Jb. Ashfaq H. Ansari's letter to Sonia Gandhi

I understand that persons associated with Congress High Command are learned persons and they very well know that bulk of the Muslim community is included in the list of Other Backward Classes (OBC). The nine judge’s Mandal judgement (Indra Sawhaney v/s Govt. of India) very clearly expressed that besides Hindu OBCs, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are getting the benefits of 27% OBC reservation. Justice Venkatchallia, Chairman of the Constitution review Commission (NCRWC) has very clearly stated in paragraph 10-11-2 of the report:

“At present the political representatives of Minority communities in legislatures, especially Muslims, has fallen well below their proportion of population. The proportion of BCs among them is next to nil. This can lead to a sense of alienation. It is recommended for political parties to build up leadership potential in the minority communities including BCs, SCs and STs among them for participation in political life.”

It further stated more clearly:

“Backward classes belonging to religious minorities who have been identified and included in the list of backward classes and who in fact constitute the bulk of the religious minorities should be taken up with special care along with their Hindu counterparts in the development efforts for the Backward classes.”

The above referred paragraphs from the NCRWC clearly confirm that OBC section of the Muslims “are included in the list of backward classes and who in fact constitute the bulk of the population in religious minorities.” These “bulk” differs from state to state, but generally they are between 75 to 85 percent of the minority population and here minority generally means Muslims. Mandal Commission report also confirms this percentage of Muslim BCs which include Dalit Muslims also. There are no two opinions that bulk of the Muslim population consists of the Muslim backwards who are identified and included in the list of backward classes. The nine judges’ constitution bench judgment also confirms this.

In spite of the facts mentioned above, the Congress High Command under its elite Muslim leadership formed the opinion that Muslims are not getting the reservation benefits and hence Congress in its Election Manifesto 2004 has declared that when it comes to power it will provide reservation to Muslims in admission to educational institutions and jobs in civil services without going into the fact that Muslims who are socially and educationally backward are already included in the list of Backward classes in state and central list and those Muslims who are included in the list of backward classes constitute the bulk of the Muslim community and the percentage of those bulks differ from state to state which roughly comes to 75 and 85 percent of the Muslim population.

Social stratification among Muslims is a known and accepted fact. It is confirmed by sociologists and anthropologists worldwide and also by the Encyclopedia Americana and Britannica. Now the Ashraf Muslim leadership also confirms this social stratification of Ashraf, Ajlaf-Arzal groups of Muslims. Ashraf Muslim cannot be included in the OBC list because they are treated socially and educationally forward. Para 552 of the Mandal judgment has formulated the criterion for inclusion in the OBC list which is as under.

“552- The backward class of citizens referred to in Article 16(4) is the socially backward class of citizens whose educational and economical backwardness is on account of their social backwardness. A caste itself may constitute a class. However, in order to constitute a backward class the caste concerned must be socially backward and it’s educational and economical backwardness must be on account of its social backwardness. The economic criteria by itself cannot identify a class as backward unless the economic backwardness of the class is on account of its social backwardness.”

Nine judges Constitution bench judgement of Indira Sawhney v/s Union of India (Mandal case)

Since the population ration of these forward Muslims (Ashraf) is 15 to 25 percent of the total Muslim population, all the hue and cry for Muslim reservation is for this 15 and 25 percent of the total Muslim population. The bulk of the Muslim population that is 75 to 85 percent of the Ajlaf-Arzal backward Muslims is included in the list of backward classes in the state and central list and is getting the benefits of OBC in job and admissions. It may not be out of place to mention that at present OBCs are not getting reservation in central educational institutions and also in the minority educational institutions.

Without going into details at this stage, I would like to mention that all the exercise by the Congress led UPA government is for the 15 to 25 percent of the Muslim population. It has nothing to do with the bulk of the Muslim population who constitute 75 to 85 percent of the Muslim population. These bulk 75 to 85 percent of the Muslim population are not getting their due share, to be in admission to educational institutions, job reservation of central and state services, political representation in state legislatures and parliament and in the decision making bodies of political parties be it Congress, Samajwadi party, the BSP, the RJD, the NCP as well as the left parties.

The representation of these bulk Muslims (Muslim OBCs) in the Lok Sabha from 1st to 14th is also very poor. Out of around 7500 members of Lok Sabha, only 400 Muslims in all could get elected and out of this 400 Muslims Lok Sabha members, only 60 Muslims belonging to OBC category could get elected. The position of representation of the OBC Muslims in Rajya Sabha and upper Houses of legislatures is also very poor.

The actual picture of under representation of OBC Muslims who are included in the list of OBCs is narrated above concisely. The details can be provided if required. Ashraf Muslims are posing as if Muslims are out of reservation list but the picture is just the reverse. 15 percent of the Ashraf Muslims are getting 85 percent representation in every sphere and 85 percent of the OBC Muslims are getting only 15 percent representation be in admission or jobs or political representation in political parties.

I fail to understand why this gross neglect on the part of this section of the Muslim community in the Congress party is still there under your leadership. The bulk of Muslim community, who are no doubt included in the OBC list at the center and state, deserves representation in the organization of the government and the congress party. Even the National Commission of Backward Classes both has no representation of Backward Muslims.

I want to place these facts before you, the Chairperson of UPA and President of the Congress party with the hope that justice will be done to the OBC Muslims which included Dalit Muslims also.

I believe, that you will not mind if I frankly say that the OBC Muslims are underrepresented in the decision making bodies of the Congress Party at every stage, from DCCs to PCCs and AICCs. For a very long time, the working committee is without any representation of the OBC Muslims. The committee and commissions formed by the UPA government have not a single person among its members from the OBC Muslims. Governors and other constitutional positions also have no Muslims of this category.

(This letter was written to Mrs Sonia Gandhi in 2005)




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