Press Note: Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement

Press Note

‘Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement’ floated to intensify and coordinate efforts for abolishing religious discrimination against Muslim Dalits

In a meeting held under chairmanship of Shri Anis Ansari, IAS (formerly APC) on 24th March, 2010 at Sana Palace, Shahnajaf Road, Lucknow, a group of intellectuals and well wishers of Muslim Dalits decided to setup a body called Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement. The participants showed their deep concern on the fact that since Independence Muslim community in India has been declining in all spheres of public life. They realized that the root cause of decline of Indian Muslims has been their low representation in institutions and organs of governance such as Parliament, Assemblies, Zila Panchayats and Boards of Banks etc. in proportion to their population. It was decided that concerted and focused efforts must be made to ensure adequate representation of Muslims in all government institutions specially Parliament, Assemblies, Panchayats etc.

Though various movements under different nomenclatures were started, and are still continuing for redressing the grievances of the community, these could be more fruitful if better coordination is achieved among them. Therefore, it was decided that a fresh, forceful and concerted endeavour must be launched with the cooperation of all like-minded people, so that the scattered groups may be brought on one platform in order to intensify the struggle in this direction.

To carry out the mission of the Movement (MDRM), a coordination committee comprising Mr. Anis Ansari, I.A.S., formerly A.P.C. –Convener, Mr. Zafaryab Jilani, Mr. Khan Mohd. Atif, Mr. Javed Khan, Mr.Rais Ansari, Dr. M.K. Sherwani, Mr. Salahuddin Sheebu, Dr. M.A. Siddiqi, Mr. Abdul Naseer Nasir and Mr. Abdul Najeeb and Mr. Seraj Ansari was constituted.

In order to facilitate enhancement of Muslim representation in Parliament and Assemblies and gain economic advantages for Muslims, it is essential that discrimination against Muslim Dalits on the basis of their religion, perpetrated by clause 3 of Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order 1950 is abolished. This clause, as amended in 1956 and 1990, provides that no person who possesses a religion different from the Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist religion shall be deemed to be a member of Scheduled Caste. Thus this clause closes the doors of reservation provided by the Constitution under Article 341 to Muslim (and Christian) Dalits, even though they carry on the same traditional occupations as are carried out by their Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist counter-parts and suffer from similar social and educational backwardness. There is a clear case to remove this religious discrimination against Muslim and Christian Dalits as this clause has been found to be unconstitutional and unfair by Ranganath Mishra Commission. Our plea is that, as recommended by Ranganath Mishra Commission, all the Muslim and Christian communities who have been carrying on same family occupations traditionally as those carried on by Hindu, Sikh or Buddhist scheduled castes and suffer from similar social and educational backwardness must be treated at par with their Hindu counter-parts. This clause can be deleted by a simple majority of Parliament without any constitution amendment.

Many Muslim communities have been recognized by Union / State Governments as Other Backward Classes (OBC). They are eligible to be benefited by 27% reservation given by Government of India as also State Governments in matter of public employment. However due to prevailing caste system and influence of money etc. Muslim OBCs have not been able to get due share in Government jobs. Therefore it is desirable that OBCs are divided into two categories: Backwards and Most Backwards. As in Bihar, Muslim OBCs should be placed in the category of Most Backward Classes. This is likely to result in enhanced share to Muslim OBCs in government jobs.

Under the present constitutional provisions, reservation cannot and should not be granted on the basis of religion to Muslims or any other community. Only such classes of Muslims who are socially and educationally backward should be brought within reservation coverage. This approach, besides being in consonance with the judicial interpretations, is also a non-communal approach to reduce the handicaps of socially and educationally backward sections of Muslims. This approach would also be more easily acceptable to large segments of Hindus and other communities which will facilitate achieving the objective.

Government of India has been mandating earmarking of about 23% funds of Plan budget for the benefit of SC/STs every year throughout the country which have been used for providing roads, schools, hospitals, drinking water, electricity, drainage, scholarships and such other civic facilities. Similarly, 27% of Plan budget should be earmarked by GOI for the benefit of OBCs including Muslim OBCs.

The meeting raised its serious objections against the Women Reservation Bill in its present form, and demanded a separate quota for Scheduled Castes/Tribes and OBCs (including Muslim OBCs). If women in general need to be extended 33% reservation in Parliament and Assemblies because there is gender bias against them, there is sharper gender bias coupled with castes bias against SC/ST, OBC and Muslim women. Therefore a sub-quota of 23% for SC/STs and 27% for OBCs (including Muslim OBCs) must be extended to under-privileged women. Giving bland reservation to women may result into political fraud against SC/ST and OBC (including Muslim OBCs) who are already under-represented in Parliament and Legislative Assemblies.

The meeting authorized the Coordination Committee to work out the strategy through various democratic means to educate masses about the comprehensive benefits from the fulfilment of these demands, and will send a clear message to all the political parties that they will get the electoral support of the people only if they make a solemn commitment in this regard publicly and work to secure these objectives.

The coordination committee has been empowered to seek the support from all fair minded individuals and bodies whose credentials as the sympathizers of justice and fair play for all classes of citizens are well-established and who aspire to build India on the pillars of equality and fraternity.

Anis Ansari, IAS (R)
Muslim Dalit Reservation Movement (MDRM)
Date: 29, March, 2010
Contact: 0522-2236192


  1. a great initiative and a very balanced press wishes to MDRM.
    ashok yadav

  2. I would like to thanks to Pasmanda Muslim Form and all members that they are doing very important role for Dalit Muslim for Indian muslim.
    Wish all the best and success in this movement.
    Thanks and best regards
    Md.Mustaqueem Saifi


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