Pro-Muslim bias of UPSC and Zakat foundation should be focus of discussion, not Suresh Chavhanke

On a petition filed by students and alumni of Jamia Millia Islamiya University, Delhi High court on 28th of August  stopped the broadcast of a programme by Sudarshan TV. According to the channel, the programme was to expose a “conspiracy to infiltrate Muslims in government service”.  The promo of this programme had drawn the ire of Bharat’s liberals and Suresh Chavhanke, the Editor-in-Chief of Sudarshan TV was publicly called out for being a bigot who fanned hatred against Muslims, specially against students of Jamia.

In the promo, Chavhanke had referred to the danger of “Jamia ke Jihadis” becoming collectors and secretaries in ministries. Crude as his language may be, the issue of pro-Muslim bias in UPSC Civil Services exam needs to be examined thoroughly.

UPSC bias in favor of Muslim : real or imagined?

There has been much debate on whether there is a bias in favour of Muslims within UPSC selection process and arguments from both sides need to be examined fairly to arrive at a definite conclusion.

Many people have said that higher selection of Muslims has to do with them taking subjects like “Islamic studies” and “Arabic”, which only Muslims take. Further only Muslims check the copies of these subjects and hence are generous in marks. The fact is that there are no such subjects in UPSC Civil Services examination.

However, it is true than Urdu literature does have a more selection ratio than most other optional subjects. It is also true that it is taken mostly taken by Muslims and an overwhelming majority of copy checkers, if not all, are likely to be Muslims.

Zakat foundation, Kalim Siddiqi and Nai Udan

People have crunched data to show a definite preference given to Muslims in the selection process also at the interview stage. Sanjeev Newar, who works in the field of data science, revealed the results on twitter last year. According to his analysis, on average, selected Muslim aspirants get significantly more marks in Interview than selected Hindu aspirants.

As a certain religious group is not likely to be better at interview, it means that there is an element of bias in favour of Muslims. This is by no means a recent phenomenon and has been known since long. In fact, Hindu Post had covered this bias in favour of Muslims at inerview stage in 2017.

This is a government sanctioned and govt perpetuated bias in favour of minorities too. Nai Udan scheme by the government provides financial assistance of Rs. 1 lakh to students of minority community, whose family income is below Rs. 4.5 lakh. It is provided to those eligible students who have cleared preliminary examinations. A brain child of Minority Affairs Minister, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, this scheme helped 22 students to clear UPSC Civil Services exam in year 2019. Of these 22 candidates, 12 were Muslims. No such assistance is provided by central government to poor students of other communities.

Zakat Foundation and what is it trying to do?

Of course to reach the stage of Main exam or interview, you need to be quite good with studies and you need excellent guidance. Many Muslim organisations do provide for such guidance to Muslim students. To be fair, even RSS runs hostels, coaching and interview preparation classes for Civil Services through an organisation named as Samkalp. Indeed, most of the selected candidates, of all religions, have actually attended the high quality mock interviews conducted by Samkalp.

The problem is when the organisation’s credentials itself are in doubt. Zakat foundation has links with fugitive Islamist criminal Zakir Naik and other foreign Islamist organisations. Hindu Post had posted a story on the same recently. Indeed, Shah Faesal, the topper of Civil Services Exam, 2009 studied at the Zakat Foundation. It is to be remembered that he had topped the exam after he got extraordinarily high marks in interview. Prakash Rajpurohit, rank 2 in that year was actually much head of Faesal in written exam, but got 60 marks less than Faesal in the interview!

The ideology of the people running Zakat foundation is to create a Muslim country in Bharat. Sanjeev Newar recently exposed the same after he posted video interview of Kalim Siddiqi, who is the member of its highest authority, Shariah Advisory Council. In the interview, Siddiqi repeatedly demeans Hindu Dharma and called its followers ‘jahannami‘ or hell-bound. He discusses how he converts Hindus and how Muslims should convert Hindus after gaining their confidence. The videos can be seen below:-

Their ideology is also evidenced by their idols. On their website, Zakat Foundation has a picture of Nawab Mohsin ul Mulk, who had topped the Civil Services Exam of 1867. Clearly, he is an inspiration for Zakat foundation and it may want its residents to be inspired by him. However, it must be remembered that Mohsin Ul Mulk was also the founder of Muslim League, the party responsible for partition of Bharat.

Zakat foundation

After their activities were exposed on social media, Zakat Foundation started deleting evidence from their websites. Social media user Ajaey Sharma, who goes by the handle @ajaeys on Twitter, exposed the same in another thread:-

It must be remembered that Zakat Foundation is not to be confused with the Jamia Millia Islamia run residential coaching programme. Jamia’s programme has 50% reservation for Muslims, despite it being a Central University. This year 30 candidates have been selected from Jamia, and out of that 16 are Muslims.

Selective amnesia of liberals

Liberals of Bharat declared that they have a problem with the counting of Muslim in services. Many officers and ex-officers, known to be sympathetic to Hindutva, were also seen taking this line. However, it must be remembered that there is qualitatively no difference between Suresh Chavhanke counting Muslims in services and questioning the bias and say a Shekhar Gupta, Jyoti Yadav or Dilip Mandal counting upper caste in list of hutatma soldiers, cricketers or professors.

The Muslim bashing of Suresh Chavhanke is no match to that the Brahmin bashing that happens routinely in liberal publications. Day after day, Brahmins are declared responsible for all the problems of Bharat and any effort to counter these falsehoods is classified as attack on freedom of speech.

The silencing of Sudarshan TV does not strike the liberals as curtailing the freedom of speech. Indeed, in recent times, led by a certain British ‘historian’, liberals deplatformed a book by three Hindu women on the Delhi riots. This was when the same publication published the other side of the story too. Clearly, their freedom of expression is only for certain people on a certain side of ideological spectrum.

Conclusion

It is true that not all Muslim officers are Jihadis. Hopefully, there are multiple Syed Akbaruddins In their ranks, who  put interests of Bharat over everything else. However, there certainly are many Shah Faesals too, who have time and again shown ulterior motives.

The bias for Muslims has been explained by many as good, as it might ensure their representation in services at par with their share in population. However, the element of merit is overloooked in this argument. Minorities, like Sikhs and Jains, who tend to do better in respect of their population also have high percent of highly educated people. So rather than percent of population, the analysis should be done based on percent of educated population.

Civil services remain the iron frame of Bharatiya administration. The officers recruited enjoy immense power for more than next three decades of their life. Any irregularities in process of recruitment for civil services can have far reaching consequences. The government should investigate into these claims of bias and take appropriate steps to remedy the situation.


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About the Author

Pawan Pandey
Pawan Pandey is an Educator based in Dehradun, currently working as Senior Staff Writer with HinduPost. He is an Engineer by training and a teacher by passion. He teaches for Civil Service Exams as well as for Common Law Admission Test. He has deep interest in politics, economy, culture and all things Bharatiya. He fancies himself to be a loving husband and doting father. His weakness is Bharatiya food, particularly sweets. His hobbies include reading, writing and listening to Bharatiya music.