Muslim outfits in Kerala lash out at Vellappally Natesan

Natesan said that five of nine Rajya Sabha members from Kerala were from the Muslim community, while the Hindu community had just two representatives from the state.
General secretary of SNDP Yogam, Vellappally Natesan.
General secretary of SNDP Yogam, Vellappally Natesan. (Photo | Express)

MALAPPURAM: Various Muslim organisations on Sunday lashed out at SNDP Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan for his statement that five of nine Rajya Sabha members from Kerala were from the Muslim community, while the Hindu community, which constitutes more than half of the state’s population, had just two representatives in the upper house of the Parliament.

Natesan should have considered the fact that Muslims have nominal representation in the Parliament, said Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation state vice-president Sathar Panthaloor.

“Are they ready to count Lok Sabha members from Kerala based on community? Muslim representation in the Lok Sabha is three out of 20 – around 15% representation for a community that constitutes 27% of the population. Muslims have zero representation in the Union Cabinet and nominal representation in the Parliament,” Sathar said, while also calling for support for a caste census.

“The demand is not just to address Muslims’ participation. Everyone should receive due representation, including Ezhavas and Pulayas. Democratic parties are responsible of ensuring representation of all communities. That is why all should support a caste census,” he said.

Suhaib C T, president of Solidarity Youth Movement-Kerala, the youth wing of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, accused Natesan of helping the BJP gain political mileage in the state by blaming the Muslim community for the under-representation of Ezhavas.

“If Natesan really wants to raise the representation issue, he should assess matters honestly. The departments of education, higher education, industry, and finance are handled by members of the Nair community. Why is Natesan silent on this? There should be a thorough accounting of candidates who contested and won the Kerala assembly and parliamentary elections, as well as those in the posts of vice-chancellors, pro-VCs, registrars, controllers of examinations, heads of finance, and personal staff of ministers,” Suhaib said.

“If the Muslim community has received anything disproportionate to its population, Muslim organisations in Kerala will not hesitate to give it up. The question here is whether the upper-class communities that have taken over everything in those areas are ready to relinquish their hold, and whether Natesan is ready to reveal this reality,” Suhaib said.

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