SATYAJIT Ray’s masterpiece Shatranj Ke Khilari, or The Chess Players, is a sublime and moving lament for the passing of the Muslim aristocracy in India. As the British plot their moves and close in on Awadh in 1856, the ruler of the state continues his regular chess games. This disconnect between events in the outside world and the reactions of Muslim leaders in the Subcontinent (and elsewhere, for that matter) has brought us to our present sorry pass.

In last month’s Karachi Literary Festival, one of the many books launched was Muslims in Indian Cities, a collection of eleven essays based on observation and analysis of the conditions of Muslims in different Indian cities. Subtitled Trajectories of Marginalisation, and edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot, the book provides many painful insights into just how far Muslims now lag behind the majority.

The introduction cites the dismal findings of the Sachar Committee, a body set up to examine the plight of Indian Muslims by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. For instance, only 8 per cent of urban Muslims are part of the formal sector as against 21pc of all Indian city dwellers. 31pc of Muslims live below the poverty line, close to the 35pc for Dalits and Adivasis. And Muslim income is falling: it was 77.5pc of average Hindu earning in 1987 compared to 75pc in 1999.

Traditionally, Muslims in India were urban, with rulers from the Sultanate period to the Mughals settling in cities that were expanded and beautified. Even when they began acquiring jagirs or large rural estates, the aristocrats were reluctant to move far from the seats of power. Their managers squeezed the tenants for taxes that allowed them to live in the style depicted in Shatranj Ke Khilari.

In his magisterial The Last Mughal, William Dalrymple documents the dismantling of the Indian Muslim aristocracy in the bloody aftermath of the revolution of 1857. Even though Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal, was a reluctant figurehead for the anti-British movement, the Muslim community as a whole was held responsible by a vengeful British Empire. Entire neighbourhoods in Delhi were levelled, and thousands of Muslim hanged, shot or blown from the mouths of canons. Many others, including Bahadur Shah, were exiled to die in penury.

Traumatised, Muslims turned inwards. As western education became a requirement for government jobs, few Muslims could compete. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan tried to change this mindset with his Aligarh University, but by and large, Muslims were unable to reconcile to their loss of power to the British. Psychologically, many traditional Muslims felt they would be formally acknowledging their defeat by accepting the ways of their conquerors. Hindus, on the other hand, had no such hang-ups and were soon manning many positions in the bureaucracy.

Influential Muslim clerics, including those at the Deoband seminary, blamed eclectic Mughal rule that embraced Hindu influences for their decline. Their powerful message was that Muslims could only regain power by returning to the original and pure faith of the early Islamic period. This is their message still. According to Dalrymple, the seeds of partition were sown in those violent post-1857 days.

Even though the Muslim elites became progressively westernised as the Raj became more entrenched, the vast majority still stuck to the old ways, sending boys to madressahs, and keeping girls at home. Hindus, on the other hand, profited from an expanding public school system. When partition came, a large section of the Muslim leadership and the professional class moved to the newly created state of Pakistan. The vast majority of Muslims left behind were poorly educated and demoralised. With their loyalties divided, the post-1947 generation of Indian Muslims were baffled by events, and clung to the ways they knew, forming ghettos against an India ruled by Hindus for the first time in centuries. Few Muslims could read and write Hindi, and were soon left far behind.

Tensions and wars between India and Pakistan did nothing to improve the lot of Indian Muslims who were suspected by the majority of secretly supporting Pakistan. Even though the present generation is largely indifferent to their neighbour, their religion still sets them apart. Indeed, watching the rising tide of violence here, several Muslim readers from India have expressed their relief that their families stayed put in 1947.

The results of the 2011 census have still not been released, and it is widely suspected that this delay is due to the fact that the Muslim population has grown at a faster rate than expected. According to The Economist, private studies indicate that Muslims now number 177 million, or 14.6 pc of the total population. It appears that while the fertility rate in India is falling, the rate among Muslims is falling more slowly.

Despite the tension and distrust caused by incidents like the Babri Masjid demolition, the Gujrat massacre and the Mumbai attacks by Pakistan-based militants, it would seem that Indian Muslims are now better integrated than at any time since Independence. The recent terrorist bomb blasts in Hyderabad did not lead to any significant anti-Muslim backlash despite suspicion that they were the work of a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen.

