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Maharashtra Muslims to revive 5% reservation demand in govt jobs, education

Currently, around 50 Muslim sub-castes get reservation under the Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribe and Vimukt Jati categories in the state. However, the community is asking for reservation for all in the quota.

mumbai Updated: Aug 27, 2018 09:48 IST
maharashtra,maharashtra muslims,MRJAC
People take selfie as they gather outside Bandra station to offer Namaz on the occasion of Eid al Fitr in Mumbai, on June 16, 2018.  The Muslim community in Maharashtra has decided to revive its demand for reservation in government jobs and eduction. (Satish Bate/HT Photo)

After the Maratha and Dhangar communities, the Muslims in Maharashtra have decided to intensify their demand for 5% reservation in government jobs and education by holding non-violent agitations.

A Muslim Reservation Joint Action Committee (MRJAC) was formed on Sunday, in a meeting held at the Anjuman-e-Islam School, to decide future strategies to get their demand approved from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government. Nearly 60 different groups from the community have come together to raise the issue, ahead of the 2019 elections.

The action committee has decided to organise rallies, conferences and signature campaign to press for their demand.

Currently, around 50 Muslim sub-castes get reservation under the Other Backward Classes, Scheduled Tribe and Vimukt Jati categories in the state. However, the community is asking for reservation for all in the quota.

The former Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) government had approved 5% reservation to the community in government jobs and education by promulgating an ordinance in 2014. Although the decision was struck down by the Bombay high court (HC), the court in an interim order had allowed reservation in education on grounds of the community’s backwardness in this arena.

The current BJP government, however, did nothing on this front and the ordinance lapsed. The BJP has said it is against reservation on religious grounds.

Educationist PA Inamdar, who is heading MRJAC, however said the community is demanding reservation on the basis of social and educational backwardness. “We want the state to give 5% reservation benefits in both government jobs and education to Muslims in the state as it’s a proven fact that the community is socially and educationally backward. We have reports of four different committees and commissions to prove our side,” he said.

“Let the state government come out with the decision, we are prepared to challenge the HC decision. We are ready to fight for our rights through silent agitations and legal means,” he said.

Hussain Dalwai, Congress’ Rajya Sabha MP, who has taken the initiative to bring all the community organisations on one platform, said they will hold conferences in all five divisions of the state to raise awareness, followed by a signature campaign. “We are demanding reservation on the basis of socio-economic backwardness and not on religious grounds,” he said. The Congress has been claiming that Marathas, Muslims as well as Dhangars need reservation.

The Maratha community has been demanding 16% reservation while Dhangars, who are currently categorised as nomadic tribes and get 3.5% reservation want to be a part of the Scheduled Tribe (ST) category to get 7% reservation.

First Published: Aug 27, 2018 09:48 IST