Analysing the Invisible: Representation of Marginalised Muslims | Mustafa R. & Tejas B. N.
In the article Analysing the Invisible: The Constituent Assembly and Independent India’s Tryst with the Representation of Marginalized Muslims, Mustafa Rajkotwala & Tejas B. Naik discuss the plight and neglection of lower caste Muslims in India, tracing the same back to the Constituent Assembly’s failure to acknowledge the existence of caste hierarchies within Muslims. In an effort to address the resultant socio-economic marginalisation of Pasmanda Muslims, the authors draw upon the existing discourse on relevant constitutional and statutory provisions, committee reports and judicial precedents surrounding the community. Highlighting the severe political under-representation and “othering” of Muslim minorities at the hands of the political majority, the authors call for increased and proportional political reservation of Muslims in constituencies with higher Muslim populations. The authors propose a revision of the current scheme of reservation in a manner such that SC, ST and OBC reservations are made religion-neutral to extend benefits to lower caste Muslims, granting recognition to their social and educational backwardness. They alternatively propose the introduction of Pasmanda Muslim specific reservation schemes based on, as opposed to umbrella reservations under a blanket Muslim quota, in a bid to secure their educational, political and socio-economic upliftment.
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