Marginalization of Muslim Minority in India

Posted on December 29, 2006

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Source: Articles from the Deccan Times and with help from Asghar in reviewing the report.

The highly-anticipated report of the Justice Rajinder Sachar Committee on the status of minorities in India was submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and was tabled in Parliament during the Winter Session.

According to this report tabled on November 30, 2006, the document strongly criticises both political parties in India and the community leaders for the shockingly poor development indices for Muslims, and has recommended “affirmative action”. The complete Sachar Report (12-13 megabytes in length) can be downloaded by clicking here, and contains several chapters along with a set of recommendations for the government on how to take steps for the benefit of the minority communities.  A concise summary of the Sachar Report in Powerpoint format can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Muslim population of India was 140 million or 15 per cent in 2001, but faces  tremendous deprivation, discrimination and exclusion.  Here are some statistics from the Sachar Report:

  • In rural areas: 94.9% of Muslims living below poverty line fail to receive free food grain.
  • Only 3.2% of Muslims get subsidized loans.
  • Only 2.1% of Muslim farmers have tractors, while just 1% own hand pumps.
  • 54.6% of Muslims in villages and 60% in urban areas have never been to schools. In rural areas, only 0.8% of Muslims are graduates, while in urban areas despite 40% of the Muslims receiving modern education only 3.1% are graduates. Only 1.2% of Muslims are post-graduates in urban areas.
  • While West Bengal has 25% Muslim population, only 4.2% are employed in state services. In Assam, with a 40% Muslim population, only 11.2% are in government employment. Kerala has 20% Muslims, but only 10.4% of government employees are Muslim.
  • In Karnataka, where the Muslim population is 12.2%, 8.5% are employed in government services. While in Gujarat, of the 9.1% Muslim population, 5.4% are in state jobs; in Tamil Nadu, against a 5.6% Muslim population, 3.2% are employed in government.
  • Though West Bengal is known as a political bastion of the left bloc, the ones who have always spoken strongly against parties entertaining communal bias, the state has zero% Muslims in state PSUs. While Kerala has 9.5% in state PSUs, Maharashtra has only 1.9%.
  • Though the Sachar committee was not able to secure data regarding the presence of Muslims in the armed forces, it is fairly well-known that their percentage here is not more than three.
  • Muslims form only 10.6% of the population in Maharashtra, but 32.4% of the prison inmates here are Muslims. In New Delhi, 27.9 % of inmates are Muslims, though they form only 11.7% of the population here. While in Gujarat, Muslims form 25.1% of the ones imprisoned, they form 9.1% of the population. In Karnataka, Muslims form 12.23% of populace and 17.5% of those imprisoned.

At the same time, the report rejects the following myths about Muslims in India:

  1. Muslims shun modern education and flock to madrasas (only four per cent do so);
  2. They are averse to family planning (fertility rates are in decline); and
  3. Demographically they will before long flood the rest of the population.

The report finds that two factors characterize the Muslim problem — educational backwardness and socio-administrative mindsets.  Education allows equality of opportunity, with schooling as the foundation. Access, retention, quality (of teaching, textbooks and infrastructure), and instruction in the mother tongue, Urdu, matter. Based on this, vocational, higher and professional education will follow. But to accomplish the first step satisfactorily, the Sachar Committee recommends, as for other matters, that the 58 districts of Muslim concentration be targeted. Simultaneously, madrasas should be enabled to modernise and issue recognised certificates so that their alumni can be mainstreamed into higher education, with special attention be paid to girls’ education, and the need for more female teachers, scholarships and hostels as a necessary capability.

Muslim comparative statistics of employment are shocking, whether in government, PSUs or the corporate and private sectors. Muslim job ratios are a quarter or less of their population. The report does not agree that this is due to lower educational attainments. Because of their relative absence in the administrative, police and security services, in the judiciary, corporate world, professions and public life, especially at local body levels of democratic participation and decision making — Muslims are reluctant to compete and do not come forward in sufficient numbers. The committee, however, found out that several constituencies of Muslim concentration are reserved for Scheduled Castes when other constituencies would better qualify.

The Muslim community believes that it is discriminated against. In several areas, discrimination clearly takes place with respect to access to social infrastructure (health, water supply and sanitation, transport and communications and bank finance). Muslims are not able to rent accommodation in cosmopolitan areas or buildings, leading to their ghettoisation.

The committee is of the view that the process of promoting inclusive development and mainstreaming would be greatly assisted by a constantly updated National Data Bank and the establishment of appropriate fast-track mechanisms to ensure equal opportunities. Affirmative action could be furthered by reference to a suitably constructed diversity index. Entities earning high diversity ratings could be eligible for various incentives on a sliding scale.

The Muslim condition in India is not uniformly bad. By and large the southern states are in better shape while the situation in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam is problematic.

Note from Rafik Beekun: It is unfortunate to note that as of December 29, 2006, the BJP party India is actively opposing Prime Minister Singh’s plan to redirect resources so as to help improve the sad condition of Muslims in India. For more about the long-term anti-Muslim agenda of organizations like the BJP, please click here. Rakesh Sharma is the extraordinarily courageous hindu producer of the documentary movie “Final Solution” about the politics of hate in India. This film was banned from India by the Censor Board for several months, and won Best Documentary and Critic’s Choice at the Hong Kong International Film Festival, as well as the Wolfgang Staudte Award, and  Special Jury Award at the Berlin International Film Festival. A clip from this documentary shows the sinister anti-Muslim and anti-Christian global agenda of the BJP being openly declared by one of the top BJP leaders, and can be seen below:

Please click here to read an impassioned editorial in the Deccan Times entitled “Dignity of An Individual” about the marginalization of the Muslims in India.  The following editorial article about the potential politicization of the Sachar Report can also be read by clicking here.

To see a video about the results of the campaign of violence and repression against Muslims in India, please click here. The marginalization of Muslims in India, and its economic, political and social boycott have been systematically advocated by extremist political parties in India like the BJP, and the results of such exclusion have been murder, rape and destruction. As an example of such a deliberate campaign against Indian Muslims, please view the following videos of the Genocide in Gujarat:
1. Interviews of victims:

2. Genocide in Gujarat (Part 1 of 2):

3. Genocide in Gujarat (Part 2 of 2):

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