Sub-quota for minorities
Supporting the Andhra Pradesh high courts judgment on the Central governments order of a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent for minorities in the 27 per cent reservation provided for OBCs,Rashtriya Sahara,in its editorial on May 30,writes: This reservation is certainly not on the basis of religion. Therefore,if in the list of traditional professions for reservation (as provided by the Mandal Commission),any biradari of Muslims is included,it would also be accorded reservation. The Central government glossed over this provision and created the impression that Muslims are being given this reservation on the basis of religion and the high court rightly rejected this provision. This is fraudulent… Reservation on the basis of religion negates the principle of secularism that is a fundamental principle of the Constitution… How can the Supreme Court uphold the governments order when the Constitution does not allow reservation on the basis of religion?
The daily Siasat,published from Hyderabad and Bangalore,questions in its editorial: When there is no provision for reservation on the basis of religion in the Constitution,why did the Central government not make legal preparations for such a measure? It adds: Muslims are not going to gain anything if the governments move remains caught up in legalese. The government had issued its order for 4.5 per cent sub-quota before the recent UP elections to garner Muslim votes.
The daily Inquilab,published from over a dozen centres including Delhi and Mumbai,sees a clever political game on the part of the government. It writes in a commentary on June 1: It seems that the Central government feels that its order will also be rejected by the Supreme Court. That is why it is now being hinted that it would not back out even if the Constitution has to be amended to benefit minorities through this measure.
The Delhi-based daily,Jadeed Khabar,in its editorial on May 30,points out that it should be noted that the Muslim share in the 4.5 per cent sub-quota for minorities was only 3 per cent and the rest was for other minorities. But this sub-quota was popularised only as reservation for Muslims and it was challenged in the court on this basis itself.
Jamaat-e-islamis bi-weekly,Daawat,has expressed its opposition on a more fundamental level in a commenton June 4. The consideration behind such a reservation,particularly for Muslims,is not right. There is no place for a caste system in Islam,howsoever deep its roots may be in the country… The oppressed and backward people are not to be given any benefit and they can be denied such benefits on the basis of religion. For instance,if a Scheduled Caste chooses to convert to Islam,s/he would be deprived of the quota of reservation for SCs.
Petrol Price Rise
The steep rise in petrol prices has come in for criticism. Daawat,in its editorial on May 28,writes: The most surprising aspect of petroleum prices today is that at a time when there is a trend of fall in oil prices in the international market the Central government has taken such a hard decision and the prices have increased. What compelled the government to take such a step? The prices were not allowed to be raised during the last six months,despite a trend of rising prices in the international market,in view of some state assembly elections during that period.
The paper points out: Oil companies here fix their prices according to the situation in outside markets like Singapore and Dubai. But India imports crude and not finished petrol,so how can its prices be compared to those in the international market? While fixing petrol prices,the actual cost of refining and marketing in India should be considered,apart from the import price of the crude.
Rashtriya Sahara (May 25) says that the governments decision to reduce crude import from Iran would lead to additional strain on prices as it would be more expensive to import from other countries,compared to importing from Iran,because of the distance.
Protest or Politics?
THE Hyderabad-based daily,Munsif,in its editorial on June 1,writes: The Bharat Bandh sponsored by opposition parties was successful but it cannot be described as effective. It can be called successful because public transport was unavailable and shops,offices and educational institutions were closed,but the spirit of the objective with which it was called providing relief to the people hard-pressed by rising prices was not seen anywhere. Every party was busy trying to get cheap popularity.
Compiled by Seema Chishti