Petition filed to NCM for blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim job seeker - Alternative Media Forum


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Petition filed to NCM for blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim job seeker

Mumbai, (web team): Human right activist Shehzad Poonawalla has filed a petition to National Commission of Minority as well as Maharashtra Chief Minister. It is reported that the blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim job seeker Zeeshan Ali Khan on illegal religious ground by a Mumbai based company Hare Krishna Exports Pvt.Ltd.

The petition also forwarded to Ministry of Home Affair, Government of India.

The Full petition is attached here :

To draw your urgent attention to the alleged blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim job seeker Zeeshan Ali Khan on illegal religious ground by a Mumbai based company Hare Krishna Exports Pvt.Ltd.

The National Commission for Minorities,
Loknayak Bhawan, Khan Market,
New Delhi - 110003

dated: 21st May 2015

CC: Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India
Chief Minister of Maharashtra

Subject: To draw your urgent attention to the blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim job seeker Zeeshan Ali Khan on illegal religious ground by a Mumbai based company Hare Krishna Exports Pvt.Ltd.

Respected Sir,

1) I would like to draw the attention of the NCM to a blatant case of discrimination against a Muslim Job Seeker Zeeshan Ali Khan by a Mumbai based company Hare Krishna Exports Pvt.Ltd. From the facts of the case it is evident that Zeeshan Ali Khan was being refused even consideration for a job in the marketing field by the said company despite his resume and qualifications, only because he is a MUSLIM.

( Said Company is a large diamond conglomerate headquartered in Mumbai. Website )

2) The email exchange below from Zeeshan Ali Khan's email between Ms.Dipika Tike (Human Resources at said company) and Zeeshan Ali Khan is being provided as proof.
It clearly shows the Human Resources of the said company declaring that it is the policy of the company "to hire only Non-Muslim candidates."

Please see screenshot of email exchange below

3) Further corroborating evidence is also being provided in the form of a facebook post by the Marketing Executive of the said Hare Krishna Exports Pvt Ltd. company ( who has confirmed and accepted that this discriminatory response was sent to the Muslim candidate by the Human Resources team. He has tried to wash off the hands of the company by suggesting that it was a "mere error done by a newly joined HR trainee and that the company employees many minority members as employees. "

Please see screen shots below.

4) Further, the same incident of discrimination has been confirmed and corroborated by independent journalists and activists. Mr.Zeeshan Ali Khan has sent a written email acknowledging that he was discriminated against by the said company on grounds of religion. Please take a look at email exchange and screen shot evidencing the same.

5) This incident is a blatant violation of the spirit of the Constitution that mandates equality and absence of religious discrimination through Articles 14 and Article 25. Although the said articles apply to State/Public Authorities, it is incumbent on the Central and State government to prevent public and private entities from violating the Constitution and promote religious discrimination, hatred and intolerance. It is a blatant violation of several penal provisions of the Indian Penal Code 1860 that prohibit religious based discrimination, hatred, intolerance and stereotyping including sections 153B, 295A and 505(2) .

6) In November 2013 the NCM acting on my complaint had proactively taken up the matter of discrimination in housing against Muslim minorities brought forth by my complaint in the "99acres case " in Mumbai. Here is the Press Release issued by the NCM and news reports of the same.

Press Release by NCM release/press release_option2.pdf

News Report

7) A precedent of intervention by NCM in such cases of discrimination has been set by the previous case. The NCM is statutorily mandated to protect the rights of the minority. The Sachar Committee report has in great detail brought out the discrimination against Minority Muslims on a number of socio-economic parameters including jobs, in the private and public sector, housing, etc. A report by Al Jazeera had brought out how Muslims had to take up Hindu names to get jobs
An IIM-A study titled ‘Education and Employment among Muslims in India’ by Prof Rakesh Basant revealed that Muslims perceived lowest fairness in five core areas of social prestige, economics, education, employment and politic. There is a clear indication of segregation, deprivation, discrimination and apartheid prevailing in India against Muslim minorities. It is most pronounced when it comes to the issue of jobs and housing.

8) This case obligates the NCM to intervene legally and morally to check such practices. In the past 12 months there has been an increase in the number of cases of hate speech, discrimination against the minorities and the feeling of insecurity is constantly rising. This complainant has brought forward over 15complaints to the NCM against various entities for hate speech and discrimination. The NCM, based on my complaints has issued a resolution condemning hate speech and even wrote to the Ministry of Home Affairs against three cases of BJP leaders spreading communal hate including Yogi Adityanath, Usha Thakur and Sakshi Maharaj .My latest complaint on Sanjay Raut, MP from Shiv Sena calling for disenfranchisement of Muslims has also been taken up by the NCM appropriately with the authorities.

In light of all this it is humbly prayed:

A) Direct an independent investigation into the said incident and ascertain whether the said company has such a discriminatory and illegal policy against one religious community in violation of the Constitution.

B) Kindly issue notice and seek a response from the State government of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Labour, Government of India on the said incident and thereafter direct appropriate legal and penal action against those found guilty including officials of the Company for having such a discriminatory policy.

C) Direct the Central Government to call for a meeting of all stake-holders including state governments, police, activists, Home Ministry and Labour Ministry to issue strict legislative and statutory guidelines against hate speech, stereotyping and discrimination of minorities in areas of employment, housing, practice of religious freedoms, etc

Shehzad Poonawalla,
Policy Samvad

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