Karnataka Inclusion: Muslims Recognized as OBCs  for Reservation in Employment and Education

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Karnataka Inclusion: Muslims Recognized as OBCs for Reservation in Employment and Education

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The National Commission for Backward Classes (NCBC) has announced a significant decision regarding the inclusion of Muslims in Karnataka’s Other Backward Classes (OBC) category for reservation benefits in both employment and educational institutions. Based on data provided by the Karnataka government, all Muslim communities across the state have been incorporated into the OBC list, as confirmed by the NCBC.

With Karnataka’s Muslim population standing at 12.92% according to the 2011 Census, the NCBC clarified that under category II-B, all Muslims in the state are now considered OBC. Furthermore, the commission delineated specific categories within this classification, with 17 Muslim communities falling under category 1 and 19 under category 2A.

Among the 17 Muslim communities designated as OBCs in category 1 are Nadaf, Pinjar, Darvesh, and Chapparband, among others. Additionally, the NCBC highlighted the growing concerns of social discrimination faced by lower-caste Muslims from their upper-class counterparts, including Syeds, Sheikhs, and Pathans, prompting protests from backward and Dalit communities.

Acknowledging this social divide, the NCBC emphasized the plight of marginalized Muslim castes like Kunjre (Raayan), Julahas (Ansari), and Dhuniya (Mansuri), who often identify themselves as part of the Pasmanda community due to discrimination. The order also underscored the complexities within the Muslim community, stating that the social divisions within it cannot be ignored.

Previously, the NCBC had criticized the blanket categorization of Muslims as a backward caste, arguing that it undermines the principles of social justice, especially for the socially and educationally backward Muslim castes and communities. This move represents a step towards recognizing and addressing the diverse socio-economic realities within Karnataka’s Muslim population.