The Union government on Wednesday (September 8) appointed former IPS officer Iqbal Singh Lalpura as the chairman of the National Commission for Minorities (NCM). Lalpura is an influential leader who hails from Punjab and belongs to the Sikh community. He has been a BJP spokesperson, having joined the party in 2012. He replaces Syed Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi as the commission chairman.
“I will work to protect the interests of minorities across the country and am thankful to the government for choosing me for this responsibility,” Iqbal was quoted as saying by The Tribue after his appointment.
Arrested Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale
One might also remember Iqbal as one of the three officers handpicked by the then government to arrest Khalistan leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in April 1981. The secessionist leader had demanded that he will only submit himself if Baptized officers were sent for him. It was then that Jarnail Singh Chahal and SDM BS Bhullar, alongside Iqbal Singh, were selected for the mission.
He was also an investigating officer for the 1978 Sikh Nirankari clash. With the Punjab elections slated to be held next year and Sikh farmers still being led astray by few rotten tomatoes in the name of farm bills, Iqbal’s appointment becomes even more important.
Muslim members as the statutory body’s head
Ever since the inception of the Minority Commission, members of the Muslim community have mostly headed the statutory body. Other minorities have not received equal representation and often the Commission has been called out for excessively pandering to the whims of the Muslim community.
A Sikh has been appointed as the chairman of the national council of minorities. The second majority is losing its favourite tag. pic.twitter.com/C6JHRGoBGW
— The Frustrated Indian (@FrustIndian) September 8, 2021
As per Section 9(1) of the NCM Act, 1992, the Commission is required to perform the following functions:- (a) evaluation of the progress of the development of minorities under the Union and States; (b) monitoring of the working of the safeguards for minorities provided in the Constitution and in laws enacted by Parliament and the State Legislatures.
Initially, five religious communities — Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Zoroastrians (Parsis) — were notified as minority communities by the Union government. Further through a notification, dated January 27, 2014, Jains were also notified as another minority community.
However, Muslim appeasement found its way through in the commission and successive governments used the statutory body to appease Muslims. But, with Iqbal’s appointment, the Islamo-leftist cabal has been sent a stern message.
Iqbal is the second Sikh to head the commission after S Tarlochan Singh headed the commission between 2003 and 2006. The former IPS officer has a profound knowledge about his religion as he has authored 14 books on Sikh philosophy and history. ‘Japji Sahib ik vichaar’, ‘Gurbani katha vichaar’ and ‘Wangaar’ are few of the books that he has penned.