Within five months after the Trinamool Congress government enacted a law for 17 per cent reservation for those belonging to Other Backward Castes (OBC), Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has brought the entire Muslim community into the reservation net by including almost all of them as OBC.
While 95 per cent of the two-crore Muslim population in the state has already been included in the OBC list, entitling them to reservation in jobs, the state government last month has taken into consideration eight more Muslim groups — Jalia, Gore, Hati, Bhuina, Bayen, Mufti, Hosniwala and Khalashi — for consideration for inclusion in the OBC list. With their inclusion, almost 98 per cent of the population will be included in the OBC list.
And what is more important is that most people belonging to the Muslim community, who were included in the OBC, have been earmarked for 10 per cent reservation.
The state government made two categories of OBCs on the basis of their income: Category A and Category B. While those who have been included in Category A have been earmarked for 10 per cent reservation, those in Category B have been given 7 per cent reservation. While out of the 66 communities in Category A of the OBC list enjoying 10 per cent reservation, 59 are Muslims. In Category B, out of the 178 communities 28 belong to Muslim communities.
“The Chief Minister’s dream of providing benefit of reservation for Muslims has been fulfilled. The Left Front government talked a lot but did precious little for the Muslims,’’ Giyasuddin Mollah, Minister of State for Minorities and Madrasa education told The Indian Express.
However, Muslim community leaders complain that even though the government has brought reservation for the entire community, the process of distributing OBC certificates has been very tardy.
“According to our information, only 22 per cent of Muslims have got OBC certificates. We have requested to hold certificate camps, but the government is not doing that,’’ Siddiqulah Choudhury, chairman, PDCI, told The Indian Express.