Tag Archives: Secularism in India

‘Muslim Quota’: Keep it Simple, Silly! – Khalid Anis Ansari


In an interview last month, Mr. Salman Khursheed was posed the query: ‘There are reports that you are considering Muslim reservations within the OBC quota?’ He responded affirmatively: ‘Absolutely. Sachar described them as SEBC, socially and educationally backward classes. This is a special segment within OBC.’

Nowhere in the Sachar report are Muslims categorized as SEBC (Socially and Educational Backward Classes). They are categorised merely as one of many SRCs (Socio-Religious Communities). Moreover, the Sachar Report has acknowledged caste-based stratification within Muslims and has suggested quite unequivocally: ‘Thus, one can discern three groups among Muslims: (1) those without any social disabilities, the ashrafs; (2) those equivalent to Hindu OBCs, the ajlafs, and (3) those equivalent to Hindu SCs, the arzals. Those who are referred to as Muslim OBCs combine (2) and (3) [p. 193 (emphasis added)]’.

So, according to the Sachar Report all Muslims cannot be conceived as a socially and educationally backward class (OBC) because the forward Muslims (ashrafs) are ‘without any social disabilities’. Well, one may ask if the minister who exhorted everyone to read the Sachar Report critically and not as gospel truth, has failed to practice what he himself preached. The honorable minister seems to have read the report incorrectly.

Strange are the ways politics affects one’s judgment! Continue reading ‘Muslim Quota’: Keep it Simple, Silly! – Khalid Anis Ansari

A Brief Introduction to Indian Secularism

The Telegraph's "File picture of suspected illegal migrants detained by police"

I think that should be the title of a poem, but since I can’t write poetry, I want to bring to your attention in pithy prose the Congress party’s time-worn ‘soft Hindutva’ election strategy is back in Assam. Which means that while the Congress, BJP and others in Assam want to welcome Hindus from Bangladesh, the Muslims from there are as ever the “illegal” immigrants, the terrorists, the jehadis, the infiltrators.

They want citizenship for Bangladeshi Hindus and the Bangladeshi Muslims kicked out.

As per India’s non-existent refugee policy, Hindus from Pakistan and Sikhs from Afghanistan have been getting citizenship, but so many other persecuted peoples from all over the world come to India and find it very difficult to get by and soon seek resettlement in a developed country.

This, then, is how I want to introduce Indian secularism to you.