ex-Member of Parliament, addressing the public meeting of Popular
Front of India held in Pune for National Campaign for Muslm
reservation on Sunday.
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The Popular Front of India’s two-month long National Campaign
for Muslim Reservation kicked off with the grand Public Meeting held
at Pune in Maharashtra on Sunday where in about 5000 people sat in
rapt silence to hear to the leaders views on the reasons of their
pathetic plight and its remedy to uplift them from the quagmire of
illiteracy and poverty.
According to a Press release issued by
Sajid Qureshi, Program Convenor, the public meeting was formally
inaugurated by Syed Shahabuddin, ex Member of Parliament, who is
Coordinator NMMR & Editor of Muslim India magazine also, while
Popular Front chairman E. M. Abdur Rahiman presided. Others who
expressed their views on the occasion included: Suresh Khairnar,
National Convener, National Secular Forum; Maulana Usman Baig
Rashadi, president All India Imam Council; Subhash Ware, Socialist
Front; Maulana Razeen Ashraf, president All India Imams Council,
Maharashtra state unit; Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan, president, Muslim
Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti, Rajasthan State; Abdul Hannan, general
Secretary, Social Democratic Party India, Karnataka State.
In his inaugural address Syed
Shahabuddin reportedly stated that Muslims and other backward
sections ask for reservation not as a favour but as a democratic
fundamental right which cannot be denied.
“The argument raised by certain vested
interest groups against giving reservation to Muslims are baseless
and against the spirit of the Indian Constitution. Muslims are
eligible for reservation because of their relative backwardness and
not because of their religious faith”, Shahabuddin reasoned.
"In fact denying reservation to
Muslims is a discrimination on religious grounds,” Shahabuddin
remarked. He also pointed out that 50 per cent ceiling on total
reservation put by the Supreme Court is not irrevocable and can be
E. M. Abdur Rahiman in his
presidential address said Popular Front has undertaken the task of
campaigning for the Muslim Reservation as part of its agenda of
equally empowering the depressed classes.
Elaborating Abdur Rahiman said Popular
Front is a social movement which strives for the equal empowerment
of all sections in the Indian society.
“We are a “Naya Caravan for a Naya
Hindustan”, that is, for “A New India of Equal Rights to All
Indians”. We are a movement emerged from within the Muslim
community. But we at the service of not only Muslims, but all human
beings, especially all those who are deprived of their rights and
denied equal justice. We have been working in the southern parts of
this country since the last 15 years preparing the Muslim community
to come out of their backwardness and minority syndrome, to get
empowered to play a positive role in India”, he asserted.
Continuing he said:“Also we are of the
view that while the community has to stop blaming others for all
problems and strive for its own future, the government also has to
fulfill its constitutional responsibility of providing equal justice
to minorities and backward classes”.
Abdur Rahiman said by launching this
campaign for reservation, Popular Front aims to create an atmosphere
conducive for reservation to Muslims. We very well know that public
opinion plays a vital role in framing the party and state policies.
Hence, I wish to emphasize that our campaign is not addressed to the
sentiments of a particular community, but to the conscience of every
section of the society irrespective of religion, culture, caste and
He called upon the secular forces and
political fronts to take a principal stand on the issue. However, he
urged all the Muslims not to wait further for the mercy from others,
but to start striving themselves.
“Justice (Retd.) Sachchar Committee
has rightly diagnosed the problem and Justice (Retd.) Ranganath
Mishra Commission prescribed the remedy. The Sachchar Committee has
convinced the nation that the Muslims are most backward and the
Mishra Commission recommended reservation in education & employment
to all Muslims", Abdur Rahiman explained.
"Hence, it is not a merely Muslim
cause but a national responsibility to deliver justice to Muslims,”
Abdur Rahiman stated. But unfortunately, the Central government has
shown no signs of providing reservation to Muslims, he lamented.
Speaking spiritedly he appealed to all
sane elements in the society, all social groups and political
parties to take up the cause of Muslim reservation and let this
caused not be left to Muslims alone. “I call upon the Muslims ,
the activists and supporters of Popular Front in particular, to
build better ties with the brothers and sisters belonging to all
communities and join hands with all other deprived sections to fight
injustice and defend civil rights”, he urged.
Abdur Rahiman moaned that very often
complaints are received that in Maharashtra minorities are being
discriminated and innocents Muslims are targeted in the name of
combating extremism. This happens in spite of the fact that the
secular society of the state with the support of minorities has once
again elected a Congress-led coalition to the government.
“Let me painfully note that there was
a recent instance in Pune where our activists were harassed, jailed
and falsely implicated in criminal cases for the reason that they
have exhibited printed wall posters as elsewhere in this country
which demanded to punish the culprits of Babri Masjid demolition in
the light of Liberhan Commission report”, he bemoaned.
“In view of the best interests of the
society, I urge the authorities not to go ahead with similar
policies and co-operate with our activists in the exercise of their
democratic rights and social obligations. On behalf of the hundreds
of thousands of Popular Front brothers, I want to make it clear that
not force on this earth, by any means, can neither deviate nor
defeat us because we are a movement having a very strong ideological
foundation and bonds of brotherhood”, he thundered.
He highlighted the historical
importance of Pune city as the place where Mahatama Jyoti Phule
launched the social revolution of the depressed classes & Dr.
Ambedkar signed the Poona Pact.
Abdur Rahiman paying tributes to the
memories of Mahatma Phule, who can be righty called the father of
social justice movement in India, said he was a scholar, thinker,
writer, orator, educationist, social reformer and a great fighter
who belonged to a marginalized and exploited class. He fought for
the liberation of the downtrodden masses from the clutches of
Brahmanism by launching the very first movement for social justice,
the Satya Shodak Samaj and leading a political fight as a member of
the Pune Municipal Council continuously for six years.
He said the historic document which
opened the doors of political power to the large masses of tribals
and dalits in India is in the very name of this city – the Poona
Pact. This agreement was signed by the champion of depressed classes
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar in the year 1932 under the pressure of a hunger
strike put by Mahatma Gandhi in Yerwada jail. Though Ambedkar had to
withdraw from the demand of separate electorate for the untouchable
castes, the Poona Pact ensured separate reserved constituencies for
Scheduled Castes in central and provincial assemblies of British
India. In fact the Poona Pact proved to be the base for the
provisions for the adequate representation of the weaker sections
that are included in the constitution of independent India. It is
because the responsibility of drafting the Indian constitution was
bestowed on the shoulders of Dr. Ambedkar.
Suresh Khairnar pointed out that a
country cannot develop until the development is uniform and cover
all classes. Subhash Ware sharply criticised the double standard
played by the administration and police in the matter of justice to
the Muslims. Maulana Usman Baig call upon the Ulema to stop fighting
over trivial issues and play a leading role in empowering the
The State ad hoc Committee for
Maharashtra was declared on the occasion by the chairman of PFI.
Sadique Qureshi has been nominated as the Maharashtra State
president and Mohammad Sajid as the Secretary. Unlike other Muslim
functions in the city, the public meeting was largely attended by
women and also people belonging to other communities.
At the outset Sadique Qureshi welcomed
the gathering and on conclusion of the public meeting Sajid Qureshi
proposed a vote of thanks.
The public meeting was largely
attended by women and also people belonging to other communities.
The National Campaign for Muslim Reservation now after the
kick-start from Pune will be followed by in various parts of India
with public awareness programmes including a Parliament March in New
Delhi on March 18, the release added.