`Constituencies with sizable Muslim population be de-reserved`

Abdul Ali Azizi who completed his term at the Commission as its member on October 13, suggested that either such constituencies be de-reserved or minority, particularly Muslims, be given benefits accorded to scheduled castes.

Updated: Oct 17, 2010, 16:02 PM IST

New Delhi: Muslims get less representation in Parliament and state Assemblies because the seats where minority population is in the range of 20 to 30 percent are reserved, a former member of the National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has claimed.
Abdul Ali Azizi who completed his term at the Commission as its member on October 13, suggested that either such constituencies be de-reserved or minority, particularly Muslims, be given benefits accorded to scheduled castes.

"It is surprising and very sad to note that wherever minority population is more than 20-25 percent, sometimes 30 percent, these constituencies in Parliament and in the (state) Assembly have been reserved," he told a news agency.

"So where from minorities will come forward? How will
they get a chance for representation?," he asked, describing
it as "one of the serious issues".

He sought that either such constituencies be "kept open"
or by an amendment in the Constitution, "minority,
particularly Muslims," be considered as scheduled castes and
be given benefits accordingly.

Before the amendment in Article 341, Christians and
Muslims were in SC and ST categories till 1950. "That should
be considered," he suggested.

"By embracing to some other religion or by getting
converted into other religion his social status is not
converted. Person converts to only his concepts and thought
but his socio-economic status or political status remains the
same," he contended.

"It`s not only about their education and social status
but also their political and economic conditions. Their
condition is much more miserable than the Dalits of this
country," he added.

PTI