Soon after the government of Maharashtra yielded to the demands of Marathas, similar demands from the Muslim community of the state have started gaining strength. Samajwadi Party legislator Abu Asim Azmi has demanded that the Muslim community should also be granted reservation. He has asserted that along with Marathas, Muslims also need reservations since they are also a minority community.
The Maratha community has been demanding reservation in the fields of education and employment since August 2016. After protesting for almost a year, the community, on Wednesday, took out its 58th and last silent rally or a ‘muk-morcha‘ in Mumbai. The rally was so huge that it brought traffic in many parts of the financial capital of the country to a standstill. Among other demands of the Maratha community during the morcha were reservations for them in education and employment.
In order to placate the massive rally, Maharashtra chief minister announced that the educational concessions that are currently enjoyed by the Other Backward Classes (OBC) community of the state will now also be extended to Marathas. Devendra Fadnavis also said that he would constitute a cabinet committee that would review the implementation of schemes benefiting Marathas. It is important to note that the demands of reservation as well as the rally by Marathas were supported by Muslims.
Now, Abu Azmi has asserted that the previous government had released an ordinance to provide 16 percent reservation to the Maratha community and 5 percent reservation to Muslims. After the matter went to court, the bill for reservation for Marathas was passed in the assembly but the Muslim community was ignored.
Abu Azmi also said that a 5 percent reservation for Muslims in the field of education is necessary for their progress. He pointed out that Muslims comprise close to 20 per cent of the national population, therefore, unless the community progresses, India can’t become a developed country. Hence, granting reservation to Muslims, according to Azmi, is indispensable.
This demand of reservation for Muslims in education and jobs by Abu Asim Azmi is also supported by the Congress and Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM). Responding to the appeal of Muslims and their supporters, chief minister Fadnavis has said that the government is proactive for providing reservation to Muslims. He also highlighted the fact that Muslims are already enjoying reservation under Scheduled Tribe and OBC category. Also, the 605 courses for which scholarships will be granted to students by the state government will include Muslims as well.