By Syed Wajahat Ali
Jamia Millia Islamia University was established during the National Movement. It was under the khilafat and the non cooperation movement, such a national project got substantiated. The university was first granted the deemed status and then the ‘tag’ of central university.
In Year 1986 Jamia became a Central university by an act of Parliament and got autonomous status and Minority character too. The Muslim Minority status is also enshrined in Article 30 of the Constitution of India.
Article 30(1) states “All minorities whether based on religion or the language shall have a right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.” Article 30 is incorporated in part third of Indian constitution which is also a fundamental right.
However, in a bid to garner votes through polarization, on March 5,2018, the ruling Bharitiya Janta Party using the state institution -The Ministry of Human Resources and Development [MHRD ] in this case- filed an affidavit in the hon’ble Delhi High Court with an aim to abrogate the Minority Satus of Jamia Millia Islamia University.
Not astonioshingly, the revised affidavit filed by BJP led NDA comes a year before the general election of 2019.
In Febuary 2011 The National Commission for Minority and Educational Institution [NCMEI] passed an order declaring JMI a religious Minority Institution. The then Minister of Education Mr. Kapil Sibbal of The UPA 2 government had also endorsed Jamia as a Minority Institution.
However, UPA government didn’t provide reservation policy to Muslims especially considering the sachar Committee report. Congress party ruled India for more than 65 years but so called secular party was not able to deliver education facilities to the minority community. To expect such facilitations from the BJP led NDA would be being politically naïve.
The UPA 1 government led by the congress party appointed a Committee under Justice Rajender Sacchar to examine the socio economic condition of Muslims in India. The Sacchar Committee report recommended the then govt. to introduce affirmative action policy for Muslims . In the report Justice Sacchar the icon of social justice came to conclude that the socio economic condition of Muslims is worse than Dalits.
So the committee recommended the government to introduce affirmative action policy for Muslims in a form of reservations in education sector and government jobs. The recommendations of this report have not been implemented by two successive governments.
Instead of Implementing this report in a present scenario where the minority of the country is less enrolled in higher education the govt is trying to abolish the status of minority universities. It is because of the minority status the muslim students are able to take education at reasonable fees.
India has a progressive democracy where the government is basically for welfare of the communities which are socially and economically backward. The report represents the educational condition of Muslims.
The government is not giving reservations from a decade and now they try to abrogate the minority status of primary Muslim institutes . The minority status provide opportunities to economically backward Muslims . The percentage of Muslims in education sector is not even satisfactory.
Region University Status Average enrollment Uptake of scholarships
|South||Non-minority||Between 9% and 11% at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.||7%|
|North||Non-minority||1% to 3% at undergraduate level and professional course .||1%|
|North||Minority||40% in Jamia Millia Islmia University and 70% in Aligarh Muslim University.||50%|
Source: Indian Muslims and higher Education: A study of select universities in North and South India 2013 a comparative analysis.
According to the census of 2011,42.7 per cent,Muslims have the highest percentage of illiterates ,while Jains,at 86.4 per cent have the highest percentage of literates.
According to the data, the percentage of illiterates is 36.4 for Hindus,32.5 for Sikhs, 28.2 for Buddhists and 25.6 for Christians . The overall percentage of illiterates is 36.9 for all Communities.
The Christian community has 74.3 per cent literacy ,followed by Buddhists (71.8 per cent ),Sikhs (67.5 per cent),Hindus (63.6 per cent ) and Muslims (57.3 per cent )
Muslims comprise 14 per cent of india’s total population out of 14 per cent only 4.4 per cent of muslim population is enrolled in higher education according to the report of All India survey on higher education.
It means Muslims are less enrolled in the higher education . Muslims in India are not be able to access education because of lack of education facilities. Muslims of india are jobless and dont indulge in good professions or economic activities.
Muslims in india are lowest in higher education and they not satisfactory even in the primary education .Muslim population is also lowest in health sector. So abolishing of minority status pushes in to a position where Muslims remain illiterate and jobless The abrogation of minority status is dangerous for Muslims in todays socio-political scenario.
At last I come to conclusion that the minority status was provided To Jamia and Aligarh decades earlier, but in todays scenario as per the Sachhar committee report and miserable condition of muslims, the minority status has to strenghthen and affirmative actions policy should be introduced in non minority institutions. The debate should be based on how to strengthen the minority status of JMI and AMU not on how to abrogate it.
Education is a right not a privilege.
Education is not for vote –bank politics………