In West Bengal Muslims should be united to float a new platform to pressurise the state government for reservation of Muslims in the State, said West Bengal Cabinet Minister of Land & Land Reforms, Mr Abdur Rezzak Molla while addressing a conference on “Why reservation necessary for Muslim in West Bengal?” at Muslim Institute Auditorium, Kolkata on April 4. Mr. Molla welcomed the name of Jamiat Ulama Hind leader Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury to lead this group.
Besides Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury and State Minister Abdur Rezzak Molla, Mr. Sukritiranjan Biswas (Republican Party), Mr. Santosh Rana (CPIML), Dr. M. Nuruzzaman (State Chairman, Trinamul Cong. Minority Cell), Dr. Raisuddin (Jamaat-e-Islami Hind), Journalist Mr. Ahmad Hasan Imran and others participated in the conference presided over by historian Dr. Surajit Dasgupta.
It was the first time in Kolkata that CPIM Minister Abdur Rezzak Molla and his party’s ‘sworn enemy’ Jamiat Ulama Hind leader Maulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury were seen sharing the stage.
A few months ago West Bengal Government declared reservation for Muslim OBC. But some question was how to find the OBC category and implementation of the plan because among the Muslims only 2% can be listed as OBC.
Siddiqullah Chowdhury demanded reservation for Muslims in all Government sectors of West Bengal according to percentage of Muslim population. He warned the West Bengal Government in the presence of their Cabinet Minister Abdur Rezzak Molla, “In West Bengal only a few Maoists thrashed the administration in certain areas of Midnapur District. They are continuing the agitation for Development of those areas. Muslims in West Bengal are nearby 30% and more than 2.5 crore. If, like Maoists, they start agitation, the State Government cannot stop them.”
Chowdhury called upon all Muslims and non-Muslims to join hands in favour of Reservation for Muslims in West Bengal. He declared that rallies would be staged all over the State to demand for Reservation of Muslims.
Maulana Siddiqullah vowed, “In the eve of Assembly election 2011 of West Bengal, the ruling Left Front Government should declare reservation for Muslims in West Bengal, otherwise Muslims will throw them out of power. He also warned the Mamata’s Trinamul Congress, “TMC should speak in favour of Muslim reservation of West Bengal. Chowdhury told the TMC to take positive stand on reservation otherwise Muslims might avoid the TMC.
Minister Abdur Rezzak Molla also voiced in favour of reservation for Muslims. But he did not speak why the State Government had not given reservation to Muslims in the last 32 years. He however realised this is high time to discuss demand of reservation for Muslims in West Bengal. Though he admitted that he is a cabinet minister as well as member of CPIM, and has certain limitations, he called upon Muslims to be united and make a common new platform for Muslim reservation. Molla assured the audience that he would support this demand; but it should be systematic.
Molla also aired his voice to annul the ST/SC reservation in six constituencies where Muslims and not the STs and SCs are in majority.
Naxal activist as well as CPIML leader, Mr. Santosh Rana also supported the demand of reservation and said that Muslims have every right to get reservation because they are the most backward community in West Best. In view of backwardness every community should get reservation as per its population.
Republican Party leader, Mr Sukriti Ranjan Biswas said reservation for Muslims is justified and proportional reservation for the whole Muslims should be declared immediately.
Trinamul Congress leader and Chairman of West Bengal Trinamul Congress Minority Cell, Dr. M. Nuruzzaman said Communist Left Front should follow the history made in Kerala; how they paved the way for reservation for the whole Muslim community.
He recalled his father and Muslim League MLA, Late Hasanuzzaman, who had first demanded reservation for Muslims in West Bengal when he was in Ministry in 1970s.
Ahmed Hasan Imran, Editor Bengali newspaper Kalom, said, besides the demand of reservation for Muslims we should make a movement against the anti-Muslim policies of West Bengal Government. For example, he said the Government of West Bengal is trying to stop Islamic learning in the Hooghly Madrasa and is hell bent upon closing this historical educational institution of Muslims. Citing another example of anti-Muslim policy in the State, he said the State Government established Alia University but this University now teaches Automobile, Handicraft courses. Imran wanted it to be stopped immediately.
Speaking from the presidential chair, Dr. Surajit Dasgupta said Muslims should build up political power. If Muslims succeed in building up political power then they can overcome their backwardness.