Dr Rakesh Sinha, Reader, Department of Political Science, University of Delhi, and the keynote speaker at the two-day seminar being held under the aegis of Bharatiya Vichar Manch, termed the report as “unconstitutional”.
“It should be rejected completely. It is on communal lines and will divide the country. It is a result of vote bank politics,” said Sinha, who has gone through the volumes of the report. He said the committee had gone beyond its brief.
“There was no transparency in the working of the committee. It has twisted facts and figures. It has even suggested delimitation of constituencies so that the Muslim population in different places can come under one constituency. This is a clear case of overreach and a precursor to the demand for religion-based reservations.”
Commenting on the functioning of the committee, he said: “The allocation of work in the committee was very lopsided. Those with secular credentials were not allocated much work and those with decidedly communal leanings were given work over and above the terms and reference.”
He further said: “The analysis of the data collected was done by incompetent hands. In fact, one member Dr Rakesh Basant, had even raised this question in an e-mail sent to the committee chairman, Justice Sachar.”
Dr Basant, a professor at IIM-Ahmedabad, could not be contacted for his comments on the remarks made by Sinha. He further demanded an inquiry to look into the functioning of the committee.
The seven-member committee was constituted by the UPA government at the Centre in March 2005. It submitted its report in November 2006.
Its main findings include the low level of literacy among Muslims, their dismal representation in Civil Services and the general poor socio-economic status.
Among other speakers at the seminar were Hemant Kumar Shah, Head of Department, Economics, H K Arts College, and Yogesh Patel, secretary, Bharatiya Vichar Manch, Ahmedabad.
On day two, retired IAS officer R K Ohri, who has filed a writ petition in the High Court seeking a stay order on the implementation of the committee recommendations, and Purujit Saiyed, an expert in legal issues, will speak at the seminar.