Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI
Kochi: The Anglo-Indian community on Friday protested the reported decision of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to end the constitutional provisions of nominating community representatives to the Lok Sabha and the state Assemblies, alleging it was "a kind of vendetta to a peace loving and religious community with reasons unknown."
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday had approved a proposal to extend reservation for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and state Assemblies for 10 years, but is learnt to have done away with a similar quota for the Anglo-Indian community.
The reservation for these categories in the Lok Sabha and Assemblies was to expire on January 25, 2020.
The Union of Anglo-Indian Associations - Kerala state, on Friday expressed its "dismay, shock and anguish" over the reported decision of the BJP government.
"The claim of Modi government for this sinister move seems to be that the community is now well off and no special rights as envisaged in the constitution need to be continued. This assumption is totally contrary to the objectives and reality," the union said in a statement here.
It said this right of the community is enshrined in the Constitution to ensure due representation in the legislatures to the microscopic minority community which cannot achieve representation through fighting elections.
"This provision was not primarily aimed at economic development but for ensuring due representation to the said community. This objective should not be lost sight of. In this context we strongly condemn the government's move," the associations said.
In Kerala, where the community is largely concentrated, officially recognised as backward class through the recommendations after thorough study by expert commissions from time to time and listed among the Other Backward Communities (OBC), it said.
"Most of the families are still lying below poverty line and most of them are homeless. In Kerala most of our community members still find it difficult to make both ends meet. Recent floods also sabotaged the dreams of many Anglo Indian people residing in the coastal areas and riverbanks," the community said.
They said Modi government's reasoning for "this sinister move" is that the community is now well off and no special support is needed, is "really untenable and highly objectionable."
"It is a kind of vendetta to a peace loving and religious community for reasons unknown. It is really unbecoming action from a popular democratic government against this micro minority depriving the constitutionally guaranteed privileges overnight. This community remains fragile in nature ever hence very vulnerable. The action is not justifiable," they said.
The union said no expert study has been carried out on the present status of the community.
The Community urged the government to "desist from this inhuman move and kindly maintain status quo and nominate" two Anglo-Indians to the Lok Sabha and Assembles under Article 331 & 333 of the Constitution.
"Our elders were in the mainstream with utmost integrity and patriotism for the nation building process since quit India movement," the union said.