Meghalaya: Muslims of Garo Hills seeks 4 percent in job quota

Desi Muslims of GH asks govt for 4 pc in job quota

Meghalaya: Muslims of Garo Hills seeks 4 percent in job quota

The Anti Corruption League (ACL), based in the plain belt region of the Garo Hills, sent a letter to Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Tuesday in response to the proposal to review the Job Reservation Policy, pleading with him to involve representatives from the minority community in discussions leading up to its review. The group has also asked for a 4% share of the quota for the community.

Mastopha Kabir, the general secretary of the ACL, wrote to the chief minister Conrad K Sangma with the following request: "Therefore, very humbly and gracefully, we ask before you to fulfill the promises of the founding fathers of Meghalaya state and offer us with equal chances and access to education and government positions, etc. We kindly request that you recognize the Desi Muslims of the plain belt of the Garo Hills as members of the Other Backward Class and reserve 4 percent of seats for us (proportionate to our population) in the Meghalaya Reservation Policy, just as the governments of Assam and West Bengal have already done.

He claimed that the Supreme Court had expressly stated in its decision in the well-known Indra Sawhney & Others V. Union of India (1992) case that "Reservation being an extreme form of protective measure or affirmative action it should be confined to a minority of seats." Although the Constitution does not specify any restrictions, the idea of balancing equality mandates reservations of any kind that do not exceed 50% because the constitutional ideology opposes proportionate equality.

We are adamant that reservations are a tremendous social equalizer. We also strongly support the rights to reservation of our Garo, Khasi, Jaintia and other tribal brothers and sisters in Meghalaya, but not at the expense of meritocracy and at the expense of our own peril, he said, adding that "the current reservation system of Meghalaya not only deprived the meritorious but has also created another group of people (read the non-tribal) who are subject to injustice and widespread inequalities in the availability of and access to education, government jobs and others" he added.

It cannot be denied that non-tribal people, particularly the native "desi" Muslims of the plain belt of the Garo Hills, actively participated in the Hill State movement under the direction of Captain Williamson Sangma and other tribal leaders.

The 'desi' Muslims of Garo Hills, who have long been a part of Assam and Assamese culture, expressed their support for a distinct Hill State in the hopes that their rights and socioeconomic goals would be safeguarded and taken into consideration in the new state.

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