New Delhi: In a bid to push forward the long-awaited demand of Muslim reservation, the Minority Affairs Ministry has written a note to the Prime Minister’s Office.
According to a newspaper report, the note suggests that the government should be prepared for amendment in the Constitution to give quota to Muslims in education and job sectors if the less difficult options fail.
Reports also suggest that the current UPA-II government has almost decided to give quota to Muslims and is currently working on the modalities.
The biggest hurdle in giving reservation to Muslims is that the community has to be designated as ‘backward’ or marginalised to show that the quota is being given to them on the basis of their poor condition and not religion, as reservation on the basis of religion is not allowed in the Indian Constitution.
The condition of Muslims in the country is not good as the November 2006 Sachar Committee report suggested that said the minority community is starkly under-represented. In the wake of the report, Congress at that time promised reservation for the community.
This stand of the party was echoed by the Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khushid, who was quoted as saying by the newspaper, “There is a clear promise of reservation in the Constitution on the basis of backwardness.”
Though, the implementation of the quota will not be an easy task for the government as it may prove to be socially destabilising.
The government’s earlier plan to carve out Muslim reservation out of the existing 27% quota for backward class met with strong protests. Doing so might also cause rift between the existing and the new beneficiaries.
To overcome this hurdle, the Minority Affairs Ministry has now suggested a separate 6% reservation for Muslims.
The government has also circulated the proposal for Muslim reservation to 25 states and 20 ministries for analysis and inputs.