24 Apr 2024

Karnataka: Clarification Sought by National Backward Classes Panel Over OBC Status for All Muslims

The National Commission for Backward Classes has raised concerns following revelations that all Muslim communities in Karnataka have been classified as Other Backward Classes (OBCs) for reservations in state employment and educational institutions. Hansraj Gangaram Ahir, Chairperson of the commission, has requested clarification from the state government regarding the criteria used for this categorization.

According to the commission, data provided by the Karnataka government indicates that every Muslim caste and community in the state has been included in the OBC list for reservation purposes. Specifically, under Category II-B, all Muslims residing in Karnataka are designated as OBCs.

Among the seventeen Muslim communities classified as OBCs in Category 1 are Nadaf, Pinjar, Darvesh, Chapparband, Kasab, Phulmali (Muslim), Nalaband, Kasai, Athari, Shikkaligara, Sikkaligar, Salaband, Ladaf, Thikanagar, Bajigara, Johari, and Pinjari.

Mounting protests from backward and Dalit communities

The NCBC has highlighted mounting protests from backward and Dalit communities against the social discrimination experienced by lower-caste Muslims, particularly at the hands of their upper-class counterparts, including Syeds, Sheikhs, and Pathans.

Hansraj Gangaram Ahir explained, "In Karnataka, there is a 32% reservation for OBCs, with further categorization into Category I, I(B), II(B), III(A), and III(B). Category I comprises 95 castes, including 17 Muslim castes, while Category II(B) encompasses 103 castes, including 19 Muslim castes."

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