Poor, weaker and backward sections of the society is at the centre of each and every scheme/programme of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi-led NDA Government. “Ensuring happiness in eyes and prosperity in life” of every needy person is the commitment of Modi Government. Constitutional status to OCB Commission is an effective and strong mission towards fulfilling this commitment. The move to provide wide constitutional status to rights of backward classes will also ensure that a large section of Muslim community becomes a part of “journey of social justice”.
The Constitutional Amendment Bill to provide Constitutional status to OBC commission will ensure that various sections of Muslim community such as Kahar, Kewat-Mallah, Kumhar, Kunjda, Gujjar, Gaddi-Ghosi, Qureshi, Jogi, Mali, Teli, Darji, Nut, Fakir, Banjara, Badhyi, Bhatiyara, Chudidar, Momin-Julaha, Muslim Kayasth, Mansuri, Dhuniya, Rangrej, Lohar, Halwayi, Hajjam, Dhobi, Bhishti, Mochi, Raj-Mistri etc will become Constitutionally eligible to get benefits of various welfare programmes and schemes.It is after 70 years of the independence that, a government has taken this historic, visionary decision aimed at fulfilling the interests of the backward classes. This is fulfilment of the long pending demand of providing social justice to the backward classes of the society by the BJP led Central Government. This historic decision will ensure justice to all sections of the society.
During the recently concluded Budget Session, the Lok Sabha passed the Bill to grant Constitutional status to OBC commission, but it was stalled in the Rajya Sabha by the Congress, the SP, the BSP, the Trinamool Congress, the Left, the JD(U) and some other Opposition parties. They have blocked a major legislation aimed at protecting rights of the backward classes.Despite being in power for so long, the Congress did not take any concrete step towards welfare of backward classes. Despite the suggestions of Kaka Kalelkar Commission (1950) and Mandal Commission (1979), the respective Congress governments did not take any action in this direction.
With Constitutional status to National Commission for Socially and Educationally Backward Classes, it will become as powerful as National Commission for Schedule Castes and National Commission for Schedule Tribes. Till date the NCBC was a simple legal body, whose job is to advise the government regarding inclusion or removal of caste/community lists. But from now onwards, this Commission can now effectively work towards the welfare and uplift of people who come from socially and educationally backward classes. This Commission will also discharge other functions related to the protection, welfare and development of backward classes and empower them by utilizing the inherent powers of Articles 16-4 and 15-4 under the Constitution.
It is known that the OBC Parliamentary Committee made a recommendation in this regard and MPs from all parties had personally requested Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to amend the Constitution in this regard. Considering these suggestions, the BJP-led NDA Government took strong steps and was successful in bringing consensus on the issue in the Lok Sabha. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on 10th April, 2017.
But it is unfortunate that the move to empower backward classes has been opposed by the Congress, the SP, the BSP and other political parties in the Rajya Sabha. On 11th April, the 123rd Constitution Amendment Bill has been sent to a Select Committee of the Upper House. Behaviour of the Congress, the SP, the BSP and other Opposition parties in the Rajya Sabha was very unfortunate and has exposed their mind set towards backward classes.
Our Government is committed to pass the Bill which seeks to safeguard the interests of backward classes. Seriousness of the BJP towards this Bill can be gauged from the fact that our party passed a separate resolution in this regard during 15-16 April National Executive in Odisha. The BJP will hold about 100 conferences across the country to make the backward classes aware about their various rights. This will also help Muslim and other Minorities belonging to backward classes know their various constitutional rights and various welfare schemes initiated by the Modi Government.
A large number of backwards among Muslims are deprived of the benefits they should get. We want to inform and empower them about their rights. A large section of Muslims fall within OBC category but only a few castes have benefitted so far.