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Updated: October 15, 2011 23:30 IST

UPA will provide quota for Muslims, says Kursheed

Atiq Khan
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Salman Khursheed
Salman Khursheed

Denies that the move is linked to vote bank politics

With the Muslim voters poised to play a crucial role in the coming Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, Union Minority Affairs and Law and Justice Minister Salman Khursheed reiterated on Saturday that the United Progressive Alliance government had decided to give reservation to the minority community. No time frame was fixed by the Union Minister.

Addressing a national conference on the 150th death anniversary of freedom-fighter Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi at the Scientific Convention Centre, which was attended by AICC general secretary in charge of U.P. Digvijay Singh, Mr. Khursheed said he had been advised by many to bring in the proposal after the Assembly elections.

“All the legal aspects and every legal point will be looked into and studied before the proposal is finalised. The government wants to bring in a solid proposal,” he said.

The Minister referred to the case in Andhra Pradesh, where the High Court verdict on the proposal to grant reservation to Muslims was stayed by the Supreme Court. He said separate models had been adopted in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal.

Mr. Khursheed denied that the move was linked to vote bank politics and said the minority community should get an opportunity to progress. He said his Ministry favoured the setting up of an Equal Opportunity Commission.

“The Muslims can be given reservation in jobs and education, but how can they be given reservation in housing schemes, which is why an Equal Opportunity Commission is needed,” he stated.

Among the other sops announced at the conference was the proposal to extend the benefits of the sectoral development programme for the minorities in Uttar Pradesh from the existing 21 districts, where the percentage of Muslim population was 25 per cent of the total population, to 44 districts.

Mr. Khursheed said the increase would be made possible by fixing the Muslim population benchmark at 15 per cent. This would enable cities such as Kanpur and Sultanpur to figure on the list.

He said the UPA government wanted the blocks and villages where the Muslim population was 15 per cent to be also covered under the scheme. “The money, which will also be enhanced, will be used in developing infrastructure and building schools in the areas,” he said. At the national-level, the number of such districts would be increased from 90 to about 140.

The Minister allayed the fears of the minority community regarding the Right to Education Act. Mr. Khursheed said he had discussed the issue with Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and amendments in the Act had been approved to ensure there was no interference from the government or the district administration in the working of madrasas and minority institutions. He said the Aligarh Muslim University was a minority institution and “will always be.”

Mr. Digvijay Singh said the government and the Congress were one on the issue of giving reservation to Muslims. On the proposal to name the Port Blair airport after Allama Fazle Haq Khairabadi, who was incarcerated in the Cellular Jail by the British rulers and died in 1861 and was buried there, Mr. Singh said he would discuss it with the Prime Minister.

The conference was addressed by Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari; Imam of Aishbagh Idgah and member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali; Samajwadi Party MP Rashid Masood and Akhtarul Wasi.

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To Mr. Saibal - Let me first start by saying that I am against caste-based reservation. That apart, the concept of reservation was introduced to uplift the sections of Hindu society that were discriminated based on their caste ( there is not much truth to this, no one stopped anyone from becomming an engineer or doctor or lawyer - well that's a fight for another day ). Muslims and Christians claim that there are no divisions in their religion ( which again is not true - they are also divided along caste lines, they just don't want to admit it ) and that everyone is treated equally.

So where is the need for reservation, when there was no discrimination? If the minorites want reservation, they should openly admit that they too practice the caste system. If people say that they deserve reservation due to their economic condition, then the current system should be rehashed and reservation should be extended strictly based on one's economic standing.

from:  Arun Subbu
Posted on: Feb 12, 2012 at 12:42 IST

I wish to know from my brothers who are against the reservation of minorities. Why are these brothers not against the previously reserved quotas? which done on the basis of religion for SC/ST.So far I known,this all are belongs to or from Majority community. It will rather good to abolish all quotas by the GOVT to create an environment for an equal opportunity to all.

from:  Saibal
Posted on: Oct 23, 2011 at 08:12 IST

I disagree with the notion that reservations should not be provided to minorities. There is scientific principle to the reservations. Everyone knows why Congress is mentioning this now, because of UP elections and somehow "Yuvraj" need to be shown the victor. Pure vote bank politics. That aside, if we examine the need for reservation, with a population of 1.2B and 15% muslims the majority of the 15% are very poor. If they are poor and can't afford education how long are we going to have them that way. This is time bomb to explode. 15% is almost 180M and keeping such a population underdeveloped for a long time will lead to disaster. Reservations are necessary but so is implementation just having reservation alone won't work. Time is ripe for all the political parties to think of the future i.e 20 years from now where we will be as a nation. The reservation is also a double edged sword, when we talk of economies a poor Brahmin family also suffers due to reservations. People need to think and work.

from:  Prem
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 15:21 IST

First of all the discrimination faced by Muslims and other minorities in India must be abolished from grass-roots. The communal parties continue to foster the discriminatory plans against Muslims in schools, offices, colleges and other public places. Next, a proper agenda must be made to uplift the Muslims by providing education through proper channel. The number of drop-outs from schools and colleges must be reduced. When this is achieved, a reservation mustt be made for Muslims in public and private sectors. Government must provide a social security for Muslims. BJP or Congress seems to have no difference among them in their relationship with Muslims (the second largest religious majority community in India). Muslims are aware about the game plan of Congress and are not going to be fooled any further.

from:  Roeas
Posted on: Oct 17, 2011 at 09:38 IST

I trust, one day our Honourable Supreme Court will ask how developed the minorities are after 65 years of reservations?

from:  xavier surender
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 15:04 IST

I want to frame a small question to the politio-social reservation politics being played by every other national party for their easy vote bank: do they really respect the right of equal opportunity given to every citizen by the constitution of india?, if so why near to every election whether in state or central there is always a hush-hush of reservations to the specific communities? is the reservation is the only left way to foster the growth for minor communities and castes?;if we agree with government also on this point of fostering commentary of reservation for minor and different backward and scheduled castes,tribes which leads with one more questions how much this policy of dividing the society and communities in separate beliefs has contributed for the upliftment of these castes and communities post-independence?
with a broad vision we can say that right of equal opportunities awarded by the constitution includes all the paths for upliftment of each citizen if enforced?

from:  Deepesh
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 12:11 IST

Allama Fazle Haq Khairabad was the first freedom fighter from Sitapur. During silver jubilee of Independence that was during my childhood when I was an AISF activist at Sitapur, we demanded statue of Allama at Khairabad Railway Station with citation of his work; publication of his book on first freedom struggle of India, which is most authoritative work on 1857 events by a contemporary Indian and establishment of one world class academic institution in his memory at Sitapur or Khairabad. Our demands were supported by CPI & even Congress MP from Sitapur Dr Jagdish Chandra Dixit. Congress did not bother. Again during golden jubilee of India's independence and again during 150th year of 150th year of 1857 war, CPI reiterated these demands and so many people supported us, but congress did not act. In furtherance of mission 2012 of Rahul, these announcements have been to attract Muslim and not to respect Allama.

from:  Pradeep Tewari
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 11:06 IST

can congress stop dividing this nation on quota and create an environment for an equal opportunity instead of making current and next generation dependent, inefficient and underdeveloped both intelligence and emotional. Enough.

from:  sam
Posted on: Oct 16, 2011 at 07:59 IST
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