Muslim backwards and Mandal Commission

    Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani

    With the so-called secularism having collapsed under the weight of its own frauds, a new era has dawned wherein the realities must be recognized, not only by Indian Muslims, but also by each and every political party. We all will have to say good bye to the old political gimmicks like Mr. Salman Khursheed declaring during the last Assembly election ‘ even if the Election Commission hangs me, I will provide 8% reservation for Muslims’, and Mr. Mulayam Singh Yadav countering ‘ what 8%, I will give 18%.’ However, on the eve of elections, no promise, no commitment, no fulfillment, but an atmosphere had always been created wherein Muslims’ role was reduced only to ‘defeat fascist forces’.

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    Good or bad, but the recent Parliamentary election has exploded many old myths. A time has come for the Muslim community to think in terms of some constructive agenda and ‘give and take policy’ as a bargaining point in exchange for their votes. Leave apart the fraudulent talks like Sacher Committee, Rangnath Mishra Commission, constitutionality of Muslim reservation etc., fixation of 8.5% quota for Muslim backwards within the ambit of 27% reservations of Mandal Commission, which can be done only by a simple government G.O, is the easiest way to judge the sincerity of every party in power towards Muslim cause.

    To reiterate in brief, the backward castes ( both Hindus and Muslims ) within Mandal Commission constitute about 80% of Indian population, within which Muslim backwards come to about 8.5%. Practically Muslim backwards are comparatively so weak that they are unable to compete with Hindu backwards like Ahir, Lodh, Kurmis etc. Consequently, Mandal Commission reservation has proved a myth for Muslim backwards. According to Supreme Court decisions,
    the sub-quota within the ambit of 27 % can be earmarked by a simple government G.O. Many times in the past our delegations met the erstwhile governments of Mayawati and Mulayam Singh Yadav : all talking of this and that, but not conceding this simple demand ,falling exclusively within their power. It is time for the Akhlesh Yadav government to fix Muslim backward quota forthwith, if they are expecting Muslim vote, because now this old slogan of ‘ defeating B.J.P.’ will not work.

    Muslims, on their part, too must realize the realities that B.J.P. is in power at the center, and if Samajwadi Party, B.S.P. and Congress do not join hands to form a common front, it is written on the walls that B.J.P. will sweep the coming Assembly elections in U.P., whenever they are held. The community must now come out of the old ‘Defeat B.J.P. syndrome’ through tactical voting etc. and act as free citizens of the country , ready to bargain for their collective vote. If the B.J.P. government at the center is doing something good for the country, we must praise it as an Indian citizen, if it does something constructive for the Muslim community, we must not hesitate to applaud it as an Indian Muslim, if it does something bad for the country, we must rise up as an Indian citizen to
    criticize it, and if it does something bad for Muslims, we must not desist from condemning it as an Indian Muslim. The old slogans of ‘fascism’ ‘secularism’ etc. have now become totally irrelevant, and again we must not fall in this trap, for which again, I am sure, these fictitious secular parties will try, because we are the only community who can be their easy prey as vote bank slaves.

    Author is the Chairman, All India Muslim Forum, Lucknow.