Santwana Bhattacharya, Indian Express,
Friday, November 17, 2006
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 16:The All India Muslim Personal Law Board today put in its word on reservation for Muslims, saying the entire community, barring a few, could be considered backward and deserved reservation. The governing criterion, it said, should be economic.
The board, members said, has prepared a "formula" by which the reservation policy could reach and benefit the target group and not the already privileged. "The creamy layer in the minority community — comprising the Azim Premjis and the Naseer Munjees — does not need this kind of support from the government. Besides this section, the Muslims are as backward as any other community that has been left out of the development model," senior AIMPLB member Syed Qasim Rasool Ilyas said. "Reservation is needed but the policy needs to be consciously devised to keep the creamy layer out." The board has proposed that for the quota to apply, the upper limit of a family's income should not be more than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum.
The board will submit its "formula" to the Prime Minister, along with the demand for reservation, once the Sachar Committee report is submitted tomorrow.
The board said there was no merit in contending that religious minorities should not be given reservation. "How can the need for equitable growth of backward minority communities be called appeasement? How does it help anybody or the country's so-called development index?" Ilyas said.