsidy should not be revoked completely and facilities for those going for the annual pilgrimage should be increased.

Earlier in the day, Union minority affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi announced in Delhi that there will be no subsidy for Hajj from this year and said the move was part of the government’s efforts to “empower minorities” without appeasement.

The BJP had cited the subsidy as an example of “Muslim appeasement” by parties such as the Congress.

Indian govt ends Hajj subsidy as part of policy to ’empower minorities without appeasement’