Apart from the Kashmir struggle – which is more of a nationalist than a religious conflict – Muslims in India live in relative peace if not prosperity. Indeed, they are not subjected to the kind of sectarian and religious attacks that is making life so dangerous for the minorities in Pakistan. The recent horrific attack that saw the arson and looting of scores of Christian homes in Lahore is a reminder of how some majorities treat the minorities.

The Economist article asks: “… are Muslims better off? Wajahat Habibullah, who heads the National Commission for Minorities in Delh sees only faint reasons for cheer. Muslims in India outperform their neighbours in Pakistan on some social indicators, such as having lower fertility rates and infant mortality, and higher literacy and life expectancy.”

But sadly, comparisons with the national average for India present a far bleaker picture.

More From This Section

The world around us

A LOT is happening around us, both in our immediate neighbourhood, as well as further afield, that has not just...

Loudness and clarity

SOMETIME back in the 1990s, a visiting journalist from New Zealand climbed the stairs to a newspaper office in ...

The Pakhtun question

The Pakhtuns have found both wealth and squalor.

Missing trade unions

The labour rights movement has lost its luster.

Comments are closed.

Comments (181)

March 11, 2013 5:08 pm
Despite declining fortunes in some quarters, Muslims in India have remained loyal to state. They have contributed enormously to art and culture. They have performed at the highest levels in military and central govenment. Indian Muslims remain a valuable asset to India. Madrassas are dragging them down, and I hope Muslims rise against these throw back to antiquity Mullahas and invest in their own education and participation in a democractic secular state at every level - as enshrined in indian constitution.
March 12, 2013 5:23 am
I am intrigued how simplistic and fast paced your view of history is. You summarised centuries and hundreds of millions of lives in simple motives and single sentences. I read somewhere that insects see the world same way.
March 11, 2013 7:23 am
Sir, Can you please enlighten us about the decline of the non-muslim Pakistanis?
March 11, 2013 12:24 pm
What you make out of life is how you work things out.No body owes you a living.You have to plan your and your family's future.In the case of the muslims in India , they have a policy of binding themselves together in colonies. Islamic classes are a must but secular schools for their children especially is a no,no.Yet percentage wise more muslim girls attend higher education than the boys.Making children beyond their economic means is another problem.While the world changes with the times,these muslims still cling to their old religious traditions.Nobody is their enemy in India. It is their own antique believes that is holding them down.
March 11, 2013 7:37 am
Education is the most easy way out of poverty. Most Muslims in India still do not prefer to send their children to secular schools as they fear that the children will be influenced by the dominant religion. Girls from muslim communities drop out of school specially in rural areas on reaching puberty. India does not discrriminate against any community in the field of education. hence I am not convinced that the muslims in India are worse off in comparison to Pakistan or Bangla desh
Umesh Gupta
March 11, 2013 6:38 am
Balanced article but why Irfan Sahib selected to write on Indian Muslim is not made clear in the article.
Schabboo Khan
March 11, 2013 6:59 am
Good analysis. As a Pakistani, I also believe that those Muslims who decided not to immigrate to Pakistan should feel vindicated for their decision. It is a testimony to the secular character of our much maligned neighbor that a body was setup to examine the plight of Indian Muslims and the results were accurately and honestly reported. As someone whose has lived in the secular countries most of his life (40+ years) I can assure you that the Indian Muslims will be far ahead of their Pakistan brethren in a decade or two. In this case the rising tide will indeed lift all boats.
March 11, 2013 9:45 am
The cause of this decline among Indian muslims is their "no-decline" in the population figures!!
March 11, 2013 9:46 am
still many peoples are poor,illiterate in India,please don't put them in any categry.......whatever happening in India is for all the Indians and not with any group of peoples......NO religion, stuff involved!!!!!!
March 12, 2013 6:44 am
You deserve to be live a better life.....It is better late than never. Hope good sense prevail with your Army and Government. May be this is the last chance for you guys to save your ship.
March 11, 2013 12:18 pm
