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Blame our problems on lack of education

UTTAR PRADESH and Uttaranchal Economic Association (UPUEA) president Prof Mohd Muzammil said educational backwardness lay at the root of problems of the Muslims.

india Updated: May 31, 2006 01:25 IST

UTTAR PRADESH and Uttaranchal Economic Association (UPUEA) president Prof Mohd Muzammil said educational backwardness lay at the root of problems of the Muslims.

He was delivering the keynote address at a national seminar on ‘Muslims in India since Independence: Problems and Solutions’.

The professor of economics at LU said besides education, these problems pertained to health, employment, housing and political representation.

Literacy rates for Muslims were lower across the board, leave alone quality education and specialised higher education, he said. The result was that there was little vertical mobility, said Prof Mohd Muzammil.

He said: “Muslim’s children perpetuate in the same profession of their fathers. They are not able to move up the ladder to better paid jobs, particularly in the government sector and class I services. The political leadership of the Muslims has never been able to voice the problems and aspirations of the community.”

Muzammil suggested some approaches for finding solutions to problems of Muslims. “First, a micro model for uplift of minorities should be applied at the local level. Ten districts in UP have a substantial Muslim population (above 30 per cent). Second, there should be a regional model of development, say one for Terai region in UP, or west UP. Third, a national model for advancement of Muslims. It should take care of the Muslims’ safety and security, honour and dignity so that they are able to live a creative life and contribute to nation-building.”

According to Muzammul, Muslims in India had come a long way since Independence. The third generation after Partition had taken charge. Despite odds, including the Babri demolition, the Muslims had moved forward with self-confidence, he said, adding, this was an encouraging sign for the community and the nation where their ratio was over 13 per cent. Uttar Pradesh alone has about one fourth or 22.3 per cent of the Muslim population of the country.

Former Dr Ambedkar University, Agra, vice-chancellor Manzoor Ahmad said: “The real uplift of Muslims is possible only with an increase in self-confidence.”

Maulana Khalid Rashid, Naib Imam, Idgah, underlined the need for concerted efforts for uplift of members of the community. He said Muslims were apprehensive about their safety and security. Hence, it was imperative that there be cordial relations between Hindus and Muslims.

Lucknow University head of Sociology Department JMS Verma called for a political alternative to safeguard the interests of the Muslim community. If Muslims could join hands with Dalits, they could provide an alternative, he said.

The seminar was organised by the LU Sociology Department.

First Published: May 31, 2006 01:25 IST