Press Statements

4.5 percent sub quota for Minorities a grand betrayal by UPA Government

Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam will hold a black flag demonstration at Chennai and Karaikudi against Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh during his visit to Tamilnadu on the 26th of this month. This agitation will be conducted to protest the continuous betrayal of the UPA government in providing reservation for Muslims in Central Government jobs and educational opportunities.

During the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress party in its election manifesto declared that it would provide reservation for minorities in Central Government employment and educational opportunities. The Muslim community whole heartedly supported the Congress which resulted in the formation of the UPA Government in May 2009. The common minimum programme of UPA I stated that a commission would be constituted to analyse the minority reservation issue and its report would be obtained in 6 montha and implemented. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh also remarked ‘I am distressed that Minorities particularly Muslims are grossly misrepresented in Government employment’ during an interaction with representatives of Minorities in August 2004. I should also point out here that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Congress Prime Minister had also made a similar statement in 1950s in a letter written to Chief Ministers. It was only in October 2004 the National Commission for Religious and Linguistic minorities under the chairmanship of Justice Ranganath Misra, former Chief Justice of Supreme Court was constituted. This commission submitted its report in May 2007. Yet the UPA Government was not interested in tabling the report in the Parliament till the end of UPA 1 regime.

During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections too the Congress which has not kept up the promise given in its 2004 election manifesto once again declared that it would give reservation for Muslims if it is voted back to power. However even after the formation of UPA 2 the government adopted a lukewarm attitude in this matter. It was only after portions of the Mishra report surfaced in the newspapers and the Rajya Saba MP Ali Anwar showed a copy of the report in the House, the Government finally laid the Mishra Commission report in the Parliament.

2 years have elapsed since the Mishra report was laid in the Parliament. Yet the Congress led UPA government continued its indifference towards implementing the reservation for Muslims. Now with elections for 5 states including UP around the corner, the Cabinet has resolved to give  for minorities 4.5 per cent sub quota in the 27 OBC reservation category.

The decision of the UPA 2 Government to issue an executive order allotting 4.5 percent sub quota within the 27 per cent OBC quota is nothing but a full blooded treason against the Muslim community. The various OBC Muslim communities listed for 27 percent OBC quota managed to get 2.3 per cent.  Now OBC Muslims would have to compete with Christians, Sikhs and Parsi OBCs for 4.5 percent quota. In other words all these minority communities representation would be restricted to 4.5 percent and the remaining 22.5 percent quota would be for Hindu OBCs. The 4.5 percent sub quota decision of the UPA Government would not only affect the interest of Muslims but also all other Minorities. The central government has cheated the religious minorities with this decision. Further it has totally turned a blind eye to the recommendations of the Mishra Commission. The commission in its recommendation stated the following:

“Since the minorities – especially the Muslims – are very much under-represented, and sometimes wholly unrepresented, in government employment, we recommend that

they should be regarded as backward in this respect within the meaning of that term as used in Article 16 (4) of the Constitution – notably without qualifying the word

‘backward’ with the words “socially and educationally” –and that 15% of posts in all cadres and grades under the Central and State Governments should be earmarked

for them as follows:-

(a) The break up within the recommended 15% shall be 10% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share of the former in the total minority population at the

national level) and the remaining 5% for the other minorities.

Should there be some insurmountable difficulty in implementing this recommendation, as an alternative we recommend that since according to the

Mandal Commission Report the minorities constitute 8.4% of the total OBC population, in the 27% OBC quota an 8.4% sub -quota should be earmarked for the

minorities with an internal break-up of 6% for the Muslims (commensurate with their 73% share in the total minority population at the national level) and 2.4% for

the other minorities with minor adjustment inter se in accordance with population of various minorities in various States & UTs.”

The Commission made similar recommendation for educational opportunities too. However disregarding the recommendation of Justice Mishra who is also now a Congress man, the Manmohan Singh led government has stabbed the Muslim community in the back.

The assertion by certain sections that this a good beginning for getting reservations for Muslims lacks wisdom. A good beginning has already been made with the inclusion of OBC Muslim communities in the 27 percent Mandal quota. The 4.5 subquota will only deprive whatever little benefit the community has obtained so far.  In fact the BJP leaders who had opposed this sub quota would only be grinning in the backyard as this decision would restrict the minorities share to 4.5 percent only and wuld help Hindu OBCs to have a lion’s share in the quota.

Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam demands the following:
1. Immediate cancellation of the 4.5 subquota decided by the Cabinet
2. Implementation of the primary recommendation of the Mishra Commission Report which recommended 15 percent reservation for religious minorities of which 10 percent should be earmarked for Muslims.
3. Para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 –which originally restricted the Scheduled Caste net to the Hindus and later opened it to Sikhs and Buddhists, thus still excluding from its purview the Muslims, Christians, Jains and Parsis, etc. – should be wholly deleted by appropriate action so as to completely delink Scheduled Caste status from religion and make the Scheduled Castes net fully religion-neutral like that of the Scheduled Tribes.
Prof. M.H.Jawahirullah, MLA
President, Tamilnadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam

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