Quota not the way forward for Muslims: Najma

Quota not the way forward for Muslims: Najma

Quota not the way forward for Muslims: Najma

Suggesting that quotas for minorities are not the way forward as Constitition does not allow religion-based reservation, Minority Affairs Minister Najma Heptulla today said that her ministry's approach is to work on skilling the youth.

"Affirmative action....First of all let me be very clear about. There is a Constitution in this country. And according to the Constitution we all have to work. According to the Constitution of India, there can't be a religion-based reservation. Because it gets stuck in court. Many states have tried but it didn't work," Heptulla said at an interaction.

The Union Minister said that as per an estimate by March she would be able to have 10,000 people trained, who can find a job on their own or start their enterprise.

"How many jobs are available in the government? Very few. And how much reservation can govt give? There will be a limit," Heptulla said.

She said that even if a 5 percent reservation is given to a particular community, what would be the situation of the others who are not able to avail it.

Heptulla, who was speaking at an interaction at the Indian Women Press Corps (IWPC) said that in her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after taking charge, he had said that in 64 years the basic right of a citizen - roti, kapda, makaan and swacchta - the Muslims have not got. "I am working towards that," Heptulla said.

She was repeatedly asked questions on comments made in recent past by members of the right wing.

The Minority Affairs minister said while it is not right to respond to every comment that is made but assured that the minorities had no reason to worry under the present government.

Responding to question a on Modi's statement about a ten- year moratorium on divisive issues, she said he would not have said it from the rampart of the Red Fort if he did not mean it.

She said her party's manifesto talks about creating a tranquil atmosphere, adding that it is the responsibility of the Home Ministry to ensure safety and security.

Heptulla said that in a huge country like India people make statements but "if I start reacting to every statement, I will not be able to do my job."

When asked to comment on recent controversial remarks made by BJP MP Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, Heptullah said "I knew it was not in good taste, I told her."

On a question related to statement by BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj that Hindu women should bear at least four children, the Minority Affairs Minister responded in a lighter vein saying that "when I meet Sakshi Maharaj, I ll ask him."

She was asked about the demand for bringing an anti- conversion law, which even senior BJP leaders have talked about.

The thing is there are already so many laws, Heptulla said but added that if there is a consensus and more laws are needed, it is upto the lawmakers.

To a question on the creation of an Equal Opportunity Commission, Heptulla said that comments had been sought from various ministries on the matter.

The Law Ministry, she said, had advised that if it has to be taken, it is the Home Ministry that should do it.

Speaking about the logjam in the Rajya Sabha in the last session of Parliament, Heptulla said that she was disappointed as there should always be discussion through which people can express their views and hoped for a different situation in the next session.

Referring to the Multi Sectoral Development Programme (MSDP) implemented by her ministry, Heptulla said schemes should be named so that people can identify and added that MSDP could be referred to as 'Jan Vikas' programme.