Ulemas threaten agitation if Maha Muslims denied 5% quota

Pune (Maharashtra), Nov 25 : The All India Ulema Board (AIUB) on Saturday warned of an agitation if the Muslim community in Maharashtra is denied the promised 5 per cent quota in education by the state government.

The AIUB demand came in the midst of the ongoing reservation agitations raging across the state by the Marathas for quotas, Dhangars seeking to change classification from NT(C) to ST, and OBCs wanting to protect their existing quotas.

Besides the quotas, the convention also demanded the introduction of Arabic language teaching in all Urdu medium schools in the state.

AIUB’s Wakf wing chief Saleem Sarang said that all these issues were discussed in detail at the convention and a formal plea will be made to the government to concede the demands.

With Lok Sabha and Assembly elections scheduled in 2024, he issued a veiled warning that if the Muslim community cannot ensure the win of a particular candidate in elections, they can definitely spell defeat for anyone and so, “the time has come to stop ignoring their demands and take them very seriously”.

He rued that despite the courts approving 5 per cent reservation for Muslims in the academic sphere, no government in the state appears keen to implement it.

Earlier, Maharashtra Congress leaders like M. Arif Naseem Khan and Hussain Dalwai, Samajwadi Party chief Abu Asim Azmi and other minority leaders too had raised the issue of Muslim quotas on several occasions.

On the demand for including Arabic in the Urdu school syllabus, Sarang pointed out that many people secure jobs in the Gulf countries and knowledge of the local language improves their chances to get good employment.

He also referred to the campaigns against ‘madrasas’, and said that children there learn many things, including Arabic language, and now it must be implemented by the state government in Urdu medium schools.

Sarang said that they have sought appointments with Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, Minority Affairs Minister and other top government officials to press their demands.