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Slice of OBC quota not enough: Muslim leaders

The decision to carve out a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent for backward minorities from the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes is “inadequate”,so feels the Muslim leadership

Written by Manoj C G | New Delhi |
December 24, 2011 1:39:29 am

The decision to carve out a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent for backward minorities from the 27 per cent reservation for Other Backward Classes is “inadequate”,so feels the Muslim leadership.

According to them,it is neither proportional to the population nor does it address the backwardness of the community.

The Muslims fear that including them in the “minority quota” basket would result in the “more developed” minorities elbowing them out,taking away even existing opportunities. Welfare Party president Mujtaba Farooq said Muslim outfits would organise a seminar soon to chalk out future plans.

Justice Rajinder Sachar,who headed the committee that looked into the socio-economic status of Muslims in the country,feels the government should have created a “most backward category” which would have automatically brought almost 80 per cent of the Muslims under the quota. Abu Saleh Shariff,who was member secretary of the Sachar Committee,said although he “doesn’t want to oppose and give a picture that what has come is not good,what has come is not in the interest of the poor”.

Approximately 80 per cent of the Muslims are either OBCs or “Dalit-type Muslims”,he added.

In line with the recommendations of the Ranganath Misra panel,Shariff said,either a 10 per cent quota should have been fixed for backward Muslims or their share in the OBC quota should have been increased and Dalit-Muslims put in the SC/ST quota.

“Muslims should be classified as a most backward community. They are about 12 per cent of India’s population and should be given 10 per cent reservation. Of course,the creamy layer should apply,” he said.

Shariff urged the government to go in for affirmative action including providing backward Muslims access to education system,to preferential appointment in not just government but also private sector and access to normal bank credit.

Muslim outfits,especially the Jamiat-ulama-i-Hind,the All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat and the Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind,expressed dismay at the government announcement. Mushawarat chief Syed Shahabuddin said the government should have followed the Karnataka model and given a quota exclusively to all Muslims,apart from equal access of Muslim OBCs to OBC quotas. This move may lead to bad blood between Muslim and non-Muslim OBCs,he said.

Jamiat leader Abdul Hameed Nomani said backward Muslims should have got 6 per cent sub-quota within the OBC quota,while Dalit Muslims should be included in the SC/ST quota.

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Muslim leaders also feel the 4.5 per cent sub-quota as not enough,though they called it the first positive step. Vice-Chancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana Abul Qasim Nomani said the government should provide reservation to backward Muslims in proportion of their population as per the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations. All India Muslim Personal Law Board Member Zafaryab Jilani said the UPA government move will not fetch it Muslim support in the UP polls.

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