Now, Darul demands amendment for Muslim quota in jobs

In the wake of the proposed constitutional amendment for reservation in promotions, the country's largest Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband, has demanded a constitutional amendment to provide reservation for Muslims in government jobs.

Rector Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, the highest official of the seminary, said on Thursday that they had always been in favour of reservation for Muslims and had raised it on several occasions.

"When the Constitution can be amended so many times, why can't it be done for Muslims? Let there be one more amendment so that Muslims get their right," Nomani told The Indian Express.

"Muslims are the most backward in every aspect. It has been established by the Sachchar Committee report. Reservation in the government sector can uplift them from their backwardness."

Established in 1866, the Deoband seminary holds considerable clout among Muslims, both in India and abroad.

Nomani said, "Muslims were treated as vote banks, every party does vote bank politics. Muslims' conditions have worsened due to the injustice." Refusing to blame any political party, he said, "Darul Uloom Deoband does not name any party but it is the government at the Centre which has to be fair to Muslims."

Ashraf Usmani, the head of the Raabta-e-Aam (public relations) section of the seminary, questioned the argument that reservation on the basis of religion is not permissible.

"If reservation cannot be given on the basis of religion, then a person should also not be denied his rights on the basis of religion. Even today, if a member of Scheduled Castes or Tribes converts to Islam, he loses his SC/ST status and the right to reservation," he said.

Usmani denied that Deoband's demand had got inspiration from the Samajwadi Party's demand in Parliament for constitutional amendment for reservation for Muslims. "Darul Uloom Deoband has been demanding it for several years. But now the time has come for the government to bring a constitutional amendment," he said.

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