Dalit Muslims, Christians march for quota

By TwoCircles.net staff reporter

New Delhi : Various organisations of Dalit Muslims and Christians staged a march from Ramlila Ground to Jantar Mantar here Monday to demand amendment to Article 341 of the Constitution, which restricts economically backward Muslims and Christians from the benefits of reservations.

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With the waving of a green flag by Rajya Sabha member and Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani started the mammoth rally, which urged the Union Government to bring discrimination against Dalit Muslims and Christians to an end.

"By depriving Dalit Muslims and Christians of the wide range of benefits of reservation the Government of India is violating the Constitution," Maulana Madani said adding that reservation is the most burning issue of the time and Muslims stand in greatest need of it.

Arriving at Jantar Mantar, the rally turned into a large public meeting, which was addressed by many leaders.

CPI(M) polit-bureau leader and MP Brinda Karat, while addressing the meeting, said, "Dalits, whichever religion they belong to, have been subject to discrimination and atrocities. But this would not be allowed any more as her party is committed to make Dalit Muslims and Christians given their legitimate rights.

Ms Karat further said her party would exert pressure upon the government to implement the recommendations of Justice Sachar Committee Report.

Another leader of the party D Raja said, "The Government should take measures to provide reservation for Dalit Muslims and Christians in the same manner as it is providing 27% reservation for OBCs."

Yet another member of the party Mohammad Saleem assured the gathering that his party would continue raising voice in support of reservation for Dalit Muslims and Christians till the demand is fulfilled.

"Our party has no lust for power. If the Union Government makes a delay in providing reservation for Dalit Muslims and Christians, our party will not hesitate in withdrawing support to it," said Mr Saleem.

All India United Muslim Morcha president M Ejaz Ali, Dalit Muslim Liberation Movement national convenor Kamal Ashraf, and Father J Bosco of National Council of Dalit Christians led the rally.