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BJP doubts Sachar's report on Muslim backwardness

It quotes conclusions drawn in a noted demographer's book to question the panel's findings, reports Shekhar Iyer.

india Updated: Dec 28, 2006 23:00 IST

The BJP quoted conclusions drawn in the book, Population of India in the new millennium: Census 2001, by noted demographer and former JNU professor Mahendra K Premi, to question the Sachar panel's findings about the Muslim backwardness.

BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said the book contained a separate chapter on religious composition.
"The data from the 2001 Census points at two conclusions which go against the Justice Sachar Committee Report that says there is a high discrepancy between Muslim literacy rates and that of the rest, and that the decline in growth rate of population among Muslims has been higher than that among Hindus."
Prasad said the data shows that among Muslim males, the literacy rate is higher in most states, than among males of other major religions. In Andhra Pradesh, the rate as per the data was 76.5 per cent against 70.3 per cent among Hindus, and 50.4 per cent state average for males.

In Gujarat, it was 82.4 per cent against 79.1 per cent for Hindu males and 57.8 for all males. In Madhya Pradesh, it was found that 79.8 per cent Muslim males were educated, compared to 75.5 per cent Hindu males, while the state average was as low as 50.3 per cent.

Prasad also said a 'comical farce' was taking place in the UPA over Railway Minister and RJD leader Lalu Prasad's proposal to project Rahul Gandhi as the coalition's nominee for chief minister's post in the forthcoming assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh. 

Prasad said it is better for the Congressmen to openly and publicly admit the reality that Gandhi was projected as the leader for the country just because he was born in a particular family and not beat around the bush.  "Hon'ble Rahul Gandhiji, as a member in the lower House was yet to make a mark as a parliamentarian having made three speeches in 30 long months."