Updated April 24th, 2024 at 13:10 IST

National Commission for Backward Classes Opposes Blanket Reservation of Muslim Community in K'taka

NCBC has objected to Karnataka Congress govt creating Muslim sub-quota in OBC reservations, calling it discriminatory to actual OBC groups

Reported by: Digital Desk
The NCBC said the Karnataka government's blanket categorisation of Muslims as a backward caste undermines the principles of social justice | Image:PTI

Bengaluru: The Karnataka government's decision to categorise the entire Muslim community as a backward caste for reservation purposes in the state has drawn criticism from the National Commission for Backward Classes , which said such blanket categorisation undermines the principles of social justice.

According to the data submitted by the Karnataka Backward Classes Welfare Department, all castes and communities within the Muslim religion have been enlisted as socially and educationally backward classes under Category IIB in the State List of Backward Classes.

NCBC has objected to Karnataka Congress government creating Muslim sub-quota in OBC reservations | Republic

The NCBC, during a field visit last year, examined the state's reservation policy for OBCs in educational institutions and government jobs.

"All castes/communities of Muslim religion of Karnataka are being treated as socially and educationally backward classes of citizens and listed as Muslim Caste separately under Category IIB in the State List of Backward Classes for providing them reservation in admission into educational institutions and in appointments to posts and vacancies in the services of the State for the purpose of Articles 15 and 16 of the Constitution of India," the NCBC said in a statement on Monday night.


This categorisation has led to the provision of reservation benefits for 17 socially and educationally backward castes under Category I and 19 castes under Category II-A, respectively.


The NCBC said the blanket categorisation of Muslims as a backward caste undermines the principles of social justice, particularly for the marginalised Muslim castes and communities identified as socially and educationally backward.

However, the NCBC emphasised that while there are indeed underprivileged and historically marginalised sections within the Muslim community, treating the entire religion as backward overlooks the diversity and complexities within Muslim society.


"The religion-based reservation affects and works against ethics of social justice for categorically downtrodden Muslim castes/communities and identifies socially and educationally backward Muslim castes/communities under Category-I and Category II-A of State List of Backward Classes. Hence, socially and educationally backward castes/communities cannot be treated at par with an entire religion," the NCBC stated.

The NCBC also voiced concern over the impact of such reservations on the overall framework of social justice, particularly in the context of local body polls.


Speaking on the matter, NCBC Chairperson Hansraj Ahir told Republic, “This decision is impacting both Muslim and Hindu OBCs. We have observed that whether it is education or employment opportunities, this decision of the Karnataka government has impacted the actual OBC, be it Muslims or Hindus. We have demanded an answer from the Chief Secretary. Similarly in Bengal, the same has happened to the rights of actual OBCs. The Mamata government is also compromising the rights of the registered OBCs. Both the Karnataka and the Bengal government have cost OBCs opportunities.”

As per the data from the Karnataka government, all castes and communities of Muslims of Karnataka have been included in the list of OBCs for reservation in employment and educational institutions under the state government. Under category ii-b, all Muslims of Karnataka state have been considered as OBC.


While Karnataka provides 32 per cent reservation to backward classes in local body elections, including Muslims, the Commission stressed the need for a nuanced approach that accounts for the diversity within these communities.

According to the 2011 Census, Muslims constitute 12.92 per cent of the population in Karnataka.


Published April 24th, 2024 at 07:14 IST