'85 pc of Muslims in India were SC, backward Hindus' | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'85 pc of Muslims in India were SC, backward Hindus'

A report says forefathers of a majority of Muslims in India were scheduled castes and backward Hindus who embraced Islam over a period of time.

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2008 13:08 IST

Forefathers of a majority of Muslims in the country were scheduled castes and backward Hindus who embraced Islam over a period of time, according to a report.

These people embraced Islam at different points of time "whenever the opportunity came to escape from class structure," the report on 'Identification of Socially and Educationally Classes in Muslim community of Andhra Pradesh' said.

The report prepared by Advisor to Ministry of HRD PS Krishnan, for the Andhra Pradesh government, presents a complete picture of Muslims and their socio-economic conditions in the country.

"The conversion of Hindus to Islam happened over a period of time, especially in the medieval period. The people who embraced Islam were not happy with Hinduism which has a rigid system," he told PTI.

Krishnan said that the caste system in Hinduism is very rigid and puts each community at certain place in the hierarchy. And it does not allow communities to go up.

The report said certain sections are treated as untouchables in Hinduism and there is a large section who do carpentry, pottery and various other jobs are discriminated also.

"This system made many people try to escape from it when opportunity arose. Across the country, people from untouchable and other castes, which faced discriminations, became Muslims. In fact Islam came as a big relief for them," Krishnan said.