The judiciary has again rapped the knuckles of the UPA government on the minorities—only policy. The Andhra Pradesh High Court, for the second time, ruled the sub-quota for minorities as illegal. In its judgement, the court said “There is no rationale or empirical data to justify such an action.” It was also critical of the “casual manner” in which the Centre had gone about the issue. “No evidence has been shown to us by the learned Assistant Solicitor General to justify the classification of these religious minorities as a homogeneous group or as more backward classes deserving some special treatment” the Court said.
Ever since the UPA came to power, it has been making obsessive, repeated attempts to defy the Constitution to provide exclusive rights to the minorities (read Muslims) in all sectors — be it education, jobs, competitive exams, national resources and civil laws.
The Centre announced a sub-quota of 4.5 per cent within the 27 per cent OBC reservation on 22 December 2011, even when a petition challenging the Andhra Pradesh HC order in the issue was pending before the Supreme Court. The previous High Court ruling came in a case relating to the reservation announced exclusively to Muslims by the Andhra Pradesh government led by late Rajasekhar Reddy.
There are very disturbing questions regarding the religion-based reservations.
The non-Hindu religions proclaim to be egalitarian and casteless. And yet they are demanding caste-based privileges. If caste is a reality of India as they claim, then why are they not amending their other religious tenets to suit the cultural realities of India? Why do they cling to their religious diktats on dress, social norms and codes and civil laws? The UPA government has stretched these privileges to Muslims to unprecedented areas, reserving seats in professional institutions, government jobs, giving free coaching for competitive exams, allowing free rides in trains for Muslim students, placing madrasa education on par with the CBSE, creating ministry exclusively for their welfare, and now setting aside a huge part of the national resources for only the minorities (Muslims). The religion and caste based reservation in educational institutions has led to an unprecedented scene where the cream of students are moving out of the country in search of merit-based education. Kapil Sibal and Salman Khurshid are two of the most controversial ministers in the UPA cabinet who keep making communal assertions that defy constitutional decency and secular rationale. They brazenly make statements pandering to the minority community, which to say the least are provocative. That the majority Hindu community is not reacting to such open divisive insult and intrusion into their legitimate stake is only a matter of surprise.
The Planning Commission last week asked all the ministries to reserve 15 per cent of the central schemes for the minority-concentrated areas. It may be noted here that the UPA has identified nearly a hundred districts in the country as ‘minority’ areas. It is spending Rs 685 crore in Haj subsidy to send Muslims abroad on pilgrimage. The Planning Commission directive is contained in the report of the Steering Committee on Empowerment of Minorities. This fifteen per cent is only the minimum and not a cap, the committee clarified. At a rough estimate, the government will have to earmark Rs 42,000 crore annually during the 12th five year plan for minority concentrated areas. Sonia Gandhi’s NAC is the major prod for the government on minority issues, which constantly comunalise developmental issues. This means that only 75 per cent of the resources are available for 85 per cent of Indians.
The exclusive privileges and divisive minorityism started by the British in 1905 is what ultimately led to the partition of India. The foreign rulers fanned the separate identity of Muslims and designed a situation in which it became near-impossible for the two communities to live together. The Congress too played its part in this by accommodating the Muslims at the cost of Hindu interest. The UPA, after six decades of independence, is treading the same path of separating the Indians along caste, religion and region. This time around too, a person of foreign origin is pulling the strings of the government, led by her nominee.
The time is ripe for a nationalist force to take the lead in countering the anti-national UPA government. The slogan of the 2014 elections should be India for Indians. Any party wishing to be called nationalist should declare that it would work to dismantle all that the UPA is building to weaken the country. Nationalism should be at the core of the political campaign now.