Divide among Muslims on reservation seems to be wide open.
A section of Muslims are demanding no reservation for the entire Muslim community and has apparently taken clue from the recommendation of the Sachar committee that the creamy layer among Muslims should not be entitled for any government initiatives and the scheduled caste reservation can be extended to Muslims.
A meeting of Dalit Muslims has been called by All India Pasmanda Muslim Mahz on November 22 to discuss the proposal to demand extension of reservation under the Scheduled Caste category for Muslims.
"Those Muslims who perform the same duties as SCs should not be clubbed with other Muslim backwards entitled for reservation under the OBC quota," said Anwar Ali, Janata Dal (United) MP. Sharad Yadav, JD (U) President, is also expected to participate at the meeting.
Other champions of Muslims like Ramvilas Paswan of the Lok Janshakti Party are demanding reservation for the entire community and have urged the government to bring in a constitutional amendment in this regard in the winter session of Parliament.
He has support from religious leaders like MMM Madani of Jamiat-ul-a-Hind and Syed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid.
Anwar, however, explained that giving reservation to the entire community would give fundamentalist (BJP-RSS) forces to make it a communal issue. Under the ambit of the Constitution, benefits of reservation can be furthered to poorest of the poor Muslims, he said. He suggested that the Bihar model of OBC reservation—dividing the 27 per cent into two categories, one for better placed and other for socially weaker OBCs—can be implemented all over the country.
There is also a fear that giving reservation to the entire community will result in richer Muslims garnering the benefit meant for the poorest of the poor. To prevent this, Anwar has demanded sub-classification of reservation so that all castes benefit from affirmative action.