NRIs hope to benefit from new ministers in Indian Cabinet



Tuesday 6 November 2012

Last Update 6 November 2012 5:51 am


Leading members of the Indian community in Saudi Arabia have welcomed the elevation of Salman Khurshid as the country’s foreign minister and the appointment of K. Rahman Khan as the minister for minority affairs during the recent Cabinet reshuffle.


“The raising of Salman Khurshid’s Cabinet profile, in particular, is a fitting reply from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to all those who have been trying to tarnish his image,” said Dr. M.S. Karimuddin, a leading member of the higher board that governs Indian community schools in the Kingdom.


As the new foreign minister, Khurshid is expected to lend a positive direction to the country’s foreign policies.
“I am very happy with his appointment and am sure he will provide a new dynamism to the prestigious assignment,” he said.Karimuddin described Rahman Khan as a good man.


“I have known him personally for a long time, and have interacted with him on various occasions,” he said. “As chairman of the International Indian School-Jeddah in the past, whenever we visited Bangalore to recruit teachers, Khan had been extremely helpful,” he said. According to Karimuddin, the Minority Affairs Ministry provides Rahman Khan with a unique opportunity to serve the nation and the Indian Muslim community.


“He is in a good position to do a lot for the educational development of the minorities and Indian Muslims in particular,” he said. Karimuddin appealed to the new minister to keep the problems of the children of non-resident Indians in mind when formulating new policies. “Most of the NRIs in Saudi Arabia are not high-earners, and it is very difficult for them to pay the exorbitant capitation fees; I would, therefore, request the minister to do something on this front,” he said.
Dhahran-based Mukarram Ali Khan, the most respected and elderly alumnus of India’s Aligarh Muslim University, said he was delighted to hear the views of Rahman Khan through the media.


“I am happy that he has been inducted into the Cabinet, and what has struck me the most about him is his humility and his faith in Allah,” he said.
“His first reaction on being made the Cabinet minister was to express gratitude and thanks to Allah; I am sure he will succeed in his mission; I have a lot of expectations from him,” said Mukarram Khan. “I see no reason why he should not succeed.” The Riyadh chapter president of Jamia Millia Islamia Alumni Association (JMIAA), Khursheed Anwar, was similarly thrilled with Khurshid’s elevation as the foreign minister.


“Salman Sahab deserves it,” said Anwar. “He has been a junior foreign minister in the past, he is experienced, young, articulate, enthusiastic; he has all that is required of a good foreign minister.”


Anwar expects India’s relations with Middle Eastern countries, especially with Saudi Arabia, to flourish during Khurshid’s tenure.
“He knows this region very well, and as an Indian Muslim, he is well positioned and fully alive to the dynamics and needs of this region; he will surely take Indo-Saudi or Indo-Arab relations to new heights,” said Anwar.


Jeddah-based Syed Nasir Khursheed, who works as a senior civil engineer with a top Saudi construction company, welcomed Rahman Khan’s appointment. “The prime minister has done Indian Muslims a favor by getting him into the Cabinet. I am from his state, Karnataka, and he has done a lot for the community there,” he said.
According to Khursheed, Rahman Khan’s biggest asset is that he feels for the community. “You can never doubt his intentions; he is a good man, and he will not leave any stone unturned for the educational uplift of the community,” he added. Both ministers have thanked members of the non-resident Indian community through various popular social network groups for extending their good wishes and even critical comments.


“Thanks to all who have a good word as well as to those who don’t,” said Khurshid in one of the posts in an Internet group reserved exclusively for Indian expatriates. “I have lived my life according to what I was taught by my elders and the expectations of those who have a right to expect.”
Rahman Khan requested all NRIs to pray for his success.


“I assure you that I will do sincere efforts to serve the minorities of India,” he said. “I would like to concentrate on the education of minorities and improve the overall infrastructure.”

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