Despite the Telangana government claiming to have very indulgent towards minority religious institutions in the state and sharing the patronage to its fullest, the Mutawallies of several such institutions is annoyed over the way the implementing agencies are causing a delay in increasing the Jagir Commutation payment (Mehal-e-Shart amount) being release for the arrangements of shrines despite representations time and again since several years.
“Though the Mutawwalis secured a favourable order from the government after duly clearing the legal opinion, the implementing authorities are putting the matter into cold storage. The issue is pending ever since the minority welfare department came into being.
The minority commission wrote several letters to the secretary revenue department, secretary minority welfare department and Commissioner Survey and Settlement, Land Records and Jagir Administrator for implementation but to no avail.
Over the years the government formed PRC almost 11 times for the employees but we didn’t get a pittance of succour all these years,” bemoaned Moulana Abul Fateh Syed Bandagi Badshah Quadri, Sajjadanasheen Dargah Hazrat Syed Shah Bandagi Badshah Quadri, Balkonda Shareef, Nizamabad District.
“How can it be possible to take up maintenance of a particular institution with just a meagre amount of Rs 211/- per month when the basic amenities like electricity charges, water Charges and sweeper wages etc collectively comes to around Rs. 12,000/- per month besides the expenses of performing annual Urs which is the main object of the aforesaid cash grant,” argued Bandagi Badshah who is pursuing the matter since 1998.
Jagir Commutation payment is conditional and a consistent payment to the caretakers of religious institutions for maintaining and upkeep religious institutions like Dargah, Mosque, Temple and Church etc notified as Wakf or Endowment properties.
The amount also extended for the sustentation of the Manager of such institutions known as head priest, Muthawalli, and supervisor that includes performing of annual Urs ceremonies, arranging food and shelter for the visitors and devotees visiting the holy shrine irrespective of caste, creed and religion.
According to Moulana Mohammed Asadullah Siddiqui, Mutawalli Dargah Hazrath Shah Muhammed Sadullah Naqshbandi, Qazipura, Hyderabad, “The partly Jagir Commutation payment (Mehal-e-Shart amount) was fixed way back in 1955 (1358 F) under Jagir Commutation Act after all the Jagirs stood vested with the state government. Over the years, there has been no increase in Jagir Commutation payment while the cost of living and expenses increased manifold. Ironically, while the value of Jagirs exponentially shoots up the sky, the cash grant towards Jagir commutation payment to Mutawallis remains the same.
There are, he said, hardly few such institutions are existing in the state but the beneficiaries of Jagir commutation also known as “Cash Grant Holders” are under tremendous pressure to meet the ever-increasing expenses incurred on arrangements of the institutions as the cost of living and other expenses have gone up to manifold. But there has been no hike in the cash grant to Jagir Commutation Holders during the last 60 years.
“Depriving the religious institutions of their rightful share is against the spirit of Article 14 of the constitution since the cash grant amount has already been enhanced in the other states. It is also a fact that the Wakf Board is no way enjoys any power to make alterations except the Government through the Revenue Department and Jagir Administration,” said, Dr Qazi Syed Shah Samiullah Hussaini Bandanawazi, Sajjadanasheen and Mutawalli Dargah Hazrat Bandagi Maqdoom Syed Malik Shah Hussaini, Adloor, Shahrajpet, Bhongir.