Union minister Ramdas Athawale has proposed that Baloch people — natives of the Balochistan province of Pakistan — who have settled in India should be included in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC).
Athawale said he would send a proposal to the National Commission for Backward Classes regarding this issue.He contended that the displaced Baloch people are currently living in pitiable conditions and need reservation to uplift themselves. According to Athawale, Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment, Baloch people need to be given benefits. “Including them in OBC list will help them get education as well as jobs,” said Athawale.
There are approximately 1,000 Baloch families settled in Mumbai. At least 10,000 Baloch families are spread across the state.
Welcoming the decision, Mansoor Baloch, founder, Baloch Foundation for Hind, said such incentives are necessary for the community. “We are living in extremely poor conditions and need backing from the Indian government,” said Baloch.
The Balochistan issue came to prominence during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech, when he spoke about the atrocities committed in Balochistan. This gave a huge impetus to the struggle waged by the people of Balochistan, who have been fighting against the Pakistani establishment for decades.