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Congress's Muslim quota politics- A different point of view
Congress’s supplementary manifesto again promised 4.5% sub-quota (in OBC quota) for Muslims. Oppositions rightly pointed out it as minority appeasement politics. Whenever somebody promises a reservation during election or just before the election, it only can be considered as gimmick and never intended for any community’s uplifting.
Some Congressmen like Bhim Afzal defending this quota politics arguing that this sub-quota is not a desperate move, rather part of 2009 manifesto and simply repeated again. But question remains, if it was part of 2009 manifesto, why it is not fulfilled? Is reservation term only comes when there is an election? Is minority community fool not to realize the election tactic?

In 2009 election Congress legislated in Andhra Assembly for 5% quota for Muslims, which was struck-down by the Courts. During UP election too both Congress and SP played this Muslim quota politics. Congress suffered a lot where as SP won the election. But that win was never for Muslim quota as Muslim community knew very well that there would never be a quota on religion basis as Court would never permit going against Constitutional provisions. Thus in this election too, Congress wouldn’t be benefited at all, rather all voters from OBC would go away because they wouldn’t like their quota to be reduced by 4.5% for a community.

Anyway, I am not very interested to discuss whether such gimmicks benefit Congress or not. My point is different. Is Congress and other self claimed secular parties are interested for Muslim uplifting? I am afraid they aren’t interested. They want to use the community as vote bank only. Had they really interested they would have been unanimous on following solution.

Reservation although not the only affirmative action to uplift any community, but definitely it’s one of the affirmative action if implemented effectively. Thus the back ward communities could have been taken care through OBC quota had ‘Caste’ is substituted by ‘Class’. One can understand the pathetic century old oppression to Scheduled Caste people. But is there any point making ‘Other Backward Caste’? What it means? It means people from some caste who hate to be included in scheduled castes could be included in this OBC. Here one thing should be noted that OBC were never untouchables. In India some castes remained backward because of lack of infrastructures particularly education. Some OBC community migrated to foreign countries as laborers couple of generation ago, took the advantage of education in those countries, educated their children and now their children are known as rich NRIs (Non-Resident Indians).

Thus lack of infrastructure made lot of caste, community and even people from higher caste as backward. Thus instead of ‘Other Back Ward Caste’ the OBC could have considered as ‘Other Backward Class’ on criteria of economical class. If such thing done, then not only Muslim community be benefited but also poor people from higher caste could have been benefited. Even Supreme Court would have lifted the quota limit of 50%, because we have around 70% poor people irrespective of caste, creed, community, religion!

Yes, doing above, there wouldn’t be any defined vote bank. May be vote bank politics would have been ended there. But definitely national interest would have been served. Will political parties those are screaming for national interest will ever thought like this?

More importantly have we ever compelled the political parties to think like this? Probably not, because if our caste is being benefited, why to throw questions? If some from our community despite sound financial background gets benefit of reservation, Lethem take that benefit, after all he is from our community!

Political parties are playing dangerous game in the name of political gimmick. We too are silently either ignoring or supporting such game. In the process around 25% of our populations, those are very backward but didn’t qualify for reservation due to religion or higher caste etc is living their life with utter frustration. They think every day that they are being cheated or treated as a lower class citizen. Question is can we afford such a sizable population to remain trailing with anger? My opinion is a big no. We can leave that population on our own peril. Political parties never realize this. They realize an issue only when we realize it. Thus question is when should we realize the rights of that sizable population?
Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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