Women Reservation Bill vis-a-vis Muslim Women in India

Posted by on Mar 8th, 2010 and filed under Ummah. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

FINALLY the decks have been cleared for the passage of Women Reservation Bill, providing for 33 % reservation of the seats for women in the Parliament and State Legislatures. The controversial Bill had been hanging fire for the last 15 years, but now  its enactment is almost sure because as a part of deep-rooted conspiracy to further reduce the Muslim representation, the Congress and BJP have developed as much bonhomie as to issue the whips to their respective members.

While the concept of women empowerment is laudable, but in the absence of a separate proportionate quota for Muslim women, the measure in the Indian context can be seen as nothing other than further weaken the Muslim community’s representative character, and to stifle even those faint voices of Muslim members, who sometimes, make a feeble attempt to cut across the party lines  against the injustice to the community.

It may be remembered that in the Mandal Commission 27 % reservations were provided to the backward castes including those from amongst Muslims, but its maximum benefit is reaped by the Hindu backwards, such as Ahir, Lodh and Kurmis because of their comparative higher potential and other extraneous considerations. Many Muslim organizations, including All India Muslim Forum, made tireless efforts to persuade the successive governments in U.P. to provide 8.5% proportionate quota  for Muslim backwards within the ambit of 27% stipulated reservations. It is to be specifically clarified that this  quota, according to the Supreme Court verdict can be fixed  through a simple government G.O.

In this context, the much-hailed Women Reservation Bill which is considered  as a gift on the occasion of International Women Day, is a ploy to turn the Parliament and Legislatures as  a monopoly of some specific Hindu high caste , and will definitely prove a death- knell  for the Muslims representative capacity which  is already almost extinct.

Dr. Mustafa Kamal Sherwani, LL.D. is the Chairman of All India Muslim Forum Lucknow , U.P. India. He can be reached at

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