Committee Report Indian Muslims status
Data collected by Prime Minister's High Level Committee,
headed by Justice (retd) Rajinder Sachar on their social,
economic and education:
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 instate 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
A better picture is projected by data collected in
Karnataka, where against Muslim population of
12.2%, 8.5% are employed in government
services. While in Gujarat, of the 9.1% Muslim
population, 5.4% are instate jobs (this may
be because of large population of elite Muslim groups of
Bohras, Khojas, and Memons Even they do not have hardly
any IAS officer Asghar), in Tamil Nadu, against a
5.6% Muslim population, 3.2% are employed in
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.
Interestingly, the majority of the Muslim inmates have
not been imprisoned for "terrorism." This raises
the question whether most of
them are behind bars only for petty crimes or because of
the bias displayed against them by Indian police forces.
Of the total inmates
serving sentences up to one year, in Maharashtra,
Muslims constitute 40.6% of their population.
The high percentage of Muslims presence in jails is also
said to be an indicator of their being victims of
discrimination and suspicion, particularly as their
prevails a tendency in India to blame largely Muslim
groups for terror attacks taking place here. The
report also holds poverty among Muslims as being
responsible for turning them towards crime. Poverty and
prejudice entertained against them is said to have
further contributed to their presence in jails.
Against the backdrop of dismal facts having surfaced
regarding social, economic and educational status of
Indian Muslims, the Sachar panel has made some
recommendations in their favor.
Stating that the future of Muslims does not rest in
madrasa education, the Sachar panel recommends more
English and Urdu medium government schools in
The Sachar panel also recommends allocation of 15% of
all government funds to Muslims under all central
schemes. It favors greater representation for
Muslims in sectors such as health and teaching and also
sensitization of government employments towards Muslims
The Sachar panel has made a strong argument for all
Indian Muslims, except the creamy layer.
With the Sachar report having already served as an
eye-opener to the harsh reality about the status of
Muslims in Indian society, the
question is whether in fact this will propel the
government to take some constructive steps towards
improving their conditions or would its relevance be
confined to noise made in media circles and a little bit
of political rhetoric.