28/07/2013

This standard of backwardness

A new-Muslim lady of Tamil Nadu filed a petition in Madras High Court, praying that as she belonged by birth to a backward community in the State, therefore this social status of hers be maintained even after her conversion so that on its basis she might get a better government job. But the court rejected her petition, saying that this social status of hers came to an end with her conversion as there is no caste system in Islam. Pronouncing the judgement, Justice V. Ramasubramanian said, ““No person can acquire backwardness or most backwardness socially, upon conversion from one religion to another. Backwardness is determined by birth and not by conversion.” (The Hindu) The petitioner, S. Yasmine, was born in a Christian Nadar community. The Nadar community is classified as backward class in the Constitution. This lady got converted to Islam and married a Muslim.

The Constitution of India maintains it
The judgement pronounced by the Madras High Court is not new. Judgements of this sort have been pronounced for the last sixty years. Through the medium of these judgements what is in fact told is that quota or reservation in government jobs is only for those castes and communities that have been declared backward by birth in the Hindu dharma viz. the Brahmanic social system. The members of these communities can avail themselves of facilities until they remain within the fold of this system and are called Hindu. These facilities are ceased as soon as they come out of this system (Brahman social order). And the judges do not pronounce these judgements on their own; they pronounce in accordance with the Constitution of India, as the Constitution says exactly this. That is, in this case, the Constitution of the Republic of India is biased. The judges explain the Constitution. In the judgement of Madras High Court, Justice V. Ramasubramanian did explain it, saying that “if a Hindu is converted to Christianity or another religion, which does not recognise caste, the conversion amounts to a loss of the said caste.”

Before the declaration of independence
And this unconstitutional element was included in the Constitution of Independent India quite willingly. To understand this, we will have to recall the incidents that took place before the declaration of Independence in the form of communal award of British government, fast unto death of Gandhiji and Puna Pact. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, who was the leader of Dalits and backward classes, was demanding a social status for them separate from the Hindu society. Communal award was in accordance with that demand. Gandhiji made very serious protest against it. Thereafter an agreement was signed between Gandhiji and Dr. Ambedkar which is known as Puna Pact, under which Communal award was withdrawn. This was a mysterious pact, the details of which even Dalit scholars of today do not know. But it is said reservation for “backward” castes was decided during that discussion. This is why after Independence, Dr. Ambedkar was made chairman of the committee to draft the Constitution and reservation was included therein. And after Independence, when the question of Dr. Ambedkar came before Dr. Ambedkar, he adopted Buddhism. – This is a very interesting discussion; it must be studied.
01/07/2013 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf  

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