Muslim leaders demand reservation, implementation of Sachar report

By Manzar Bilal and Mudassir Rizwan,,

Patna: Muslim leaders from across the country and heads of some political parties shared the dais of the newly formed Muttahida Milli Mahaz group in Patna on November 11 to reiterate the demand of reservation for the Muslim community and full implementation of the Rajendra Sachar Committee recommendations.

Support TwoCircles

Thousands of Muslims had thronged the Krishna Memorial Hall in the capital city of Patna to attend the Insaf Rally organized by the Mahaz.

“Muslims as a community are most backward of all communities as Sachar Committee described and Ranganath Misra Commission recommended 10% reservation for Muslims. I ask the government that when a retired chief justice of India has recommended for Muslim reservation then why it is in doubt about implementation” said ex-MP and diplomat Mr. Syed Shahabuddin.

“There has been a propaganda that Muslims cannot be given reservation as a community while other communities have benefited in the past and Indian constitution has space for that” said Shahabuddin.

“Muslims should take part in politics but not form a Muslim party. Muslims should ask the political parties before voting as to how many tickets they give to Muslims and also if they support reservation for Muslims or not. If yes then vote and if not then no votes” he added.

He also demanded that government should give constitutional status to 15-point program so that its effect would be seen on the ground.

“It was propagated that Muslims have been appeased but Sachar Committee report has disclosed the reality. We politicians are really responsible for worst condition of the community. Secular parties should come up to take on Muslims problems because country cannot progress ignoring the Muslims” said NCP leader and MP Tariq Anwer.

The daylong program began with the recitation of the glorious Quran. It was presided over by former Bihar chief minister Dr. Jagannnath Misra and conducted by Congress leader Azmi Bari.

In his welcome speech, ex-minister of Bihar Mr. Akhlaq Ahmad informed the audience about objective and purposes behind the conference.

“We demand the government to put Ranganath Misra Commission report on the floor of Parliament in coming session. For that we gathered here and it is not last but first step in this regard. We will continue until our demands are fulfilled” he said.

Mr. E.M. Abdur Rahman, president of Popular Front of India, said: “Sachar Committee identified the sorry condition of Muslims but did not prescribe the solution which is sorrowful but Misra Commission recommended reservation for Muslims which is the real solution to the problem.”

“Communal forces say that if Muslims would be given reservation, the country would be partitioned again but we say that if Muslim would be provided with reservation, it would be in the interest of the country” Rahman said.

He also said that Muslims should make all efforts for getting reservation then no party can stop them from getting their constitutional rights.

“Muslims did not come from anywhere; on the contrary they have embraced Islam here and because of their good character they ruled over India for centuries. Muslims have struggled for freedom of the country along with other communities but after the independence they have been pushed behind and ignored in all spheres of life. Therefore, reservation is necessary to uplift them and include them in national mainstream” said Akhtrul Iman, RJD MLA.

RJD MLC Ghulam Ghaus said that he appealed to Mr. Nitesh Kumar, Chief Minister of Bihar, to give 5% reservation to Muslims on the pattern of Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu but he refused to do so.

Former union minister Mr. Aslam Sher Khan who came from MP to attend the program said: “Bihar has played vital role in Indian politics so this program will leave positive impact all over the country. We have only two demands. First is to table Misra Commission report in Parliament and second is to implement Fatmi committee recommendations.”

“India is like a garden where various kinds of people are living. It is the responsibility of gardener to take care of all. But Muslims have been discriminated in independent India. Muslims will have to come forward to take part in government and then make all efforts to solve their problems” said LJP chief Ram Vilas Paswan.

RJD supremo Mr. Lalu Prasad assured that he is with Muslims in this movement and will offer all kinds of help, if needed. He also told president of Muttahida Milli Mahaz to hold a program in Gandhi Maidan.

“Ranganath Misra Commission was set up by government and not by Muslims so government should put it in Parliament in next parliament session” he demanded.

Former union minister M. Ali Ashraf Fatmi who was also the chairman of Fatmi Committee, said: “Fatmi Committee has recommended for spending 7000 crore for welfare of Muslims in five years. Of them 200 crore for 5 campuses of Aligarh Muslim University in Murshidabad, Kishanganj, Malappuram, Bhopal, and Pune but so far only 50 crore has been granted for Murshidabad and Malappuram”

“We demand full implementation of Fatmi Committee recommendations and reservation on the basis of Ranganath Misra Commission” he said.

Notably, Sachar Committee disclosed that Muslims are lagging behind in education and their representation in government jobs is poor. On the basis of that, Fatmi Committee recommended various programs to meet educational problems of the community and Ranganath Misra Commission recommended many schemes to solve their financial problems. The commission also recommended 10% reservation for Muslims.

It was first time in Bihar when Muslim leaders irrespective of their parties and groups came together to press government to table Ranganath Misra Commission Report in Parliament and to implement Fatmi Committee recommendations.

It is to be noted that a national convention for Muslim reservation was organized at India Islamic Cultural Centre in New Delhi under the banner of Joint Committee of Muslim Organizations for Empowerment. The convention had appealed to attendees to start this movement in their areas to make it powerful.

Mr. Akhlaq Ahmad, the ex-minister of Bihar, who attended the convention, was inspired by this initiative and decided to take this ahead. On 13 June 2009 the first meeting about this matter was held in MLA Club, Patna where Muttahida Milli Mahaz was launched. Since then several programs were held in almost all districts of the state to create awareness among Muslims about reservation.

Mr. Tanveer Hasan, the convener of the Muttahida Milli Mahaz, said: “If our demand will not be fulfilled in next parliament session we will hold agitation before parliament in Delhi.”

A large number of people from across the state as well as outside of the state attended the program. The Krishna Memorial Hall was not enough space for people who came to attend the program which sent a message for politicians that Muslims are no longer to be ignored.

Dr. Ayyub Ansari, president of Peace Party, Shoaib Iqbal, Delhi MLA, Abdul Khaliq, national secretary of LJP, LJP leader Ezhar Ahmad, Pervez Ahmad, Zafar Emam, noted journalist Mr. Saeed Naqvi and several others also spoke on the occasion.