KARNATAKA

Chief Minister's assurance to Jain community under fire

He has promised to bring them under backward classes 2B category

Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda's recent statement that the Government will try to bring Jains under backward classes 2B category has come under fire.

At present, they come under category 3B.

‘Ridiculous'

“It is ridiculous,'' C.S. Dwarakanath, former Chairman of the Karnataka State Commission for Backward Classes, has said.

“It shows that neither those who make such demands nor those who promise to fulfil them have any knowledge of the constitutional processes involved in declaring a community backward or providing reservation to them,” he said.

“First, the criterion for including any community under category 2B is its backwardness and not its religious minority status. Both the members of the Jain community who made this demand and Mr. Gowda who assured them of trying to fulfil it should understand this. Secondly, the chief Minister should have ideally told the petitioners that he will forward their memorandum to the backward classes commission instead of saying that the Government will take a decision on it,” Mr. Dwarakanath said.

‘Statutory requirement'

Ravivarma Kumar, former Chairman of the backward classes commission, who expressed similar views, said: “The Government must consult the backward classes commission on such matters. It is a statutory requirement. No one can overlook that.”

‘Hidden agenda'

Khaji Arshed Ali, MLC, alleged that this had exposed the “hidden agenda” of the BJP to disempower Muslims.

“Backward members of the Muslim community are included under category 2B. Those belonging to occupational castes and backward sub-castes among Muslims are included in this category and the creamy layer has been excluded. If the Government tries to include Jains or any other community in this category, it will definitely deprive Muslims of the reservation benefits,” he said.

“Jains were not considered backward by any of the former chairmen of the backward classes commission, including L.G. Havanur, T. Venkataswamy, Chinnappa Reddy, [Mr.] Ravivarma Kumar or [Mr.] Dwarakanath. Moreover, Jains are included under category 3B that provides quota for economically backward communities. They there is no need to include them in category 2B that provides reservation for socially and educationally backward communities,” Mr. Ali said.

According to the Department of Minorities Welfare, minorities form 15.69 per cent of the State's population. Muslims form 12.23 per cent of the State's population, Christians 1.91 per cent, Jains 0.78 per cent, Buddhist 0.74 per cent and Sikhs 0.03 per cent. Muslims are under-represented in education and jobs, he said.

Mr. Ali said that the Chief Minister's claim that Jains were not getting enough representation in education and jobs was false and baseless.



At present, they come under category 3B



‘Government must consult the backward classes commission on such matters'


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