The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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VHP hits out at quota

New Delhi, June 11: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad came down strongly on the Centre for including Muslims in the new category of Other Backward Classes entitled to reservation.

VHP secretary Surendra Jain described the move to categorise Ansaris, Idrisis, Masuris, Salmans and Nadifs as OBCs as “Muslim appeasement”.

“Apart from Hindus, in Indian history, no other community has ever been given reservation by the Constitution. This is because the oonch-neech bhav exists only among Hindus. Muslim leaders proudly claim that Islam does not allow social discrimination but they conveniently accept reservation benefits. This shows that their claim is hollow,” he said.

He took back the first part of his statement when it was pointed out that the Mandal Commission’s recommendations for OBC reservation included Muslim groupings like Ansaris and Julahas and there were Muslims in the SC/ST category as well.

However, Jain stressed they would oppose the new reservation schedule because “Muslim appeasement led to the Partition. This new policy will again sow the seeds of secession”.

The other argument he gave was that a quota for Muslims would cut into the share of Hindu OBCs and Dalits.

However, the VHP was all for reservation for the economically backward classes (EBCs) or in other words poor and needly members of the upper castes. Jain's logic was, “It is improper for wealthy members of the OBCs and SC/STs to endlessly enjoy the benefits of reservation endlessly but it is equally improper for poor and deprived members of the other castes to be denied reservation just because they are deemed as upper castes. So we have no problem if they get reservation.”

Asked to comment on the controversy inspired by the “vikas purush” and “loh purush” labels conferred on the Prime Minister and the Deputy PM by the BJP president M Venkaiah Naidu, VHP vice-president Giriraj Kishore said, “The BJP president has a habit of saying something new each time he meets the media. In Rampur he said something (about building a mosque next to the Ram temple in Ayodhya) for which we were forced to condemn. Individuals should never be discussed in public, only policies should. In the BJP there is no vikas purush or loh purush. These labels mean nothing because a purush is only a purush.”

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