Govt to bring more Muslims under OBC
21 March 2010
Initiative to expedite process for job reservations
KOLKATA, 21 MARCH: After announcing ten per cent reservation in jobs for Muslims in the other backward class (OBC) category, the state government has taken the initiative to expedite the process of including the maximum number of eligible Muslims under the OBC category within one year.
Officials believe nearly half of the Muslim population in the state is eligible to come under the OBC category. But so far, only around 3.4 per cent of the Muslim population has been listed under the OBC category.
The initiative has been taken, the officials said, to ensure that the maximum number of Muslims in the state is eligible to enjoy job reservations.
According to senior officials at Writers’ Buildings, the West Bengal Commission for Backward Classes ~ the body that examines request for inclusion of any class of citizens as a backward class in the lists and makes recommendations to the state government in this regard ~ is currently hearing applications from about 21-25 communities. A majority of these communities are Muslims. It was also learnt that the state government expects that at least 20 more Muslim communities could be included in the OBC category within one year ~ or at least ahead of the crucial 2011 Assembly polls.
A few days ago, three Muslim communities ~ Khotta Muslims, Beldar and Sardar ~ have been included in the OBC category. With these three, the number of Muslim communities in the OBC category has reached 15. All these 15 communities together constitute only about 3.4 per cent of the total Muslim population in the state. “An initiative has been taken to reserve jobs for Muslims in the OBC category. But so far, less than 4 per cent of the Muslims have been included in OBC category. This would mean the facility would not reach the maximum number of Muslims, particularly those for whom the job reservation is intended. That's the reason why more eligible Muslim communities could be brought under the backward category,” said an official.
He also added that the commission is currently hearing applications from more than 20 Muslim communities like Abdal, Basni, Kan-khalifa, Dhukre and it is expected that these communities could be brought under the OBC category very soon.
“If 40-45 communities of the Muslims could be included in the backward list, about 50 per cent of the Muslim population in the state would be able to get job reservation. Earlier, Muslims did not show interest in applying for inclusion in the OBC list, but now several applications in this regard are being submitted. A majority of the Hindu backward communities already figure in the OBC list,” he said.
After announcing ten per cent reservation in jobs for Muslims in the OBC category, it may be noted, the state government had decided to constitute a committee to find out ways to ensure that the reservation is implemented smoothly and all legal hurdles are avoided.