The government has taken steps to revoke an order that ‘reserves’ the 'community seats' in self-financing colleges run by minority communities, to the religious organisations.
The directive was seen as a perfect example of a mindless and extremely regressive stance of a government that favours education-business. The move to make the sub sections within a religious community a criteria for reservation is never expected from the LDF government that usually claims to be liberal minded. The order issued by the Additional Chief Secretary Department of Health, approving the shortcut method found by the Muslim and Christian managements to overcome the stringent directive of the Centre and the Supreme Court that only merit should be the criteria for the allotment of medical and dental seats, was nothing short of an insult. The statement of Health Minister justifying the move is a proof that she doesn’t know the abc of neither education nor religious outfits. There are different sub sections as well as ideological streams in both the Muslim and Christian communities. The historic and ideological backdrop of the evolution of these sects is a subject dealt by those who are concerned with the study of religion. It’s skeptical whether considering these sects as a system similar to the social discrimination in the name of caste and sub-caste much evident in the country is what prompted the Health Department to issue such a senseless order. Outfits like the Sunni, Jama’at and Mujahid represent different ideological streams. There are no loopholes at all for any secular government to intervene into this sub-structure. None of these Muslim sects have been heard demanding a reservation within the community so far. Therefore a government that asks the students to present the certificates and recommendation letters from the religious organisations or their respective mohalla, brings shame to the secular democratic system. It can’t be helped but say that the move of those concerned to create fissures within the minority community in such a way is contemptible.
If the government believes that the related communities would blindly accept this shortcut path used for favouring the ‘lords’ in the education business who had got the approval for professional colleges by drawing the ‘minority’ cards, then it’s wrong. A lot of relevant questions naturally arise in this regard. On the basis of which authentic document did they choose the religious outfits? What was the criteria while determining the ratio of reservations for the organisations? Whom did the government consult in order to gauge the power and strength of each outfit? Did the government decide not to provide admission for the children of those who neither believe in any outfit nor claim to be a member, to professional colleges? The explanation of the Health Minister that they have been following a stance of documents from revenue authorities to prove one’s community and letter from the community organisations to verify the community sub-class, is idiocy. Have the government allowed benefits to the sub-sections within the Muslim community earlier in any matter? Have anyone until now argued for it to be so? The demand of all the sections is to provide admission to the eligible candidates based on merit. The self-financing managements, which realized that they couldn’t take hefty amounts as bribes if admissions are made merely on the basis of merit, weaving tactics to ensure the business deals under the label of different religious outfits are what has come to light.
The reservations for religious organisations have been placed in self-financing medical colleges run by Muslim managements except MES. While in some institutions entire reservations are given to a particular organization, in some others, it is divided on certain percentage. The government has suggested the names of those who would have to provide the recommendation letters in each institution. Realizing that the decision to give away the right to choose the future doctors to the religious outfits was illogical and brainless and making efforts to rectify it, is praiseworthy. Article 29- 30 of the Constitution guarantees the right to establish and administer educational institutions according to one’s choice. It’s by manipulating the above right as a right to education-business that those in the field curb their desire towards money. The state government shouldn’t neglect the fact while taking necessary measures in this regard.