The Supreme Court's order lifting the stay on quota for Muslims in Andhra Pradesh (March 26) is laudable. Justice Ranganath Misra's recommendations for providing reservation to Muslims in education and employment should be followed to the letter. Social justice is the aim and the Constitution also provides for it. In exercise of the executive and legislative powers, a government can create reservation keeping in view the welfare of the minorities. Even courts cannot sit in judgment over such executive decisions.
It is heartening to note that the efforts by the government of Andhra Pradesh to provide four per cent reservation in jobs and education for backward members of the Muslim community has cleared a major hurdle. But the government must ensure that only the deprived lot benefits from the quota if it comes into effect.
The Andhra Pradesh government's plea for quota for Muslims is purely vote bank politics and not for the uplift of backward Muslims in the State. Providing reservation on the basis of religion, which is not allowed under the Constitution, is nothing but dividing the people.
The Supreme Court order, if validated by the Constitutional bench, will lead to further reservation on religious grounds and cause an exodus of people seeking the benefits of such quotas to those religions. It would be most welcome if the Constitutional bench decides to do away with any such privileges on religious lines.
Padmakumar G. Nair,
Islamic scholars maintain that all Muslims are equal. When this is the case, how can a section of Muslims be categorised as backward class? Some parties want to divide the people on the basis of caste and religion just for the sake of votes. They are adopting the “divide and rule” policy the British followed to rule India.
The Supreme Court has only removed the Andhra Pradesh High Court's stay on reservation for Muslims. A review of the constitutional validity of the quota is pending. A similar case regarding the validity of Haj subsidy has been pending for more than three years. The court should dispose of both these cases without further delay.