Why in news?
The oldest Muslim organisation in the country, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, has become the first Muslim body to accept caste-based Pasmanda Muslim identity of community members.
- The Jamiat has moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Centre to grant the Scheduled Caste status to Dalit Muslims to help them avail get reservation in government jobs and admission to educational institutions.
- Dalit Muslims were not included in the Scheduled Caste category under the 1950 Presidential Order on the assumption that Islam stood for a casteless society.
- Caste-based benefits were extended to Dalit Sikhs, though Sikhism does not have a caste hierarchy.
- The Jamiat contends that nearly half of Dalit Muslims in urban India are below the poverty line and deserve reservation to improve their economic and educational condition.
About Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind
- It is one of the leading organizations of Islamic scholars belonging to the Deobandi school of thought in India.
- Founders: Abdul Bari Firangi Mahali, Kifayatullah Dehlawi, Muhammad Ibrahim Mir Sialkoti and Sanaullah Amritsari.
- The Jamiat was an active participant in the Khilafat Movement in collaboration with the Indian National Congress and also opposed the partition of India, taking the position of composite nationalism during Quit India movement
- Earliest principles and constitution of the Jamiat : Kifayatullah Dehlawi.
- It issued a religious edict, called Fatwa Tark-e-Mawalat, boycotting British good
About Pasmanda Muslim identity
- ‘Pasmanda’, a Persian term meaning “those who have fallen behind,” refers to Muslims belonging to the shudra (backward) and ati-shudra (Dalit) castes.
It was adopted as an oppositional identity to that of the dominant ashraf Muslims (forward castes) in 1998 by the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz, a group which mainly worked in Bihar. Since then, however, the pasmanda discourse has found resonance elsewhere too.