Chennai: Muslims in Tamil Nadu who have converted from other religions have lamented that they are not considered for reservation in government jobs by the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC).
The community leaders said that they are put in the ‘Others’ category which is a general quota for government jobs according to the TNPSC.
Converted Christians are considered as belonging to the Backward Classes even if they were Scheduled Castes before conversion.
M.H. Jawahirullah, MLA and member of the Manithaneeya Makkal Katchi had brought the matter before the attention of the Tamil Nadu Finance Minister Palanivel Thiagarajan. A former judge of the Madras High Court, Justice (Rtd) G.M. Akbar Ali has also requested the state finance minister, who also holds the portfolio of Human Resources Management, to rectify the anomaly.
The former judge while speaking to IANS said: “The anomaly must be rectified. The persons who have converted to Islam must be able to register themselves as Backward Class Muslims and we are continuously monitoring the situation but nothing is happening at the ground level.”
He said that those who take the option of ‘Converted Muslim’ gets a pop-up message citing an order of the government that they would be considered as ‘Others'(The open category). The former judge said that there was no such demarcation for converted Christians.
Justice (Rtd) Akbar Ali said that there were several rulings and judgments that covered the status of converted Muslims and cited the example of Aariffa vs Secretary to Government of India. He said that it was clear that there was no change of caste or class by marriage. The retired high court judge said that the Forward Caste would remain Forward Caste and would not become BC, MBC, or SC. The BC would remain BC and would not become MBC or SC and an MBC would remain an MBC and not SC.
He said that with the conditions as such those who convert from BC, MBC, and SC to Muslim must be considered under that reservation instead of the present’ Others’ category for all converted Muslims. He also said that this was not applicable to Christians.
Finance Minister Thiagarajan told the media in Chennai on Monday said that the TNPSC was an autonomous body and that he had referred the matter to the TNPSC. The minister said that he was waiting for the reply from the TNPSC and after that would resolve the matter. He also said that the matter will be taken up before Chief Minister Stalin once he comes back from his UAE trip.