Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Prejudice against muslims in public institutions

This news item sheds light on a major issue.That of anti- muslim prejudice which exists in Indian public institutions.Some would suggest that this is a one off case.There is substantial difference in the perception of this issue.Most non muslims tend to downplay it while within muslim circles it is considered a major issue.A prominent Muslim businessman has said (off the record) that if it were'nt for corruption and political connections it would be even more difficult for muslims to do any business due to the communalism and prejudice of the lower bureaucracy and administration.
Admittedly this prejudice has grown due to recent acts of terrorism. Earlier the jan sanghis and assorted rightwing Congressis made life difficult for muslims.They used to go after muslims for revenge against historical Muslim invasions and the partition of India.Now minority appeasement and terrorism are the reasons cited.Some of the prejudice is also due to class bias as there is a huge underclass of muslims. Other reasons cited are treatment of minorities in Pakistan,bangladesh and Saudi Arabia or the ethnic cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits.
All this talk about muslim appeasement by the rightwing obscures the very real fact that muslims are economically and socially backward.
See for example a recent survey here
A recent article in the Guardian makes the same point.
Some of this backwardness is self inflicted by the lack of interest of many muslim parents in the education of thier children. So what do we do ? Some muslim intellectuals like former IAS Officer Saiyad Hamid have suggested reservation of muslims in government jobs .The AP government had promised reservation but it was struck down by the AP High Court.However public opinion seems to be strongly against reservation so I don't think this will happen.

Tags
India Muslims

7 comments:

Diganta said...

I have already read the survey you have pointd to. Let me tell you, the survey has a falacy. It does not compare the condition of Muslims in India in 2006 vis-a-vis 2006. I bet there is a significant improvement of their social and economic status. A lot is yet to be done. Ultimately, a state cannot assure to change the mentality of whole population within 50 years. The communal faultline in the subcontinent is been created and nourished for 500 years. It will take at least 50 more years to go. Thank God, I think we are in a positive direction.
"Some of this backwardness is self inflicted by the lack of interest of many muslim parents in the education of thier children." - I don't agree to you.

Diganta said...

However, the question of loyalty of Indian Muslims is often questioned - that is what hurts an Indian the most.

yaku23 said...

well, the loyaly of muslims being questioned is just a sorry state of things.
however, i have seen with my own two eyes and ears, a muslim community in one part of south mumbai cheering for pakistan during the 1999 world cup match between IND-Pak.
as a muslim it shocked me but it also opened my eyes to a different side of the coin which we muslims often try to ignore or hide or not acknowledge.

libertarian said...

yaku23: as an Indian first and everything else after, I would still defend the right of an Indian to cheer for Pakistan. It's in poor taste - and there's a definite price to pay (having to prove your national credentials when others are not required to do so) - but some people obviously deem it a fair bargain. End of the day people vote with their feet - I don't see a stampede of muslims (or anyone else) towards Pakistan. I'd bet that the majority of the Pakistan-cheerers would still pick India every day if confronted with a stark choice.

Diganta said...

How do you choose to defend rights to Muslims to support Pakistan? If it is of their personal 'choice' - I should tell you about Danish Cartoonist who expressed his 'choice' about PBUH. The bottomline should be - you can't hurt others' sentiment while expressing your view.

Now, tell me how do you defend your view given that supporting Pakistan hurts majority of Indians ...

ALI said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rahul said...

with all due respect, this victim mentality is fucking dumb.....muslims have as much rights in India. There is a system of modern education, english medium education, competition etc. that most Indian middle classes are following to improve their lot. If you follow that, no one can stop u from moving ahead in India....

yes, a lot of prejudices still exists privately and come out publicly in ugly incidents, however, not enough to discriminate against deserving candidates and definitely notin the pvt. sector....crying out about victimisation for ones lack of progress is just an excuse.....

Regards,
Rahul