In a significant move before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, a state-appointed committee has recommended reservations for Muslims in government and private sector jobs and in housing projects. It has also suggested the constitution of an Equal Opportunities Commission to monitor if this was done and to undertake a yearly social audit.
The report of a 7-member committee under retired IAS officer and former Aligad Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor Dr Mehmood-ur-Rehman, which was set up to study the condition of the Muslim community in the social, economic and the education sectors, and make recommendations to the government to ensure that Muslims were integrated with the mainstream was submitted to CM Prithviraj Chavan on Monday.
Rehman told dna that they had studied the “conspicuity of absence of Muslims in various segments.” “We have made comprehensive recommendations (to ensure) that it... is made up,” he added, stating that they had pinpointed the ailments and also suggested a remedy for it. The committee has suggested a diversity index to make up for the lack of presence of Muslims.
“This (lack of presence) creates a serious imbalance in society, disturbs the social fabric as (they) feel left out,” Rehman said. He added that in lieu of providing reservations to Muslims in housing societies, the private builders could be compensated with higher Floor Space Index (FSI) or Transfer of Development Right (TDR).
The committee, which was set up in May 2008, also examined the proportion of Muslims in government jobs, problems of Dalit Muslims, status of Wakf lands and the various problems faced by the community.
“We will examine the report, it will be my attempt to ensure that Muslims are brought to the mainstream by implementing all the recommendations,” said minority development minister Arif (Nasim) Khan.
Around 400-page report contains 300, “ameliorative and rehabilitative” recommendations.
Sources said the committee had recommended around 7% reservations for the community in some sectors. “Reservation in housing is important considering that Muslims are not being given houses in certain areas except in Muslim concentrated areas,” said a source.