All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi today said his party would stage demonstrations across Maharashtra to demand education and employment quota for Muslims in the state.
Owaisi spoke to reporters after attending a conference on the present condition of Muslims in Maharashtra organised by the Dua Foundation and a private organisation called the Centre for Development Policy and Practice in Aurangabad.
“The court has admitted that 50 castes in the Muslim community should be granted reservation. However, while all political parties are supporting the Maratha community, no one is speaking about reservations for Muslims,” the AIMIM leader claimed.
“We will hold agitations in Maharashtra to press for our demand for reservations for Muslims. We want the state government to bring an ordinance in the Nagpur assembly session for reservations,” he said.
The Maratha community should hold protests for reservation and the AIMIM will join them, he said.
“The Maratha community in the state has been silent for many days. They should agitate and we will also join them,” Owaisi said.
The AIMIM leader further condemned the violence that took place at Maharashtra’s Amravati and said an inquiry should be conducted into the incident.
In some states like Bihar or Tamil Nadu, there is a divide between backward castes, who face some socio-economic disadvantage and most backward or extremely backward castes, who face a high amount of social discrimination barely above the Scheduled Castes in their status. However, the argument against their demand is equally strong: that they had embraced faiths inimical to the indigenous civilisation due to the promise that they would be given a caste-less society and that these religions had no such thing as a caste. Still, unlike the Scheduled Castes, OBCs do not have to be Hindu and many states give benefits to some Muslim and Christian communities. This list has been subject to change since the criteria are not as stringent, making it a list often added by politicians to please certain sections of their voters.
Those who are not a member of these groups are commonly known as general-category people, sometimes called the other category (Other Caste). The General Category contains mostly high castes that cannot avail reservations: most communities in the Brahmin, Kshatriya and Vaishya varnas. However, there are also some communities classified as shudra varna, as well as most Muslim and Christian communities, who are part of this category. Communities belonging to this category often had hereditary professions such as pujari (priest), zamindar (landlord), kings, doctors, soldiers and they often owned agricultural land.