Ranganath report was altered, says former member secretary

via Pioneer News service | New Delhi published on March 28, 2010

The member secretary of Ranganath Mishra Commission and former secretary for Social Justice and Empowerment Asha Das has alleged that the members of the Commission carried out alteration in some of the chapters without her information.

Speaking at the India Policy Foundation on ‘ Ramification of Ranganath Mishra Commission report ’ in Delhi, she said that that original draft of the report was replaced by an alternative draft of the report in a meeting of the Commission which was not attended by her.

Das had also given a 13-page dissent note in the report that suggested reservation for Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims. She defended her right to give a dissent note and stated that the opposition of dissent note by members was both unethical and illegal. “There were umpteen instances where member secretaries had given dissent notes,” said Das.

She said that the inclusion of Buddhists and Sikhs in the Scheduled Castes Presidential order 1950 was a mistake and argued that this did not give authority to commit another mistake by including so-called Dalit Christians and Dalit Muslims.

She further said that the memorandums and suggestions which the Commission had received on behalf of the Muslims and Christians categorically denied there was caste system or untouchability among them. “In that case what was the basis for members of the Commission to assume that untouchability prevailed among Muslims and Christians?” she asked.

Chief Guest Arif Mohammad Khan said that the Ranganath Mishra Commission report should be rejected outright since it made religion the basis for reservations. “It would divide the country and take it to days of Lucknow Pact (1916) when similar mistake was committed,” he said.

He stated that all kinds of separatism should be opposed tooth and nail. Anything which increases the community consciousness should be opposed, he said. However, he disagreed with Das that there was no caste system and untouchability among Indian Muslims. He said that Muslims need state intervention on their social issues for which he stood always.

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