Muslims ‘Denied’, Not Given Reservation Based on Religion

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‘Banyawaad’ has taken centre stage and in the future, Hindu SCs and OBCs too can face a fate similar to what is being pursued in the case of Muslims.

Dr. Javed Jamil | Clarion India

WITH three rounds of the seven-phase polling in the general elections over and the fate of the two main contenders hanging in the balance, attempts by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to polarise the electorate to the hilt is for all of us to see.

One major issue has been the claim by the ruling dispensation that the INDIA bloc intends to give reservations to Muslims “on the ground of religion”. But the question is: Are Muslims being “given” or “denied” reservations on the grounds of religion?

The fact of the matter is that if the Constitution, before the acceptance of the Mandal Commission Report, gave reservation only to Scheduled Castes and OBCs, who were not Muslims, it effectively meant that they were given reservations based on their religion (along with their caste). Muslims were denied this just because of their religion despite their extraordinary backwardness. Only Hindus were being given reservations and Muslims were denied this facility. So, this was a “denial” to Muslims based on religion.

The Mandal Commission recognised that socioeconomic backwardness is rampant among Muslims, and therefore they too deserved to be accommodated in the reservation policy. First, it was argued that certain castes among Muslims should be given reservations. But it is being realised now by all right-thinking people that almost the entire Muslim community is facing severe socioeconomic deprivation; and if India has to develop further, ignoring this fact will only prove to be counterproductive. If the country has to develop, all sections of society need to be looked after.

It is unfortunate that during the last ten years, despite its pompous slogan of “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas, Sab ka Vishwas” the ruling dispensation has almost daily proved that “Sab” means only Hindus; and within this “Sab” too, only business class needs to be given special privileges.“Banyawaad” has taken centre stage and in the future, Hindu SCs and OBCs too can face a fate similar to what is being pursued in the case of Muslims.

It will not be a surprise if the Parliament this time breaks the record of having the lowest number of Muslim members. Only time will tell what will be the fate of this election; and then what will be the fate of the nation: Inclusive growth with all the sections benefiting or exclusive benefits for a chosen few?

Dr. Javed Jamil is an India-based thinker and writer with over 20 books to his credit. He can be contacted at doctorforu123@yahoo.com

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