Muslims get OBC quota & dissatisfied. CSF asks – Anyone bothered about Indian Christians? *Parties divided over minority quota

December 27, 2011 by  
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Muslim Groups TermNew Delhi, December 23, 2011: Muslim groups term 4.5% sub- quota for minorities, a “joke” and “completely insufficient” It’s not only the Left and Samajwadi parties, which have criticized the quota of 4.5 % within the existing OBC quota of 27% , on the pretext of it being “most inadequate” and “tokenism,” even the Muslim civil society organizations, are less than impressed by the latest move of the Congress led UPA government. organisations like Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, All India Ulema Mashaikh Board (AIUMB) and All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, have strongly criticized the 4.5% quota within quota for all minorities, terming it as “joke” and cheating. They repeatedly called for at least 10 % reservation for Muslims as per recommended by the Ranganath Mishra Commission.

The Union Cabinet on Thursday evening cleared the proposal to carve out a sub-quota within the OBC quota. The move, which comes ahead of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, will pave the way for reservation in government jobs and educational institutions for minorities as defined in section 2 (C) of the National Commission for Minorities Act, 1992.

Its important to mention here that initially the minority affairs ministry had proposed 8.4% sub-quota, including 6% for Muslims as per formulated by the Ranganath Mishra Commission. It was rejected by the Cabinet which cut it down to 4.5% on the lines of Mandal commission. The sub-quota will be notified by an executive order effective from January 1, 2012. All minorities included in the central list of OBCs will get reservation under this sub-quota.

“This is nothing and a complete cheating. It’s an election stunt which the electorate will certainly see through.” This was how Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan, working President of the All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat (AIMMM) reacted to the 4.5% quota for minorities. Referring to the Sachar and Ranganath Mishra Committees, Dr. Khan argued that these were the commissions appointed by the UPA only, which highlighted the acute backwardness of the Muslim community and had also recommended at least 10% reservation for Muslims.

After the recommendations of those commissions, the step to give just 4.5% reservation to all minorities, was a sham and not a sincere gesture by the Congress led UPA, added the working president of Mushawarat, which is an umbrella body of several Muslim organisations and sects including Shias, Sunnis and Barelwis.

Jamat-e-Islami Hind (JIH), another organization with an intellectual clout among Indian Muslims termed 4.5% quota within quota as “nothing more than a joke and an election stunt.” Like (AIMMM), JIH also demanded at least 10% reservation for Muslims.

The latest quota within quota of 4.5% is mainly targeted at wooing the two dozen castes belonging to Muslim community. Muslims form 18% of the state’s 200 million people and hold the key in nearly a fifth of its assembly constituencies. Importantly 21 of the 90 minority concentration districts come from the prominent state of the Hindi heartland.

Muslims comprise over 13% of India’s billion-strong population, but as highlighted by the Sachar Committee, they are under-represented in government jobs, bureaucracy and the police. A third of the population also lives below the poverty line.

The Congress party in its 2009 election manifesto had promised reservation to backward Muslims. Several Indian states including Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Bihar among others, have already implemented similar quotas for minorities.

Another reason why Muslim groups have criticized this sub-quota of 4.5%, is because around 35 Other Backward Castes from Muslim community, already manage to get around 2-3% reservation under the overall 27% quota for the OBCs. So if the UPA government has clubbed the minority community with other relatively well off minority communities like Sikhs, Parsis and Christians, it hasn’t done any good to the Muslims. In fact one view among Muslim intellectual is that after the 4.5% sub-quota, Muslims will have to compete with much developed communities and that too within the limited sub-quota of 4.5% only.

Dr. Ayub of Peace Party who pursue backward politics and has backward communities as his vote bank in Eastern UP, was quick to suspend Congress’ attempts to woo backward Muslim votes as “nothing more than a political joke” and an “election stunt.” Talking to Ayub said that, ” Muslim electorate are not fools and they will soon see through the manipulative intention of this 4.5% which is just a pittance and won’t be of any good to them.”

