Indian Muslims are the second largest community on religious basis (over 20% of India’s population is Muslim). Now, of course, to an outsider a Muslim is a Muslim is a Muslim. But is it true? No!, says Mohib. Here is why:
Also, Sunnis are not just Sunnis as in Sunnis versus Shias. There are at least three major groups of Sunnis in India. Deobandis, Barelvis and Ahl-e-Hadith. There is so much acrimony between them that they had to create their own Personal Law Boards. Each of these groups believes the other group to be at least at some level of kufr (disbelief), though they don’t claim it openly. In some regions, the followers of one sect do not even shake hands with the followers of other sect. They have been told that their marriage would be absolved on doing so. So much for all Sunnis as Sunnis and I have not even started the Shia versus Sunni thing.
However, the representation of the Muslims in the Indian businesses and services is miniscule compared to their population share. Here are some stats:
Muslims in Jobs:
- Indian railways: 5%
- IAS: 3%
- Foreign Services: 1.8%
- Police Services: 4%
- Judiciary: 7.8%
- Total Muslims literacy ratio – 60% (National Average = 65%)
- Female literacy = 50%
- 25% of kids between 6-14 years have either never attended school or are dropouts
Muslims below the poverty line = 31% (fractionally better than the lowest tribes and castes)
Of course, these stats group Muslims of all hues and castes into one BIG bucket. It would help if someone could do a survey and distinguish as to which sects and groups do better than the rest. My personal bet is that when such slicing and dicing is done – Shias will emerge as more prosperous and educated than the Sunnis. I do not know enough about the various sects within Sunnis to comment on which one is more progressive though.. but that will be an interesting information. At least, one can say that it might be a "best practice" for a Muslim kid to align oneself along a certain other sect vs one he/she is born in – if it is allowed.
The Problem – Its the Education, Stupid!
So, isnt the link clear here? If a quarter of your most productive young minds are NOT in school, what future hope does the community have of improving upon the 31% below poverty line stat in the next 50 years?? These minds most probably study in the rural Madrasas and will grow up as labor and will make their own kids do the same!!
This fact is also underscored by how the Muslims in different states fare.
Southern India is a different picture. Larger cultural and social movements have made education more accessible and self employment more lucrative benefiting a large number of Muslims," says historian Mahesh Rangarajan.
In Andhra Pradesh state, for example, 68% of Muslims are literate, higher than the state and national average. School enrolment rates for Muslim children are above 90% in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
So, where the Muslims do get to go for normal education (as opposed to Madrasa-centric), the stats show an altogether different color! Now, to understand the different in the attitude to education in different states – one must remember that the biggest madrasas are based out of North and Central India (basically UP). This points clearly to just one thing:
The Muslim masses are marginalized because they are poor. They are poor because they lack basic education. They lack basic education because they adopted a system of education that is very primitive and degenerative!
THAT is the real issue! NOT, the Shiv Sena. It is not as if Shiv Sena has been targeting Muslims in Bihar and not in Andhra! Its the attitude of the Muslim leadership and the parents that will change the future for their coming generation.
And the Solution is: Pseudo-secular Farce vs Reality
But what do the completely clue-less "secular" (pseudo-intellectuals at best) say? Here is a prescription from one such completely clue-less guy:
Mahesh Rangarajan says poverty and "absence of ameliorative policies" has hurt India’s Muslims most.
Absence of Ameliorative policies – whatever that means – is what he says is the reason. IS IT? All you need to do is an honest and simple analysis. In fact not even real analysis – just JOIN THE DOTS! If the Government was to dole out money to Muslims – will it help in the absence of education? Will those who aren’t educated really get it??? There is a nice saying in Hindi:
Poot sapoot to kya dhan sanchay;
aur poot kapoot to kya dhan sanchay!?
(If the son is a good one then why save money for him, and if he is a bad one even then why save money for him?)
Money doesn’t make a person rich. We all forget that money NEVER goes to the person who HAS more money. But it goes to a person who knows how to use the money! THAT knowledge is the key to riches and prosperity.
But then for a group of holier-than-thou pseudo-seculars in India the answer is always simple – find a constituency and fight for its rights to get Doles and charity at the cost of others! When will we STOP kidding and fooling ourselves? Its time the Muslims in India start asking this basic question of themselves!
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