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Re: Taxpayers pay for the HAJ Pilgrimage ?

Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
This is exactly the kind of pseudo secularism that India has become
famous for, where "freedom of worship" has been subverted into "worship of 
the minority votebank". And sadly, even the "Hindutva" BJP are not immune to 
this trend. In fact, they may be trying to prove themselves "more loyal than 
the king" by ingratiating themselves with
the pinko English language media. Leading the charge is of course "Able 
Atal" who has a great and abiding desire to be loved (always a
dangerous trait in a leader).

>From: "Tiwari, Umesh K" <UKTiwari@pcgb.com>
>Reply-To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>To: debate@indiapolicy.org
>Subject: Taxpayers pay for the HAJ Pilgrimage ?
>Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 17:39:28 -0800 (PST)
>Please help make the Manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!
>Just now read a Hindustan Times report. The News Item says :
>"SUBSIDY FOR HAJ RAISED: The Union Cabinet today okayed the enhanced 
>for Haj pilgrimage. The subsidy quantum has shot up from a mere Rs 10 crore
>in 1994 to Rs 137.12 crore this year. The sharp rise in recent years is
>attributed to the fixed fare of Rs 12,000 for each Haj pilgrim.
>The Cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee,
>approved the hiked subsidy without making any changes in the net air fare
>for the pilgrims. Briefing mediapersons, Parliamentary Affairs Minister
>Pramod Mahajan said as per estimates 72,000 pilgrims were to visit Mecca
>this year as against 62,103 last year. Mr Mahajan said Air India will
>utilise six aircraft on wet lease for transportation of the pilgrims. The
>actual travel cost per head would be Rs 31,044 assuming that flights going
>one way remain empty.
>While the air fare stays pegged at Rs 12,000, subsidy on each ticket had
>risen from Rs 5,000 in 1994 to Rs 19,044 each this year. "

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