Your history is faulty . Aurangzeb died in 1700 , the Marathas had triumphed . Ther were no Muslim powers of any consequence thereafter , Panipat was fought in 1761 between the Afghans and the Marathas , the Afghans winning a phyric victory since Abdali never set foot on the Sub-Continet again . The British took power only after the defeat of the Marathas and Sikhs as late as 1828 . The Muslims are taught a false history , yes they were collaborators of the British in 1947, US from 1950 and China till date . A union between Jinnah and Churchill resulted in Pakistan , and it is difficult to decide who hated Hindus more .
March 11, 2013 9:40 am
Perfect question which deserves an answer Mr.Hussain!!!!
March 12, 2013 11:22 pm
I am an Indian Hindu. And I see that change too and am just as optimistic about Indian muslims as you are :)
Shahryar Shirazi
March 11, 2013 7:56 am
With so much happening in our country, what happens across the border is none of our business. Anyways, since we are on the topic, I must say that Indians in general ( what ever their religion is), are in a far better shape than Pakistanis. Infact, if you look around in the region, we are only doing slightly better than the Afghanis. What a shame! Shahryar
March 11, 2013 8:09 am
Education is the key to success in life, Muslims in India is a layed back society,not much aspiring, happy with life what ever they got and too much dependent on Allah. Allah dega attitude every were in life is dragging down the whole muslim community
March 11, 2013 5:12 am
Unlike Muslims in Northern part of India, their lot in southern part is much better. The main reason is their language was not Urdu, but the local tongue. Infact there are more Muslims in Tamilnadu, who are writers and poets in Tamil. I was working as an executive in a major firm near Delhi and among the executives there were only 2 Muslims and both happened to be hailing from Tamilnadu state Christians are much more visibly seen in all fields, because they concentrate on getting a decent education and look for opportunities.
Amit Singh
March 12, 2013 6:42 am
great written.............................
March 11, 2013 8:20 am
The main culprit to this decline of muslims in India is narrow interpreted teaching of Islam .
March 11, 2013 9:32 am
education is the key, i kive in mumbai and pune, and find more and more muslim children go to school including girls as compared to just 30 years ago when i was in school the problem with muslim which i find strange is they build such huge mosques, small ones are torn down and expanded when the same money they can build school and vocational trainning centre but my guess is in another 20 years we will have a huge educated muslim population who would have attained a critical level of education where both or atleast one parent will be educated, and which their children will benefit regarding employment since most are not trained or educated professional at present most run small bussiness eg scrap, mason, carpentry, trading in small goods ect but future looks bright, if only india grows at a higer gdp it will lift everybody up some fater some a bit slower if only pakistan let as be and does not interfere and carru out terrorist activities in india they do a lot of harm to muslim in india
March 11, 2013 8:29 am
I think you mean embracing modern education (line 1)!! Sorry, correcting so it is not misinterpreted :)
March 12, 2013 11:56 pm
Also A R Rehman is a hindu born who converted to Islam. Most people in India don't ever take any contempt about that and respect his choice and deeply respect him for his achievement. That's how largely our ethos are. Religious freedom and respect based on merit.
March 11, 2013 12:25 pm
The problem is in mind. Notjing can change that;not the other religions,country,or any ethnicity. Only we can treat our problems created by our thinking. Only we can tune our own mind.
March 11, 2013 6:44 am
The headlines is very wrong. App headline will be Transition of minorities in India, which include muslims. Apart from muslims, Jains, sikhs, christians and buddhists are some of the minorities living in India. Every community goes through phases, and so are muslims. No big deal
March 11, 2013 8:44 am
Can you please enlighten us about the decline of the Muslim Pakistani ?
March 11, 2013 5:13 am
Muslims are on constant decline everywhere.
March 12, 2013 6:06 am
Knowledge of self is the first step towards elevation o self.
C Sakthivel
March 11, 2013 7:57 am
Majority of the indian muslims still prefer madarasha for their children's education. They should rather send their chidren to science and other technical colleges where the chance of getting employmnet is more. The entire India is seeing the well educated Dr Abdul Kalam, Azim Premji and bollywood Khan as roll models. There is discrimination from the Govt to any religion in India. It is upto the communicaty to adopt the better system for their prosperity.
Dipankar Sarkar
March 12, 2013 4:16 am
Sorry, he should NOT be made answerable to your questions.
Joe India
March 11, 2013 7:11 am
