Mumbai: Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptulla on Saturday said reservation in jobs and education alone cannot ensure the development of Muslims.
"There cannot be overall development of Muslims even if they are given a reservation. What is needed is higher and good-quality education for our children so that they can stand on their feet," said Heptulla while talking to reporters here.
The Maharashtra Assembly last month passed a bill - introduced by BJP-Shiv Sena government - that gave reservation to Marathas, but left out Muslims, as against an earlier ordinance which gave reservation to both Marathas and Muslims.
"How long Muslims will walk with the help of crutches of reservation? Once children are provided with good education, they will be able to stand up on their feet and will get jobs in multinational companies," she said.
"I have not come up to this level because I am a Muslim or a woman, but because my parents gave me access to education," she said.
Asked if she would oppose the reservation for Marathas too, she said she would not like to comment. "I just want to say that people should be made capable of achieving their dreams on their own instead of looking for jobs based on reservation," she said.
"The previous Congress-NCP government decided to give reservation to Muslims and Marathas as a last-ditch attempt to save themselves after the drubbing in Lok Sabha elections," she said.