Hyderabad, October 17: Leader of Opposition in Telangana Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Saturday urged the Sudhir Commission to gather comprehensive data from all available resources to prove backwardness of Muslims in Telangana to facilitate providing 12% reservation, as promised by the TRS in its election manifesto.
Shabbir Ali, along with Deputy CLP leader Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Whip in Council M.S.Prabhakar, Rajya Sabha MP M.A.Khan, TPCC Secretary Mohammed Javeed Ahmed and other leaders, submitted a representation to the Commission during its public hearing held here on Saturday.
Shabbir Ali said that the commission should rely on latest statistics for its study. He pointed out that similar exercises were carried out in the past to study the socio-economic and educational conditions of Muslims. “The commission must visit slums, markets and government schools in the city and other parts of the State, to get first-hand information on the socio-economic and educational status of Muslims. A poor vendor is forced to do business by taking negligible sums on interest rates as high as 10% on daily basis. Muslims living in several districts have no access to basic amenities. The Commission must rely more on field visits,” he advised.
Referring to ‘Minority Report’ presented by Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in the then Constituent Assembly on August 18, 1947, he said reservation was proposed for Muslims, Christians and Scheduled Castes across the country. However, the recommendations were amended later by removing Muslims and Christians from the list of beneficiaries. He also listed out other measures taken by various governments to improve the conditions of Muslims. However, he said that the condition remained the same. He also explained the chronology of legal battle for 4% Muslim reservation. He said although the Sudhir Commission could not recommend reservation, the information being gathered by Sudhir Commission on community’s backwardness would be helpful in the longer run.
Quoting Census 2011 data, Shabbir Ali said that there was no uniformity in distribution of population at district and mandal levels. Therefore, the Commission should not adopt a generic approach to study the socio-economic and educational condition of Muslims. Their conditions vary from district to district and mandal to mandal.
“The implementation of 4% reservation, fee reimbursement, scholarship and other schemes from 2004-2014 has changed the lives of a few thousand Muslims in Telangana (and also Andhra Pradesh) during the decade. However, the schemes has benefitted only a sizeable number of Muslims. Therefore, based on minor improvement in the figures like representation of Muslims in educational institutions, it should not be assumed that 44,64,699 Muslims of Telangana are on the growth path. The Commission should be cautious in dealing with the statistics on education and jobs from 2004-2014. For instance, during Census 2011, the Muslims in Osmania University has been shown as 1417. It makes 20.96% of 6762 people living in the OU campus. This figure might lead some people to believe that nearly 21% of students in Osmania University are Muslims. The actual figure is far from reality. Of 10,000 admissions done by OU, 400 Muslim students are getting admitted due to 4% reservation. Therefore, the actual percentage is just 4% since 2004-05 onwards,” he pointed out.
“Due to existence of minority and other institutions, the educational status of Muslims may look good in Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts. But the situation is extremely bad in other districts. Therefore, besides getting an overall picture, the Commission should give district-wise and mandal-wise socio-economic status of Muslims as it would help the government to frame policies which could directly benefit the Muslim population,” he said.
Shabbir Ali said that the Commission should conduct an in-depth study of educational condition of Muslims, especially in getting primary education. Similarly, their participation in economy should be studied by securing information from all agencies, including private organisations. “The State Government has gathered vast data from the general public, including Muslims, through Intensive Household Survey held on 19th August, 2014. The data should be analysed by the Commission to get the real picture of backwardness among Muslims,” he said.
He also furnished excerpts of observations made by different courts and claimed that the judiciary did not oppose reservation for Muslims and have accepted backwardness of Muslim community. (EOM)