New Age Islam
Mon Apr 12 2021, 07:17 PM

Current Affairs ( 2 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

On Minority Status for Jamia and how to implement the reservation of seats


By Neshat Quaiser

A letter to Jamia Teachers’ Association and the members of the teaching community of the Jamia

Dear Colleagues,

With the granting of Minority Status to Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institutions on 22nd February, 2011, a great deal of debate has commenced. The immediate reaction has predominantly been two-fold:

First reaction is that of celebration – to be happy is natural but to be jubilant and an immature display of such jubilation would be self-defeating creating misplaced self-image. Such a celebration would also conceal state’s technologies of manipulation. It should be seen as a part of on-going struggle.  

Second reaction is that of a forced justification of minority status to public in an apologetic manner. This second reaction has far reaching implication. Some of the people from Jamia are out there to assure both ‘secularist’ (of certain type) and communal people that Jamia would remain ‘secular’ and ‘national’ as it has been and that its minority status will not change its character. This reaction is the result of certain real and perceived apprehensions expressed by both ‘secularist’ and communalist quarters that the minority status would result in:

A new process of Islamisation, which would strengthen the fundamentalist forces within the University;

Ghettoisation of Muslims; and

That with the minority status, University’s students will be branded and its degree would be suspect and downgraded.

These are highly loaded rhetoric, which have already generated enough debate and there is a need to respond to these with necessary amount of maturity with an informed sense of history. In our opinion there is no need to be apologetic – minority status is very much democratic, constitutional, progressive, secular and realistic. And it is done within the constitutional provision.  

How to manage the 50% reservation:

Having briefly outlined the central issues on minority status, I would now like to draw your kind attention to the most important issue of the actual implementation of the 50% reservation for the Muslim students.

It is important for all of us to display a historically informed mature response to this issue at this juncture when a churning is taking place among Muslims on various taken for granted matters. And all of you being intellectually highly informed I need not go into what these issues are on which churning and re-thinking are taking place.

Thus, I would like to submit for your kind consideration the following:

It is suggested that the 50% reservation for Muslim students should be implemented on the following pattern:







Male - Female




Physically Handicapped


General - Male - Female

Northeast Students


General - Male - Female



Male - Female


It is further suggested that for the purpose of admission of the remaining 50% priority should be given to the students in a preferential pattern keeping in mind the following criteria: OBC; regional backwardness; economic backwardness.

This is a general suggestion – this can further be worked out.

 Neshat Quaiser (Dr.)

Department of Sociology,

Jamia Millia Islamia,

New Delhi