A First 9 Points for the SC Mediators on the Ayodhya Issue
As negotiations begin
Editor's note: Dr Syed Zafar Mahmood is a former civil servant and was Officer on Special Duty for former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. He worked with the (Justice Rajinder) Sachar Committee to study the social, economic and educational status of India’s Muslims. At present he runs nonprofit organisations and is a recognised voice in minority circles.
Here Dr Mahmood sets the ball rolling with his nine point proposal, which he says if accepted and implemented, could persuade Muslims to agree to the construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya. This of course at this stage, remains his personal view.
The following are my nine points that should be considered seriously:
1. De-reserve the constituencies of Lok Sabha and state assemblies where the Scheduled Caste percentage is not the highest in the state. Instead, reserve those constituencies where SC percentage is the highest, as recommended by Justice Sachar Committee. Thus end the widespread violation of section 9(1)(c) of the Delimitation Act.
2. The Alternative Admission Criteria (apportioning 60% for merit + 40% for backwardness) for undergraduate level admission into all universities and colleges of India should be accepted, approved and implemented as recommended by Justice Sachar Committee.
3. To fill the posts of CEO of state waqf boards the central government should accept, approve and implement the launching of Indian Waqf Service as recommended by the Justice Sachar Committee.
4. The earlier RBI proposal of allowing the banks to have a window for interest less banking should be accepted, approved and implemented by the central government.
5. The minority character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia and all other educational institutions established by the minorities should be accepted, approved and implemented by the central government.
6 Any person who is charged of terror activity and is, after several years of multi-dimensional sufferance, is exonerated by the court as innocent should be given Rs fifty lakh as compensation by the government. Later on, this money should be at least partly deducted from the salary/pension/provident fund/retirement benefits of the officer(s) who wrongly implicated him.
7. Through a simple majority vote of parliament, amend the definition of ‘Scheduled Caste’ as given in para 3 of the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Order, 1950 and make this definition religion-neutral. That is to say, delete the conditionality of religion, as recommended by Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission.
8. Give proportionate share to Muslims in central and state council of ministers and in all nominated posts and appointments under the state & central governments.
9. Appoint Equal Opportunity Commission at the centre and in the states as recommended by Justice Sachar Committee.