Recently, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) organized a panel discussion on India’s Reservation Policy on January 21, 2016 to brainstorm key principles underpinning India’s reservation policy. Dr. Surjit Bhalla, Chairman, Oxus Research and Investment, argued that it is essential to distinguish affirmative action from quotas and stated that, while affirmative action is absolutely necessary, quotas are not the correct system. Pointing out many statistics, he argued that OBCs should absolutely not get quotas and that Muslims are the community that has been hurt the most by this policy. He argued for economic based, rather than caste based, reservation. He also argued that quotas are an anti-merit system.

It is important to mention that that identity, security, education, empowerment and a fair share in decision-making are the key issues Muslims are facing in India. As middle-class Muslims find it increasingly difficult to secure housing, jobs and school admissions, they are attempting to find their own solutions either by investing in all Muslim apartment towers, setting up their own schools or encouraging entrepreneurship. In a nutshell, Indian Muslims live in suffering. . Usually, the qualification demanded is that to show himself as patriotic. In India, this is a term which comes out of the negative sentiment. To be a patriotic Indian, one is not required to be taxpaying, law-abiding, well-meaning or philanthropic. Patriotism is demonstrated through hating a particular country.

AFIA AMBREEN,

Rawalpindi, March 14.