A WhatsApp forward has been doing the rounds that has caused quite a stir on social media. The WhatsApp message claims that only Muslims have been employed by the West Bengal government for a particular post. The message has gained traction because the Trinamool government in the state has a history of engaging in morbid minority appeasement.
In the WhatsApp forward, a list has been included where it can be that 22 Muslims have been hired for the post of lab technician in a blood bank as part of a recruitment drive. All the Muslim recruits belong to the OBC-A caste which denotes non-creamy layer among OBCs. And all the recruits from this particular caste are Muslims, so goes the claim.
Upon investigating the matter further, we discovered that the WhatsApp forward speaks the truth but not the whole truth. The image in the viral message reflects only a part of the list of candidates that were shortlisted for potential recruitment by the West Bengal government. The circular notifying the recruitment in various posts shows that both Muslims and non-Muslims have been shortlisted for the posts.
Thus, the claim that only Muslims have been hired by the West Bengal government is false. Although only Muslim names can be seen in the list of candidates shortlisted for lab technician seen in the viral message, there are several non-Muslim names in the whole document where candidates have been shortlisted for various other posts like nurse, cook, and lab technicians in other locations.
Analysis of the shortlisted candidates
We analysed the names shortlisted as per the notice, and found that a total 70 people were shortlisted various posts, out of which 26 were Muslims. Which means the actual Muslim percentage among the potential recruits is 37%, although it is not 100% as claimed in the viral message, it is still significantly higher in proportion than the Muslim population in the state, which stands at 27% as per the 2011 census. And it is also rather intriguing that all the candidates shortlisted for the posts in the OBC-A category are Muslims.
The circular says that selection will be made after verifying documents and computer tests, written tests or viva voce as applicable in each category. The circular also says that it is the programme wise eligible list of candidates that has been attached with it at the end.