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Courts promoting fraternity by staying Sudarshan TV programme, Muslims in civil services much below their share in population

As such “Muslims make up 3.46 per cent of the country’s 8,417 IAS and IPS officers. Of 292 Muslim officers, 160 are among the 5,862 who had been selected through the Civil Services examinations conducted by the UPSC, while the remaining 132 are among 2,555 who were promoted to the IAS or IPS from the state civil services on the basis of seniority and performance, which is also assessed by the UPSC. (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslims-add-up-to-3-in-ias-ips-list/). The other data is also very revealing. In the 2019 examination, 35 out of 829 selected candidates were Muslims. That comes to 4.22%, whereas their percentage in the population of India, according to the 2011 Census, is described as 14.2%. In the 2018 examination, out of 759 successful candidates, just 2.64%, or 20, were Muslims. In the 2017 examination, out of 810 successful candidates, 41, that is 5.06%, were Muslims.

Ram Puniyani

Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan, a legal luminary and social activist, has shown the mirror to the Judiciary in a remarkable way. But that’s not the whole story. Recently two interventions of the Courts do give a hope that the judiciary is the hope for preserving the democratic values in the society. The first one of this was the judgement where the Tablighi Jamaat members were exonerated from the charges of spreading Corona (Corona Jihad, Corona bomb). The second one is the courts coming to stop the transmission of the series ‘Bindass Bol’ by Sudarshan TV. Its editor Suresh Chavanke in his tweet had announced the relay of the series which aims to expose the ‘UPSC jihad’, ‘Bureaucracy jihad’ by Muslims. As per him, through a conspiracy the Muslims are infiltrating (ghuspaith) into our bureaucracy by getting placed in the UPSC exam, which will entitle them to become IAS or IPS officers.

Mr. Chavanke through a 45-second teaser of his serial claimed that ‘Jamia Jihadis’ will be occupying the prestigious positions of power through this Jihad. Interestingly, of the 30 odd candidates who qualified in the exam, 16 were Muslims and 14 Hindus. The Jamia students approached the court for a stay on this serial, which the courts gave on the grounds that this serial is likely to spread hate in the society. A joint letter of retired Civil Servants, who have served that Indian Government in various capacities point out that they have no political affiliation, stated “It is completely perverse to allege that there is a conspiracy to infiltrate Muslim officers into the services, or to use terms like ‘UPSC Jihad’ or ‘Civil Services Jihad’ in this connection. These communal and irresponsible statements amount to hate speech and are defamatory to an entire community.”

As such “Muslims make up 3.46 per cent of the country’s 8,417 IAS and IPS officers. Of 292 Muslim officers, 160 are among the 5,862 who had been selected through the Civil Services examinations conducted by the UPSC, while the remaining 132 are among 2,555 who were promoted to the IAS or IPS from the state civil services on the basis of seniority and performance, which is also assessed by the UPSC. (https://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/muslims-add-up-to-3-in-ias-ips-list/). The other data is also very revealing. In the 2019 examination, 35 out of 829 selected candidates were Muslims. That comes to 4.22%, whereas their percentage in the population of India, according to the 2011 Census, is described as 14.2%. In the 2018 examination, out of 759 successful candidates, just 2.64%, or 20, were Muslims. In the 2017 examination, out of 810 successful candidates, 41, that is 5.06%, were Muslims.

Chavanke claims that these candidates are given the option of Arabic studies due to which they are able to compete and succeed. All in all Sudarshan TV and its chief Chavanke are on a track, where Muslims should not be in any position of power and privilege. This is what their majoritarian politics dictates them to state.

While on one hand, this sees few Muslims, much lees than their percentage in population to come to the bureaucracy, which should be operating on the principles of Indian Constitution, above the narrow considerations of religion, Chavanke and his tribe, who are in abundance, cannot see Muslims having any power and authority. The jaundiced vision of Hindu Nationalists like Chavanke are now introducing a new dimesnion to the process of national governance.

As such the percentage of Muslims in the government services is abysmally low. This average of 4% in top jobs matches with around 5-6% of Muslims in overall Government jobs. This has a lot to do with the economic and educational status of Muslims, worsened by the insecurity caused by the regular repeated violence against them, manifesting in the form of spectacular acts of violence like Bhiwandi, Jalgaon, Bhagalpur, Meerut, Maliana, Mumbai, Muzaffarnager and lately, in Delhi.

Various commissions and committees have gone into the issue of proper representation of Muslims into Government jobs. Gopal Singh Commission (1980), Rangnath Mishra Commission and lastly Sachar Committee have given the similar observations that Muslims are grossly under-represented in the jobs and their representation in jails is much higher than percentage in jobs.

Their political plight has also worsened over the years and the representation in the Parliament is on constant decline. Many of Muslim leaders have gone to the extent of saying that any way they have been marginalized at political and social level. The need for increasing focus on education has been on the agenda of many a major Muslim groups and many oversees Indian groups of Indian origin also try to promote the educational efforts of the Muslim community.

It is paradoxical that Jamia Mila Islamia, which has been targeted by Chavanke ranks among the top Universities of the country. The economic decline of the Muslim community, insecurity and ghettoisation have dealt a severe blow on the aspirations of Muslims, the Muslim youth in particular.

Saeed Mirza’s classic, Salim Langde Pe Mat ro’ (Don’t mourn the plight of Salim Langde’, brilliantly shows the dilemmas of Muslim youth in choosing the path for their future. They realize that getting jobs is so difficult for them as they are Muslims, so why bother so much about education!

With Chavanke’s efforts to introduce a new dimension in the Civil services, the process of communal divide and marginalization of Muslims will only go in the worse direction. There are photographs of him greeting Narendra Modi and Amit Shah from close quarters. The channel is close to RSS ideologically.

This coming on the back of Tablighis undertaking ‘Corona Jihad’, it is a further terrible move, which needs to be countered. Jihad seems to be the dog whistle to demonise Muslims, ‘land jihad’, ‘love jihad’, ‘bureaucracy jihad’ and what have you. Courts by staying this have done a yeomen service to the promotion of fraternity, the core value of Indian Constitution. And this example gives the hope that Indian pluralism and diversity has a chance to survive.  

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