Kolkata: Observing that it was time for the Muslims to move over from their religion-based identity, journalist-turned-author Asim Pada Chakrabarti on Thursday suggested the community actively participate in politics for changing its "pitiable condition".
At the launch of his book "Muslim Quest for Separate Identity: As Reflected Through Bengal Legislature" here, Chakrabarti blamed the political classes' continued bid to treat Muslims as a vote bank for the community's continued status as "back benchers".
"Besides the exploitation by political classes, their decision to not accept English or modern education rendered them to the back benches.
"The continued deprivation and inferiority complex led to a quest for a separate identity for themselves which they eventually found in religion, something which they continue to hold on," he said.
"It is because of this, that despite efforts by governments both at the central and state levels, their condition has continued to be pitiable," he added.
"It's high time the community gets over its religious identity and instead of looking towards government aids, reservation or the likes should actively pursue their welfare. This can be done through active participation in politics, embracing modem education and reforms," said Chakrabarti.
Unveiling the book, West Bengal Governor K.N. Tripathi too called for the community's welfare.