Days after the Union Cabinet decided to include Jats in the central list of OBCs for reservation in central government jobs and educational institutions, a prominent Muslim face in the Congress party has said reservation for Jats after the Muzaffarnagar riots has hurt Muslim sentiments. The Congress rejected the contention arguing that an entire community cannot be blamed for the act of a few rioters.
Former party spokesperson Rashid Alvi, in a letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, pointed out that the Government failed to make the Communal Violence (Prevention) Bill a reality. Had it been passed, it could have showcased the party’s commitment to secular values.
Clarifying he was not opposed to reservation for any community, he added, “To award reservation to a particular community after massive riots in Muzaffarnagar has given a wrong signal to people at large and Muslim community in particular.”
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Alvi argued some steps taken by the Government could be “detrimental” to the party in the elections and alleged that “it appears some of our leaders are working overtime to weaken the party and strengthen communal forces.”
Party spokesperson Shashi Tharoor said, “We don’t believe crimes are committed by entire communities or castes, but by specific individuals who must be held accountable…We don’t ascribe a pattern of conduct of the entire community or caste. So we would not accept the proposition that an entire community is to be blamed for an act of violence just as we are not blaming all Gujaratis for what happened in 2002 but only those who have the power to prevent it. We cannot blame all Jats or all Hindus for what happened in 2014,” he said.