Home truths about Indian Muslims

The notion that Muslims should have reservations in jobs and educational institutions as they are backward is wrought with inaccuracies. Most Indians Muslims are converts from lower castes of Hinduism. To say that only Muslims are backward and live in ghettoes and therefore deserve it is not right as there are poor Hindus and Sikhs living in similar circumstances as well.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 17:15 IST

Some proponents of the reservation for Muslims in jobs and educational institutions say that Muslims are backward and therefore, there should be reservations for them.

To know the economic status of the Indian Muslims, we have to go into the background in which Hindus were converted into Islam. When the foreign invaders from Central Asia who were Muslims invaded India and captured this country, many Hindus were converted into Islam in the following manner:

1. Some of the Hindus, particularly, Kashmiri Brahmins were converted into Islam by force and threat.
2. Some of the Hindus became Muslims of their own volition by the influence of the Muslim saints.
3. Some of the so-called higher caste Hindus became Muslims because they were lured by the power and wealth which they would enjoy by being close to the foreign Muslim rulers.
4. Many of the so-called lower caste Hindus became Muslims because of the inherent weaknesses of the Hindu religion like casteism and untouchability.

Most of the Indian Muslims belong to the category listed at 4.

The foreign invaders and the Muslims converted from the so-called higher castes formed the rich class of Muslims and never cared for the poor class of Muslims who were converts. It is these Muslims who form the majority of the Indian Muslims, who live in ghettoes like the poor Hindus. The rich class of Muslims live in their palatial houses. These rich Muslims never want their poor brothers to get educated or come to their standard of living. This is also true of Hindus. Even the scheduled caste Hindus and Sikhs who have become rich and powerful due to the Government's reservation policy do not care about their poor scheduled caste Hindu and Sikh brothers.

So, poor Hindus like poor Muslims also live in slums and ghettoes. It is wrong to say that Muslims are being ghettoised. If some Muslims like to live in a Muslim majority mohalla it is because of fear psychosis that they would get killed during a riot if they lived in a Hindu mohalla.

This fear psychosis is not only confined to Muslims but to Hindus and Sikhs also. Hindus also feel it safe to live in a Hindu majority mohalla. This fear psychosis is the creation of the politicians who want to govern by the policy of divide and rule.

In view of the above facts, there should be no reservations on caste or creed basis.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 17:15 IST