bharatiya janata party (BJP) logo

National Executive 2000 to 2015

Accessibility

 

We oppose reservations on religious basis tooth and nail and we are ready to makeany sacrifice to stop that move

The BJP strongly opposes the move of Communal Reservations as it is aimed at dividing the people on communal lines. This move is not only anti-secular but also anti-nation. It will hurt mostly the interests of the backward classes.

If not reversed, it is bound to be emulated by other governments led by parties that are today locked in competitive pseudo-secularism, thus expanding the geographical spread of the poisonous seed.

Does the Congress party know the implications and consequences of what it is doing? Has the party that claims to be associated with India’s Freedom Movement become so ideologically bankrupt and so politically pervent today that it is willing to mortgage the nation’s unity and integrity for its own narrow and short-term political interests. This is a retrograde move which, if not immediately reversed, will sow the poisonous seed for the growth of a new communal movement inspired by the Two-Nation Theory that led to the tragic partition of our Motherland in 1947.

This proposal was considered more thoroughly by the Constituent Assembly’s Advisory Committee on Fundamental Rights. Minorities and Tribal and Excluded Areas headed by Sardar Vallabhai Patel. This Advisory committee had a galaxy of great leaders of the Freedom Movement including Dr B.R. Ambedkar, Dr. S.P Mookerjee, Maulana Azad, Dr K.M Munshi, Shri Purushottamdas Tandon, Pandit Govind Vallabh Pant and Shri Gopinath Bardoloi. Pandit Nehru was a special invitee to the meeting of the committee which finally expressed that “the committee are satisfied that the minorities themselves feel that in their own interests, no less than in the interests of the country as a whole, the statutory reservation of seats for religious minorities should be abolished.”

Fact remains and history has proved it that reservations on communal lines are not in the interest of national unity and integrity as it might start a chain reaction among other religious groups as well.  Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, while addressing on democratization in an important session of the Constituent Assembly on May 26, 1949, said, "If you seek to give safeguards to a minority, you isolate it... Maybe, you protect it to a slight extent but at what cost - at the cost of isolating and keeping it away from the main current." He further warned,‘’this way lies not only folly but disaster.’’ 

In a letter addressed to all Chief Ministers on 27 June 1961, Nehru said: …I have referred above to efficiency and to our getting out of our traditional ruts. This necessitates our getting out of the old habit of reservations and particular privileges being given to this caste or that group…. I dislike any kind of reservation, more particularly in services. I am grieved to learn how far this business of reservation has gone based on communal considerations…. This way lies not only folly but disaster.

Commending his Committee’s Report in the Constituent Assembly, Sardar Patel said: “In the long run, it would be in the interest of all to forget that there is anything like a majority or a minority in this country and that in India there is only one community.”

In his five-volume monumental study “Framing of the Indian constitution”, Shri B. Shiva Rao records. “A lengthy discussion took place on these proposals of the Advisory Committee. The majority of the speakers – and theses included members from all communities -Muslims, Christians, Anglo-Indians, Scheduled Castes, as well as Hindus – offered full support to the proposal to abolish reservations on communal grounds. Jawaharlal Nehru described the proposal as a “historic turn in our destiny”.

The Nehru government kept Muslims and Christians outside the purview of reservation for SC’s in education and government jobs. This was done through a Presidential order amending Article 341 of the constitution, which enables the President of India to notify a particular caste as a Schedule Caste.

The Congress Party, which has ruled and ruined the country for more than five decades, has failed to improve the living conditions of the majority and minority. It has always used minorities as only vote bank and never as citizens. As the minority community has also started drifting away, the UPA government, which had failed on all fronts and the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh for similar reasons are now talking of communal reservations. The Congress has not learnt lessons even after the High Court had quashed the legislation for reservations on religion basis.

The Congress Party is disregarding the views of the Constituent Assembly, its own leadership like Shri Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi, who opposed communal reservations. It clearly shows that it has no respect for its own leaders, no respect for the judiciary and no concern for the country’s unity.

