Forget reservations, empower yourselves: Heptullah to Muslims

Forget reservations, empower yourselves: Heptullah to Muslims

Forget reservations, empower yourselves: Heptullah to Muslims

Union Minister for Minority Affairs Najma Heptullah, has drawn the ire of community leaders after she suggested that muslims should work towards empowering themselves with education and skills and stop looking for reservations.

Heptullah, was in Mumbai to promote the programmes of the Minority Affairs ministry, namely the National Minority Development and Finance Corporation(NMDFC) and Maulana Azad National Academy for Skills(MANAS) with which the government plans to create 10,000 jobs by March, 2015.

As quoted in TOI, Heptullah said, '' I have always maintained that reservation is a crutch, which saps the energy to face challenges. Muslims will not get reservation as the constitution doesn't allow quota on religiuous grounds.''

The Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra, which recently passed the Maratha Reservation Bill in the state assembly, paving the way for 16% reservations for the Maratha community in government jobs and education opted to drop the 5% proposed quota for muslims.

The Supreme Court had earlier in December, 2014, dismissed the Maharastra government plea challenging a Bombay High Court order staying the operation of an ordinance announced by the previous Congress government.

The ordinance sought to provide 16% reservations to Marathas in education and jobs and 5% reservation to muslims. 

The Bombay High Court in its November 14 order stayed the operation of the ordinance but retained the 5% reservation for Muslims in education only. The High Court is again going to take up the issue on January 5th.  

Salim Alware, chairman of the Indian Muslim Intellectual Forum, was quoted in The Indian Express asking, “Why was the Maratha reservation Bill passed then while the Muslim quota was left out in the Maharashtra Assembly?”

On the matter, Heptullah said that it was a 'state matter' and each state had the power to decide on it.

The Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) has also said that it will launch an agitation against the Maharashtra government's decision to scrap reservations for muslims.