AIMIM MLA Waris Pathan: I am not asking for reservation for my son
Waris Pathan, Mumbai's AIMIM MLA, speaks out on the reservation for Muslims demand
After the Marathas, it's time for the Muslims. Or make that, why not the Muslims? Asaduddin Owaisi's All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) has intensified its drumbeat of reservations for Muslims. Waris Pathan, Mumbai's AIMIM MLA, speaks out on the reservation for Muslims demand.
Excerpts from an interview
Has the AIMIM moved the Bombay High Court over reservations for Muslims?
We have not approached the court as yet. We are putting our minds together for the next step, and in the process are still studying the Bill passed, giving 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas.
Why do you feel so short-changed? Why do you want reservation for the Muslims?
During the Congress rule, the Sachhar Commission, the Ranganath Mishra Commission, and the Mehmood Rehman Commission, all pronounced Muslims as socially and educationally backward. Prior to the 2014 elections, the government did give Muslims 15 per cent reservations in jobs and 5 per cent in education. The High Court struck down the 15 per cent. The 5 per cent was not really implemented.
The Maratha community celebrates the passage of the Maratha Reservation Bill by the government in the Assembly, in Nagpur, on Friday. Pic/PTI
What do you mean by socially and educationally backward? Take yourself – you are a Muslim, you studied and became a lawyer… Isn't it better to achieve on one's own, instead of getting seats and places through reservations?
Why are you using me as an example? I am not asking for reservations for my son. We are talking about the underprivileged in the Muslim community who also want to be IPS and IAS officers along side the Marathas and others. There is a cycle of poverty that can be broken through reservations.
Are you saying that the Muslims are more backward than others?
They are much, much, much more backward, and by the criteria used to define the disadvantaged, they are certainly more backward. Remember that the Indian Constitution says that there must be equality for all.
You are being accused of using this as a gimmick for votes with an eye on the 2019 elections…
What do you mean by gimmick? We have been asking for reservations for Muslims for the past four years. The community is intelligent enough to see through this so called 'election gimmick' if it is one. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is anti-Muslim. The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) want Muslim votes but do not want the Muslims to become empowered. The Muslim community has become a football. If the BJP says no to reservation for the community, they must remember their catchphrase – sabka saath, sabka vikaas. If they cannot implement this, then it proves all these are merely jumlas, all jumlas (false promises).
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