On the positive side, politicians like Asaduddin Owaisi of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, who cautiously welcomed this move, point to the fact that earlier Muslim OBCs had to fight with more than hundred OBCs for their share in 27%; whereas now they have got 4.5% in which Muslims will be competing with just 2-3 communities.

The demand of Muslim political players, like Owaisi and Dr. Ayub, who either criticized or appreciated the sub-quota, was that just 4.5% wont do any good for the socio-economic backwardness of Muslims. If at all the UPA government is serious, it has to include the Muslim converts from Scheduled Caste origins into the SC list, which will enable them to get not only socio-economic privileges but political reservation as well.

All India Ulema Mashaikh Board (AIUMB), an organisation of Barelwi Muslims with a sizeable numbers of followers in Uttar Pradesh, rejected the 4.5% reservation for minorities, saying the community need what the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommended- at least 10% of reservation. Babar Ashraf of the AIUMB told that the quota within quota for all minorities, will backfire the Congress party, if it considered the Muslim community a “fool.”

Contrary to most of the Muslim groups, Dr. Manzoor Alam, General Secretary of Milli Council, was a bit restrained in castigating the UPA, saying that even though the Muslims were shocked at just 4.5% sub-quota for minorities, they hoped that this will be the first step of the much larger reservation for Muslims in future. Prominent steps which Dr. Alam wanted the UPA to take, were deletion of the 1950 presidential order which bars Muslim converts belonging to the Scheduled Caste community from getting SC status and at least 10% reservation for Muslims as recommended by the Ranganath Mishra Commission.

“If the UPA doesn’t take these two very important steps, Muslims will regard just 4.5% quota within quota as an election stunt,” Dr. Alam finally added.

– tcn

Parties divided over minority quota


Naqvi Mukthar AbbaNew Delhi, December 23, 2011: The Congress and Lok Janshakti Party Friday welcomed the government’s decision for a 4.5 percent reservation for minorities, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dubbed it as a poll stunt and the Communist Party of India of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Samajwadi Party termed the measure inadequate.

The quota decision, taken at a cabinet meeting Thursday, has been hailed by Congress leaders in Uttar Pradesh as fulfillment of an election promise.

The party, which is making a detemined effort to unseat the Mayawati government in the state, is expected to highlight the quota decision to woo the Muslims during its campaign for the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.

Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who is in charge of the party’s affairs in Uttar Pradesh, supported the minorities quota decision and rejected the opposition’s allegation that it was a poll stunt.

He said reservation was otherwise not proving beneficial for minorities.

“They have been given a fixed quota so that the backward Muslims will get 4.5 percent out of the 27 percent reserved for backward castes. Earlier, they were left out of the benefits of quota…It was a poll promise which we have fulfilled,” Singh said.

The BJP dubbed the move as a pre-poll stunt and said the party rejected the idea of religion-based reservation.

“There is a decision for a quota within quota, which is wrong,” BJP leader Ananth Kumar told reporters.

“We are against a religion-based quota. The backward castes should get social justice and such religion based quota in not right for social equality,” he said.

Another BJP leader, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the move would divide people on basis of caste and religion.

“This step is a cheating with our constitution. The kind of step this government has taken, they want to cause a civil war in the country in the name of caste and religion,” Naqvi said.

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav termed the government’s move “a betrayal” and demanded that reservation should be given in accordance with population of Muslims in the state.

“It is betrayal. It should be 18 percent,” Yadav said, while also indicating that OBC reservation should be increased.

CPI-M leader Prakash Karat said the decision of the cabinet to provide 4.5 per cent reservation for minorities within the OBC quota was inadequate.

He said the decision would not yield any major benefits to minority communities.

“It is inadequate. The Ranganath Mishra Commission report had recommended 10 percent reservation for Muslims and 5 percent for other minorities based on the socially and economically backward criteria,” he said.

LJP chief Ramvilas Paswan, however, welcomed the decision.

“It is not appeasement. It should have been done earlier. Even if it has been done in view of elections (in Uttar Pradesh), it is good. We should welcome it,” he said.

– thaindian

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