By Pervez Bari, IndiaMuslims.INFO
V.P. Singh, the former Prime Minister of India, has said that the backward classes are being discriminated in education as well as employment in the name of merit by those people who have least concern for merit.
Singh was inaugurating the National Convention on Reservation in Education jointly organized by the All India Milli Council, (AIMC), and South India Council, (SIC), at FICCI Auditorium in New Delhi recently. Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, general secretary AIMC, presided over the function.
Singh stressed that in order to remove the imbalance in development and ensure adequate representation, the remaining recommendations of the Mandal Commission has to be implemented. The move to pass a bill providing reservation in higher education is a welcome step which is long overdue, he added.
He demanded that Muslims, who have become backward due to historical reason, must be given the right for reservation. It is high time that reservation should be concentrated on Muslims, he opined.
Ex-MP Syed Shahabuddin, president Muslim Majilis-e-Mushawarat, speaking on the occasion at length demanded that the Article 341 of the Constitution of India must be amended for the third time to include Muslims also under its provision. In the past this Article had been amended twice to include Sikhs and Buddhists religious minorities, he pointed out.
Shahabuddin lamented that by a Presidential order in 1950 the word Hindu was introduced in Article 341 saying only those Scheduled Castes who were Hindus can take benefits of reservations under it. This order was anti-secular, he opined.
He recalled that in 1948 when draft of the Constitution was passed minorities were included in it but later on in 1950 they were excluded by the Order of the President of India. It is a story of deceit and betrayal, he moaned.
He demanded Muslims should be given 11 per cent reservation as per their population percentage. "We want equality. We want power sharing and power in governance", he asserted.
Oscar Fernandez, Federal Minister in his key-note address reiterated the commitment of UPA Government to see that reservation for OBC is in higher education centers gets implemented. He urged upon the Muslims to concentrate on education which is a key to success and decent life.
Dr. Manzoor Alam in his presidential address said education is important for success. Education gives a sense to understand what is going around and how to plan ourselves to become strong within the parameters of the Indian Constitution.
He lamented the negative role of media on the reservation issue confronting the country nowadays. He pointed out that media is a powerful instrument which if used honestly can make India shine. If it is not used properly then the clashes of communities and different groups cannot be ruled out, he added.
He cautioned the Muslims saying: “if we understand the signals of time then we can change the situation to our advantage”.
Dr.Udit Raj, chairman All India SC/ST Confederation, while exhorting Muslims to fight for their rights chided them saying: "Do you think Bharartiya Janata Party, (BJP), and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, (RSS), will take up your cause and agitate for your rightful claims".
"Whenever times come for Muslims to fight out for their rights they are entangled emotionally on non-issues and hood-winked from the main-issues affecting their lives. Until and unless they assert themselves electorally in a matured manner they would remain a deprived lot", Dr. Raj opined. "Political parties have very well realized that Muslims vote on emotional issues so the problems afflicting the community is always side-tracked", he said.
Dr. Raj appealing to the Muslims said:"Dalit-Muslim Andolan chala dijye sab milega", (Start a Dalit-Muslim movement, every thing due will be attained).
He questioned "Muslim party kyon nahin hona chahiye", (Why can't be there a Muslim party). This is the ripe time. Take a decision not on many programmes but focus on your priorities. The harm Mulayam Singh government in Uttar Pradesh has done to Muslims in its regime was not done even during the BJP rule in the state, he remarked.
Prof. Mohammed Sulaiman, president, Indian National League, asked Muslims to assert their franchise in a way to become a political threat to the political parties. "Equality and justice can only be achieved by yourselves", he told the audience.
Meanwhile, about thousand delegates drawn from different parts of India attended the convention. The convention passed a resolution which demanded enactment of the bill providing reservation in all educational institutions without any exclusion and that too in a single stretch. It also urged the authorities and political parties to have a positive approach in giving reservation to Muslims who are more backward than any other sections of the Indian society. E.M. Abdurahman, general secretary SIC, presented the resolution,
Earlier, E. Abubacker, Chairman SIC, made introductory speech. Abdul Hannan Chandna welcomed the gathering and O.M.A. Abdul Salam, secretary SIC, proposed vote of thanks.
The highlight of the convention was that the four-and-half hour long single session went on without any break with delegates remaining glued to their seats listening to various speakers in pin drop silence with rapt attention.
Dr Senthil, MP, Gurdeep Singh, general secretary Akali Dal, Dr. Kumar Rajeev, Dr. S. Q. R. Ilyas, Editor, Afkar-e-Milli, Dr. Ejaz Ali, president, All India United Muslim Morcha, Iqbal Ansari, president All India Muslim OBC Organization, A. Saeed, chairman, National Development Front Keralam, K. M. Shareef, president, Karnataka Forum for Dignity, Dr. Shakeel Samadani, Faculty of Law, AMU Aligarh, Dr. Arshi Khan, Centre for Federal Studies, Jamia Hamdard, Abdul Hafiz Gandhi, president AMU Students Union, Novaid Hamid, general secretary MOEMIN, M. A. Salam, member Kerala Backward Classes Commission, Prof. Hayat Ghori (Bhopal), Dalit M. A. Salim, Hyderabad, Tauheed-ul-Islam (Murshidabad), Mohd. Shafeeq (Kota), Moji Khan, Treasurer AIMC, A.M. Shafi (Bangalore), PA Inamdar, president Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Education Society, Jameel-ur-Rahman (Punjab) spoke on the occasion.