Sadly one of the bigger fact was, Muslims initially rejected education system & not paid much attention. But things changed now, they have reservations & competing with the rest. Next generation / upcoming youth will be at par with the rest. & it is not the majority responsible for this situation. Majority took more interest in education comparatively. Nowhere in Govt system, any community discriminated based on the system except majority, because they don't have reservations.
March 12, 2013 4:41 am
Good article with factual mistakes right in the beginning. The chess players in ``Shatranj ke khilari'' are not rulers or even related to the ruler. They are just middle class Muslims. More importantly - Satyajit Ray was a secular Indian to the core of his being. He was NOT trying to inform us about the decline of Muslims - but of Indians in general sleeping through British expansionism. It just happens that in Awadh the Indians who are sleeping through this imperialist expansion are Muslims. This is not to take away anything from the authors' analysis, which are by and large correct. But neither the author of the book nor the moviemaker were lamenting about one particular community.
March 12, 2013 4:47 am
Very Well said . I would like to tell you one incident. I have lot of Muslim friends in Hyderabad. I went to Famous charminar mosque many a times, I always dropped one of my college friend Mazhar to mosque on every friday. Then in second year he took transfer in Badruka college in Kacheguda. Once i went to meet him in his college. He was with his friends. Suddenly one beggar came with some hindu god picture in a plate and asked for money. One of the guy with Mazhar who did not know I am a Hindu said to beggar . If you throw this picture of hindu god I ll give you 5 rs. Mazhar intervened and told him that i am a Hindu.Then he apologized. Kacheguda is a hindu majority area though i could make it an issue but i did not. I took it as his immaturity or his teachings but one thing came in mind what if I was not there then perhaps even Mazhar would have enjoyed it.
March 11, 2013 5:09 pm
Couldn't care less why Irfan wrote about the Indian Muslims. I am glad he did. Irfan is an honest journalist and I salute him.
March 12, 2013 11:25 pm
Dear irfan, muslims are declining all over world, specially in pakistan not in india, introspect.
Jalal R. S.
March 11, 2013 7:59 am
Hi, Muslims in India still could do better if they start sending their children to school- as you can see still a vast majority of muslims (mostly in UP, Bihar, Gujrat, Rajastan, West Bengal.. etc) still belief that madrassa education is enough and school education will spoil their children and education will make their way more difficult heaven! Actually the mullas and moulana's, religious political party leaders and religious leaders circulating this type message as they need common muslims below poverty line then only they can tune them as they needed. So wake up muslims and look around the world and learns from the changes happening around you. Live happily not aggressively.
March 11, 2013 5:04 am
Muslims in India would have done much better had their been no obsessive fascination with retrograde regressive obscurantism. Still they are better off than their Pakistani brethren in the general lack of religious militancy and in being secular minded -- with more interest in technology, science and math - under the influence of the majority. Thanks for a very even handed column, Irfan Husain.
March 11, 2013 7:26 am
comparisons between Indian Muslims and Pakistan Muslims and minorities is unproductive. India is largely economy-centered, while Pakistan is ideology centred and unable to tolerate any major criticism. Criticize India and it goes out the other ear. Dear Pakistani humans: BUILD YOUR ECONOMY. The Umma will take care of itself. One other: Don't expect your neighbour to live EXACTLY and pray EXACTLY as you do! You are no perfect model!
March 11, 2013 9:08 am
I think these are the 3 main reasons Muslims lag behind from other communities. 1. Family planning- Many still believe in large family going from 3-4 kids to 8-9 kids in some cases. Obviously their spending on good education and passed on wealth from parents to kids get affected a lot when comparing a person of same income but have 1-2 kid only. 2. Girl Education- in all other communities girls education has become very important. They contribute in improving family's economic condition.In Muslims , Girl education and working is still a taboo. 3. Madarasa education and their reluctance to mingle with people from other faith is another reason.
March 12, 2013 4:08 am
Mr. Husain - a more appropriate topic for a patriot like you would have been "the extinction of minorities in Pakistan". We all can see that you are more bothered about next door then your home where deceit and ethnic cleansing of minorities is becoming a common routine. I wonder how a patriot like you can sleep with the bloodshed at home still bothering about Muslims in India, Bangladesh, Palestine, Iraq, Syria etc. You are a highly educated man but all of it is worthless - if your does not bleed for your homeland.
