Reality Check India

AP Muslim Quota – Why cant I have what you just gave him ?

Posted in Uncategorized by realitycheck on February 18, 2010

The hardest cases in Justice ask the easiest questions.

The AP government is having a really hard time convincing the court with its Muslim quota. Its third attempt at 4% quota was rejected by a 7-judge bench of the AP High Court. (Related news).  (Link to judgment). The AP Congress government is preparing to appeal to the Supreme Court .

Ironically, this happened the same day the West Bengal government announced a 10% quota for Muslims. I had written almost 3 years back that the CPI-M in Bengal would be severely penalized for its quota policies. They seem to be getting around and correcting this mutant behaviour.

So, why is this happening ? Are the ground rules so unclear even for such a fundamental law ?

It is because people look at what other people get and assume they have a similar right to it. The absence of any visible evidence supporting necessity of special treatment strengthens perceptions. When it comes to quotas the touchstone is almost always Tamilnadu. The TN government had no trouble passing a Muslim quota, they even passed a Christian quota which was revoked on representations by the Christian community.

Here is Mr Syed Shahabuddin of NMMR (Muslim Reservation Movement)

New Delhi: Former Lok Sabha Member and Convener of National Movement for Muslim Reservation (NMMR), Syed Shahabuddin has termed as “unfortunate and deplorable” the ruling of Andhra Pradesh High Court quashing the 4% quota for backward Muslims in the state. “The Hon’ble High Court has ignored the fact that under Article 15 (1), read with Article 15 (4), reservation may be religion-specific or caste-specific or race-specific or language-specific, if the social group concerned passes the test of backwardness. It has also ignored the fact that several states, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu & Kerala have provided reservation for Muslims as a community and other religious groups,” Syed Shahabuddin said.

Source : Two Circle (emp mine)

Here is Mr Owaisi

“When Muslims in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka are provided reservations, it is strange that it is getting quashed repeatedly in Andhra Pradesh High Court,” said Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP and president of the Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM), who considers the latest verdict a severe blow to the community.

Source : Thaindian (emp a)

There is  lot of cheer from misinformed public as evident in online comments.  But this is not a case where you need to get involved in legal minutae.  It is far simpler and much harder.  The real question is : Does anyone have an answer to Mr Syed Shahbuddin and Mr Owaisi ? Why strict scrutiny for them in this case and not for Hindu castes in a much larger case involving 2% cess ? Remember large hindu castes are no different than muslims when it comes to quotas. Both are staging units for social justice.

This ad hoc benefit granting and protection is exactly what locks people into voting patterns. Destroys democracy because it would be against natural order to expect humans  to vote against self interest.

It is interesting the majority judges applied a narrow interpretation of strict scrutiny doctrine in Thakur (2007 OBC quota case).  It will be interesting how the Supreme Court deals with the AP governments appeal – given that several pending cases for Tamilnadu has not been addressed for decades.  Can eat cake and put it back in fridge.

Because as long as the fat kid enjoys his free milk shake and ice cream in the corner – other kids who see it are going to ask “Why only nimbu juice for us ?”. You better be prepared with an answer.

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4 Responses

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  1. Subhash said, on February 20, 2010 at 2:56 am

    Data can be manipulated to suit your ends… so trust your heart to do the right thing. 🙂

    This is what is taught to sociology graduates. The AP judges feel that muslim quota is not the right thing for AP for whatever reason (which again can be fabricated to suit their ends). How can you contest that? 😛

  2. rc said, on February 20, 2010 at 3:28 am

    >> Data can be manipulated to suit your ends

    1) Absolutely. That is why my main point is data must be made public. So people can draw their own conclusions. There are checks already in the form of interested groups that will make faking raw data hard.

    2) The AP judges can do what they feel, but in fact they are only transferring the burden of squaring their feelings and precendent back to the higher court.

  3. mujahed said, on March 4, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    jab Bengal(10%), Karnataka, kerala(12%) revervation minority ko de raha hai to phir Andhra pradesh bhi isi India ka ek state hai.yeh to humara haq hai jo humse chheena ja raha hai.is ke liye har minority student ko aawaaz uthaani chahiye.Agar Indians ko India mein haq nahi mila to kya America aayega ???
    Don’t be silly.This is not the minor issue.please take necessary steps to make the future BRIGHT of minority students….

  4. sp said, on March 11, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Isnt reservation provided to people who were subdued due to the prevalent social practices? Hindu backward castes do have a right to claim reservation because they have been denied opportunities due to the social system.
    If it can be proven that muslims or any other community have been deliberately suppressed by the majority communities, they can feel that they have a right for reservation. Otherwise, if it is a self-inflicted backwardness, they can request it as a “favor” but not as a “right”.


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