“Dalit is dalit – be it from any religion…. All dalits deserve quota benefits…..If justice is denied, there would be blood on the street.” These are excerpts from a recent speech by Sri Ramdevji – leader of Bharat Swabhiman Trust (BST) while he was addressing a group of Muslims demanding inclusion of minority religions in SC/ ST quota.
The vocal resolve of the hathayoga celebrity in this speech to offer a more sincere and intense leadership to Muslims than what even the Maulanas cant offer on this issue has put many a groups of his fans and even his detractors in a very tight spot, especially due to ‘blood on the street‘ reference. The demand is in same lines as the recent flop move by Congress to provide sub-quota to Muslims in OBC quota to woo voters before UP polls.
Currently, only Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists can avail SC/ST benefits under Article 341 of the Constitution. While we respect the sentiments of those who are deeply concerned with plight of so-called Dalit Muslims, we believe that any direct or indirect attempt to extend SC/ST status to Muslims and Christians would be a grossly anti-national, anti-Islamic, anti-Christianity and anti-Hindu move that could surpass the collective damages done in a thousand years of attacks by invaders before independence.
Please note that almost 50% of Indian Muslims already get reservation benefits through OBC quota. It was found by Sachar Committee that despite this ‘OBC Muslims’ could not compete with ‘non-Muslim OBC’ counterparts. So a special sub-quota of 4.5% specially for Muslims has already been created by Central Government, which would gradually be extended up to 15%. And in several states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka and Bihar, Muslims enjoy much higher reservations and for a larger proportion of Muslims. This is separate from benefits they obtain through minority status. But as elsewhere in world, Muslim community remains backward (though Indian Muslims excel significantly compared to their brothers and sisters in Muslim majority nations).
Thus for those who are really sincere about plight of Dalit Muslims, first we propose some truly effective strategies that can be implemented immediately and must be moral obligation for all who are concerned about them. And then we will dwell into the reasons why SC/ST reservation under Article 341 should not be extended to Muslims and Christians.
How Sri Ramdevji can help Muslims and specially Dalit Muslims
This section applies not only to Sri Ramdevji but all those who are concerned about plight of Muslims and specially Dalit Muslims despite so much of reservation and minority benefits that they already receive. Please note that there are 2 fundamental principles that we all should understand on this issue.
One, the needs of distressed (Dalit) Muslims are not merely monetary. It is more about trust, equality and respect from rest of the society. So any strategy to support them, if their plight indeed touches a saintly soul, should focus on first setting right standards in these areas.
Second, powerful people and organizations like BST, Patanjal Yogpeeth, Sri Ramdevji, Sri Mulayam Singh Yadavji, Sri Rahul Gandhiji etc have a golden opportunity and moral obligation to first set the ideal examples themselves that rest of the world can inspire from. For example, these are the steps that Sri Ramdevji and his allied organizations can immediately take up. And Agniveer promises to support these steps through efforts, heart and money in whatever way it can.
1. Sri Ramdevji must commit that at least 75% of entire expenditure of his group of companies and trusts would be only for development, employment and nurture of Dalit regions of the country. And especially areas dwelt by Dalit Muslims.
2. A significant proportion of senior executives, top leadership and core think-tank group of BST, Patanjal Yog Peeth and his other organizations must be filled with Dalits and especially Muslims.
3. All his communications and magazines must be edited and managed only by (Dalit) Muslims to prove that they can carry out sensitive responsibilities in most loyal and competent manner.
4. The entire kitchen, canteen, mess and food management in his organizations be fully managed by Dalit Muslims. This will eradicate false notions of untouchability.
5. Sri Ramdevji lamented that people claim all terrorists to be Muslims. To counter this allegation which he considers completely baseless and demeaning to Muslims, he should first and foremost have all his security personnel exclusively from Muslims who perform 5 times Namaz and appear devout Muslims by having beard, namaz mark on forehead etc. This would immediately start creating a correct impression among people without even saying a word. In fact all leaders and opinion makers of India who are deeply concerned with association of terrorism with Islam MUST take this step first and foremost.
Rest of the communities can manage other defense activities. But personal security for these leaders and influential people should be exclusively managed by conservative Muslims who clearly come out as conservative Muslims in front of camera.
Just imagine, if all leaders of the nation who care about Muslims start having their personal Z Class security from only conservative Muslims, who can then dare associate Islam with terrorism!
(Even Sikhs were adversely associated with terrorism in eighties due to misdeeds of a few. But because Sikhs are predominantly found everywhere in defense and security, that could not tarnish their image as loyal brave patriots we all feel proud of.)
It is unfortunate that even in Pakistan, leaders are refusing to have any security personnel who has a beard with no moustache and offers 5 Namaz. Thus, Indian leaders, and especially Sri Ramdevji, should use this golden opportunity to win trust of Muslims by having ALL his security guards exclusively from such Muslims. It pains to see so many political and social leaders giving empty talks on zero correlation between Muslims and Most Wanted Terrorists, but not daring enough to accept such security personnels. We sincerely urge Sri Ramdevji to change this trend proactively and immediately.
Further, given that the entire foundation of the movement for inclusion of Dalit Muslims in SC/ST quota is based on the fact that a huge number of them sincerely need employment, it would be very easy to fill all these vacancies (for the above listed points of action) within a few days.
Agniveer sincerely awaits Sri Ramdevji and others deeply concerned with plight of (Dalit) Muslims to make immediate announcements towards the above 5 points and Agniveer promises to support them in all possible ways (tan-man-dhan).
In next part, we will review why any reference to reservation for Muslims and Christians is so dangerous for nation and demeaning for all religions.
This post is also available in Hindi at http://agniveer.com/6796/ramdev-reservation-dalit-muslim-hi/