ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reservation for Muslims

This is with reference to the article by A K Verma entitled “Muslim Resurgence in Urban Local Bodies of Uttar Pradesh” (EPW, 6 October 2012). The author has arrived at some biased conclusions either by mistake, or by deliberate misrepresentation of facts.

This is with reference to the article by A K Verma entitled “Muslim Resurgence in Urban Local Bodies of Uttar Pradesh” (EPW, 6 October 2012). The author has arrived at some biased conclusions either by mistake, or by deliberate misrepresentation of facts.

Verma talks about the over-representation of Muslims in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) urban areas without giving details of the urban Muslim population. They comprise around 33% of the urban population in UP although their overall share in the state’s population is 18.5%. So if Muslims are represented in urban bodies to the tune of 31%, it is still below strength. The author points to the absence of dalit reservation in the Muslim majority areas. Empowerment of dalits is a genuine concern and so is the empowerment of Muslims. Muslims need reservation as much as the dalits do. Muslims face economic, social, political, and educational marginalisation and deprivation. With their average level of backwardness being almost equal to that of the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs), they should be entitled to reservation proportionate to their share in the population. However, the Presidential Order of 1950 bars Muslims (even dalit Muslims) from reservation.

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