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Reservation benefit to Muslims: a dream
By Obaid Nasir

Lucknow: The All India Muslim Forum has called upon the state government. to revise the Social Justice Committee report presented to it by its chairman Mr. Hukum Singh. It has suggested to divide the backward castes into four categories (a) Ahir, Kurmi Lodh backward castes, (b) Most backward castes (c) Extremely backward castes and (d) Muslim Backward castes and the whole range of the proposed 28% reservation be divided among them according to their respective population. Thus Muslim backward castes will get 8% reservation on the basis of their population.

The Muslim Forum held a massive convention in the state capital in which delegates from all over the state and the newly created state Uttranchal participated. The main thrust of deliberations in the convention was the fixation of 8% proportionate share for Muslim backward castes provided under Mandal Commission recommendations.

The Forum has warned that if its proposal of fixing 8% separate quota for Muslim backwards is not accepted by the state government., it will stage a demonstration outside the Vidhan Sabha and thereafter it will launch a state wide agitation.

It may be noted that the Social Justice Committee was constituted by chief minister Rajnath Singh under the chairmanship of Parliamentary affairs minister Hukum Singh to suggest ways and means to ensure the reservation benefits to most Dalit and most backward castes within the purview of Mandal Commission recommendations. The committee in its report has increased the reservation quota from 27 to 28% and has recommended that 5% share be given to Yadav, Kurmi and Loddh communities, 9% to other most backward castes and 14% to extremely backward castes in which 29 Muslim backward communities have been included.

Inaugurating the convention the President of Muslim Forum Mr. Nehaluddin asserted that the demand of Muslim Forum for the separation of 8% quota for Muslim backward castes is not new. The forum has been insisting on it since the implementation of Mandal Commission recommendations by former Prime Minister VP Singh. He emphasized that the way in which the Muslim backward castes have been clubbed with their counterparts of the majority community has raised the apprehension that the former, because of their overall educational, social, political and economic backwardness could not compete with the latter and will not get the slightest benefit out of reservation facility. He reiterated that the Mandal Commission and Hukum Singh Committee recommendations will continue to remain a legal fraud with Muslim backwards until and unless their quota is separated and a separate merit list is prepared for providing them government job.

The state secretary of CPI (ML) Mr. Akhilendra Pratap Singh lambasted the BJP, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress for their silence on this vital issue. He also came down heavily on BJP government. at the center particularly Home Minister LK Advani for once again trying to play the Ayodhya card on the eve of UP assembly elections which according to him are going to prove Waterloo for the BJP.

In his emotional appeal to all the Muslims the veteran journalist Mr. Alim Naqvi emphasized the need for immediate elimination of all those factors which are dividing the community on sectarian ground. Blasting all those who are causing fissures within the community Mr. Naqvi appealed them to desist from their nefarious designs otherwise history will not pardon them. Another veteran journalist Mr. Akhilesh Misra advised the Muslim community not to get excited at the irresponsible utterances of the Hindutva brigade because they have now been deserted even by their own hardcore supporters and are badly exposed.

Professor MK Shervani, general secretary of Muslim Forum, asked the Muslims to shun their defeated psychology and assert themselves in the democratic process of the nation. He said that because of the lack of Muslim political assertion the Muslim representation in legislature and government job has come to all time low so much so that out of 73 districts in UP there is not a single Muslim District Magistrate or Senior Superintendent of Police.

The Vice President of Muslim Forum Syed Afzal regretted the insensitivity of the community towards the government. efforts of saffronizing the education while the state President Mr. Salahuddin Khan asked all the Muslim political parties to shun their personal ego and come under one umbrella to guide the Muslims at this crucial juncture.
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