TMK to march to Parliament for reservation
Prof MH Jawahirullah
22 February 2007
Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam (TMMK), in cooperation with a number of Muslim organisations, will conduct a march to Parliament, followed by a demonstration, on 7 March. Besides 5000 volunteers of TMMK coming to the capital from Tamilnadu, Muslims from various states will also assemble in Delhi to participate in this programme which has been called “Delhi Chalo, Huq Manwawo”. The march to Parliament and the demonstration are to demand exclusive reservation for Muslims and the implementation of affirmative measures in the light of the Sachar Committee report.
TMMK will also organise a social justice conference at Ambedkar Bhawan, New Delhi, in the evening of same day. It will be addressed by central ministers, members of Parliament and prominent leaders of the Muslim community.
A good number of parties, which now constitute the United Progressive Alliance, promised during the general elections in 2004 that exclusive reservation in Government jobs and educational opportunities would be provided to Muslims. The Congress party, which leads the UPA coalition, specifically mentioned in its election manifesto that the exclusive reservation for Muslims would be extended to the whole of the country on the pattern of Karnataka and Kerala states.
The Congress Manifesto for the 2004 Parliament elections had given Muslims the following promise: “The Congress has provided for reservations for Muslims in Kerala and Karnataka in government employment and education on the grounds that they are a socially and educationally backward class. The Congress is committed to adopting this policy for socially and educationally backward sections among Muslims and other religious minorities on a national scale.” Similarly, the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA Government (CMP) states the following: “The UPA will establish a National Commission to see how best the welfare of socially and economically backward sections among religious and linguistic minorities, including reservations in education and employment, is enhanced. The Commission will be given six months to submit its report."
The National Commission of Religious and Linguistic Minorities headed by Justice Ranganathan Mishra has been in existence for more than a year. However, it it yet to submit its report.
The UPA Government has now passed the halfway mark of its rule. Yet the promises made by it and its constituents during the elections have not become a reality.
The Justice Rajindar Sachar Committee has done a remarkable job by preparing an excellent report on the status of the largest minority of India. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a number of occasions has stressed that his government will take measures to alleviate the condition of the minorities.
The Sachar Committee findings have brought out the facts about the poor educational, social, economic conditions of Muslims in the country. The report clearly establishes the need for proactive steps including reservations in education, resources, jobs as well as in legislative bodies for this extremely backward section of the society. Muslims constitute a large segment of the Indians who continue to suffer in all spheres of social, economic and pubic life due to lack of proper education, discriminatory policies and deep rooted bias. The Sachar report has also nailed the canards propagated by certain elements who have harped on the theory of “appeasement” of Muslims.
It is in this background that TMMK has decided to hold a rally in Delhi on 7 March. It will commence at 10 AM from Jama Masjid and proceed towards Parliament. At the end of the procession there will be a demonstration in front of Parliament which would be addressed by prominent leaders of various Muslim organisations. In the evening TMMK will to conduct a Sscial justice conference in Ambedkar Bhavan.
The march to Parliament is organised to remind and demand the UPA Government to fulfil the promises given to the Muslim community during the last Parliament elections and to take positive affirmative actions in the light of the suggestions of the Justice Rajendar Sachar Committee.
Prof. Jawahirullah is president of TMMK (www.tmmk.in). He may be contacted at