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Muslim MPs for fundamental changes in Women Bill, demand quota within quota

Saturday, March 13, 2010 08:17:57 PM, Agencies

Women Reservation Bill: Attempt to stifle the voice of Muslims: Every new day has its own significance and if one goes into the ....Read Full

More women in parliament will change face of Indian politics

How Logical Is Women Reservation in India!

New Delhi: While the Opposition from the Yadav satraps to the Women’s Reservation Bill was on expected lines, the Manmohan Singh government has been caught off-guard by the ferocity of the attack to the quota from Muslim outfits and MPs.


The perception that the Bill was against Muslims, created by Mulayam Singh and Lalu Prasad has gathered momentum. Even Congress MPs from the Muslim community have joined the campaign to bring about fundamental changes in the bill, before introduction in the Lok Sabha. They have couched their opposition in a language that does not offend the leadership.


“It would have been better if it had been left to parties to set aside 33% seats for women, rather than having a separate quota for them in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies”, Kishanganj Congress MP Asrarul Haque told newspersons here on Thursday. He said that they would try to impress upon the party leadership to frame the legislation in such a manner that it took care of the interests of Dalits, Backwards and minorities — a view that was shared by Barpeta MP Ismail Hussain.


The Congress leadership’s attempts to ‘rush’ through with the bill has been opposed even by supporting parties. The Muslim League has been rubbing shoulders with the Samajwadi Party and RJD MPs ever since the legislation was introduced in the Rajya Sabha, rushing to the well of the Lok Sabha to register its protest.


While speaking on the motion of thanks to the President’s address, Majlise Ittehadul Muslimeen MP Asaduddin Owaisi had argued that the women’s reservation bill in its present form would sound a `death knell’ for his community as the House will eventually turn into a ‘Hindu Lok Sabha’.


“We oppose women’s reservation as it will sound a death knell for Muslims... reservation should start with the Muslim community as they are socially Backward. Otherwise, the Lok Sabha will turn into a Hindu Lok Sabha,’’ he said.


Its no coincidence that among the seven Rajya Sabha members who were relentless in their opposition to the bill before and after it was introduced in the House included four from the Muslim community — Rizwan Akhtar, Ali Alam Khan (both SP), Sabir Ali (LJP) and Ejaz Ali (expelled JD-U member).


To make matters worse, AUDF leader Badruddin Ajmal, who’s a Lok Sabha member from Dhubri in Assam, has been busy mobilising Muslim MPs to come out openly against the bill.


Several Muslim organisations too have lent their backing to stop women’s quota campaign, and have demanded that the government take up the measure only after making a provision for a quota within quota to accommodate Muslims and OBCs.


Leaders and supporters of the All India Milli Council, the Jamat-e-Islami Hind, the Jamat-e-Ulama, the Muslim Political Council and several other Muslim organisations had earlier this week taken out a silent march here to press their case for the political parties “to respond to the call of conscience in Parliament” on the women’s reservation bill.





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