Debating India

JD (U) opposes quota on religious grounds

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Special Correspondent

Seeks honest implementation of reservation policy

`Reservation has nothing to do with the economic advancement of the beneficiary classes’ Next census should be a "caste census," says Sharad Yadav

NEW DELHI: The Janata Dal (United) on Tuesday opposed reservation on religious grounds and said Dalit Muslims and Dalit Christians should be clubbed with the Scheduled Caste category for reservation in education and employment. The reservation policy should be implemented "honestly."

"Unfortunate"

Describing as "unfortunate" the demand for reservation on the basis of religion or even economic grounds, Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav on Tuesday said such demands were being raised by those who were opposed to the reservation for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBCs). They were out to demolish the very basis on which the policy of reservation was conceived.

He said reservation had nothing to do with the economic advancement of the beneficiary classes because it was meant to offset the discrimination that is institutionalised in the caste system. That is why the only criterion for reservation is caste.

Speaking to media persons here, Mr. Yadav said there were reports that the Sachar Committee was "contemplating" suggesting reservation for Muslims on the basis of religion by advocating the entire Muslim Community as a socially and educationally backward class.

"This would not be correct as it is a fact that the Muslims are also divided into many castes and classes. The backward Muslims are already getting the benefit of reservation at the Centre and in the States. By talking of reservation for Muslims on religious grounds would go against the interests of those backwards among the Muslims who are already the beneficiary of reservations as they cannot compete with the elite among the Muslims."

Diluting policy

Charging the Congress with trying to dilute the philosophy of reservation, Mr. Yadav asserted that the Sachar Committee was not competent to declare any class as "backward."

Only the National Commission of Backward Classes could decide which class of citizens were backward and not adequately represented in government jobs and services.

See online : The Hindu

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