Many Muslims had held highest positions in this country namely …..Sri Zakir Hussain, Sri Fakruddin Ahmed, Bharat Ratna, Dr Abdul Kalam as Presidents…

Jus Hidayadullah and Jus Ahmedia as Chief Justices of India…

Gen Latif as Air Chief Marshal…

AR Antulay, Barkatullah Khan, Anwar Taimoor, Abdul Gaffoor, Farooq Maricker as Chief Ministers …

Shahruk Khan, Amir Khan, Salman Khan, Feroz Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Saif Ali Khan as film artists…

Nawab Ali Pataudi, Mohd. Azaruddin, Arshad Ayub, Irfan Pathan, Yousuf Pathan, Zahir Khan, Mohd Kaif et al as cricketers…Sania Miraz as Tennis star…

It is evident from this that there has never been any discrimination towards any individual on the basis of religion in India.

It is the Congress and its allies, in attempting to make political gains, are pursuing policies that are turning Indian against Indian, kindling divisive identities, jeopardising the country's social cohesion and compromising national security.

Communalisation of development : Earlier, the wooing of the Muslim community was couched in the language of minority welfare. Today, the UPA Government has shed its camouflage and is explicitly courting the Muslim community alone.

The Rajinder Sachar Committee was appointed by the Prime Minister to inquire into the conditions of the Muslim community recommended the use of nominations to enhance representation of Muslims in government.

It has gone for Communal Budgetting and has identified 90 districts with most Muslim population.

The illegal immigration of Bangladeshis into eastern India has been sanctioned and condoned by successive Congress Governments on the grounds that the foreigners happen to be Muslims. Census figures were sought to be doctored when they suggested a religious demographic transformation of large parts of eastern India. The IMDT Act which was struck down by the Supreme Court was re-introduced by the backdoor. The Supreme Court has struck down the latest notification too.

Objections were raised to singing of Vande Mataram , India's national song which inspired the freedom movement.

Time and again, they talk about the Godhra and Gujrat. I want to tell them that per capita income of Muslims in Gujarat is highest campared to any other state in the country. What right do they have to talk about Gujarat?

Minority educational institutions have been excluded from the purview of the new reservations policy for Backward classes. As a result, the existing reservations for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes stand removed from minority institutions which are now outside the purview of legislation. The Government has fallen back on expediency to justify this. Whereas in the matter of education it claims that caste is alien to Islam and Christianity, it is simultaneously campaigning to enlarge the Scheduled Castes category to include Muslims and Christians in employment. One of the new terms of reference of the Ranganath Mishra Commission on linguistic minorities was to find ways of incorporating Muslims and Christians into the category of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. The BJP believes that such a move will encourage religious conversions.   

I will quote what Mrs Asha Das, Member Secretary has said in her dissent note on conferment of SC status on SC converts to Christianity and Islam:

‘The very basis of identification of a certain class of people as Scheduled Caste is social, educational and economic backwardness arising from the age-old traditional practice of untouchability that flowed from a rigid caste system in Hindu religion. Persons professing Christianity or Islam were not treated as depressed class/SC by the British in pre-independent India or by the Indian Government after independence. The status of depressed classes/Scheduled Castes was an inseparable concomitant of Hindu religion in British and Independent India. The Scheduled Caste status was accorded to persons professing Sikh or Buddhist religions for the reason that they were basically sects of Hindu religion rather than being independent religions like Christianity and Islam.’

The BJP believes that Muslims are an inseparable part of India. They share with the rest of the people a common ancestry and a common culture. Their struggle for economic prosperity, social dignity, women's empowerment and education make them one with the rest of India. By separating Muslim issues from the rest, the Government is creating an artificial divide, breeding resentment and nurturing divisive forces. In linking the fate of terrorist conspirators with Muslim interests, the Congress and its allies are implicitly suggesting that Muslims have a stake in terrorism aimed against the ordinary people of India. This does nationalist Muslims a grave injustice.

The Congress, which has ruled India for 47 of the 59 years since Independence, cannot escape responsibility for the dismal plight of many Muslims in large parts of India. It is revealing that Muslims are most backward in states such as Bihar and West Bengal where the most vocal of the "secular" parties were and are in power for long.

By attempting to re-inject religion-based quotas and reservations into India, the Congress is re-opening old wounds. The BJP would like to remind the Indian people that it the creation of separate electorates and the categorisation of society along religious lines which produced a separatist mindset and led to the Partition of India in 1947. It is precisely for this reason that the founding fathers of the Republic kept religion out of decision-making by the state.

If unchecked the attempt to create a special citizenship for Muslims will pave the way for a second Partition. The BJP will resist this dangerous drift with all the might at its command.