Bengal records more Muslims in govt. jobs

Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee addressing a crowd during Eid celebrations in Kolkata. — File Photo  

The Trinamool Congress government in Bengal and the Left Front are both claiming credit for a rise in the percentage of Muslims in government service in the State.

A recent census conducted by the State administration showed a rise in the percentage of Muslims in government jobs, but employee numbers are drastically down overall.

Of 3,31,249 government employees in Bengal, 18,991 are Muslims, making up 5.73 per cent. The Muslim population is a little over 27 per cent as per the 2011 Census.

Nearly a decade ago, during the Left Front regime, the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee report on social, economic and educational status of Muslims created ripples. The Committee report said there were 4.7 per cent Muslims (Groups A and B) and 2.1 per cent in (Groups C and D) in government jobs, averaging about 3.4 per cent.

The number of Muslims with government jobs is a politically sensitive issue for both the Left Front and the Trinamool Congress.

“An increase of about 2.3 percentage points in a decade is significant. A part of this rise happened because a large percentage of Muslims were included in OBC category,” Sabir Ahamed, a researcher studying Muslim issues, said.

Sachar report

After the Sachar Committee report, the Left Front government, as per the recommendations of the Ranganath Mishra Commission tried to include Muslims under OBC category and passed a Bill to that effect. The legislation however could not come into force.

However, soon after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government passed a similar legislation in July 2012, bringing the majority of Muslims under OBC category.

The TMC government claims over 90 per cent of Muslims have been included in different OBC categories to give them reservation. “The Left Front government only paid lip service. It is only after Mamata Banerjee took over that concrete steps to include Muslims as OBC were taken,” MP and TMC leader Sultan Ahmed said.

Challenging Mr. Ahmed, Abdus Sattar, CPI (M) leader and former minister for Minority Development said credit should go to the Left for declaring Muslims OBCs.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 10:53:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/Bengal-records-more-Muslims-in-govt.-jobs/article16439342.ece

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