10 July, 2006
My dear Meira Kumarji,
I have read the report of the call on you by Shri Shakil Ahmad, with the delegation of All India United Muslim Morcha. You are said to have spoken in favour of eliminating Ďreligious referencesí from Article 341. But the Article has no such reference. It is the Constitution (Scheduled Caste) Order, 1950 which imports the religious criteria which needs to be eliminated and at least amended further. So far it has been amended to lift the bar on the Sikhs and the Neo-Buddhists. It remains to be amended to lift the bar on the Muslims and the Christians.
You should press the Government to do so, in the interest of secularism and freedom of religious conscience (Article 25).
However, this do not mean that all Muslims shall be listed as SCís. Only those sub-communities who have the some vocational affinity with the Hindu SCís and are now listed as OBCís shall be transferred to the SC List. This should be kept in mind as Dr. Ejaz Ali apparently wants all Muslim OBCís to be listed as SC. This the community will not accept.
I am sending a copy of this letter to Shri Shakil Ahmad.
With kind regards,
Smt. Meira Kumar,
Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment,
Government of India,
New Delhi - 110 001.