March 12, 2013 4:47 pm
Abbastoronto, You seem to know very little about Hindus- they were the original traders. Please do some research before pontification
March 11, 2013 4:55 am
I wish South Asian governments had the courage to fight Mullahs who are trying to drag the Muslim populations of each country back to the 7th century.
March 11, 2013 9:28 am
sorry the word is "embracing modern education" not "embarrassing modern education"
March 11, 2013 9:03 am
"Indeed, they are not subjected to the kind of sectarian and religious attacks that is making life so dangerous for the minorities in Pakistan. The recent horrific attack that saw the arson and looting of scores of Christian homes in Lahore is a reminder of how some majorities treat the minorities."
March 11, 2013 5:20 am
although the condition of pakistani musim is not good but when compared to indian muslims or even hindus in india,pakistanis are far better individually that is why some people say pakistan is a poor country of rich people when compared to india.
March 11, 2013 6:29 am
What else they expect form us? We gave them so much and got so little in return. Hindus in India are accomodative and inclusinve...which allows minorities to practice their faith in peace. Can we say the same in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other muslim countries? Then on waht basis muslims in India demand equal treatment and propserity in India? Is it not hypocracy when Sunnis do not allow Shias to live and prosper but demand kindness form Hindus? INternal reform and soul searching is the need of the hour.
March 11, 2013 6:29 am
Its only muslims to be blamed for their backwardness. Govt of India trying harder to give benefits to minorities (>18 crores and still minority FUNNY) in jobs, educational system and even policies
March 11, 2013 6:35 am
The Indian Muslims are very slowly but surely embarrassing modern education. It is not only the duty of the state but more so of the Muslims themselves to make sure that they limit traditional practices and understand and accept the modern education. Until this is done, there is no hope. While in conversation with my Muslim colleagues and friends, they express their helplessness and frustration that their community is backward mainly due to conservative outlook and an aversion towards education, family planning, etc. Until child labour law became strong in India, one could see muslim children as young as 7 yrs or so working in mechanic shops, meat markets, tailor shops, hotels etc. It is an accepted fact that private schools are expensive and Government schools are not up to the mark. Most Muslim leaders don't care and not taking the initiatives. Many Muslims parents have problems with minor issues such as recitation of prays in the school assemblies, head scarfs, etc. It is a pity. This, you do not see with other communities which have gelled perfectly. The worst part later on is that the majority will be blamed for the backwardness of the Muslims. This is not true.
g.a shirazi
March 11, 2013 4:49 pm
I agree 100 %.
March 12, 2013 3:45 am
the reason for lesser income of muslims in India at time of partition was that the majority of educated Muslims in north india or places touching Pakistan shifted to Pakistan. post partition while residents of some states opted for family planning.and residents of these states were in a position to provide better education to their children and became more prosperous , whereas residents of states like UP, Bihar , Rajstan and Madhya Pradesh etc lagged behind and larger family meant lesser per capita income and residents these states irrespective of their religion remained poorer and backward. population of Muslims in these states lagging behind is more as compared to prosperous states. even in these states the Muslims were slower in adopting smaller families than their neighbors. if one compares income or education level of an average hindu or Muslim in these states there is not much difference. probably only Mantra is education.and may be smaller families.
March 11, 2013 6:04 am
A very interesting and well written article. As the author aptly says, scores of Indian Muslims are thankful to their grand parents for staying put in India instead of heading for Pakistan. Let us also be clear that the problems faced by the majority of the Indian Muslims is due to the shoddy leadership in their own community. These so called leaders do not want the Muslims to move out of their ghettoes and be educated and join the mainstream of the Indian Republic. Also the so called secular Congress Party that has ruled the country for the majority of its Independence has not done much to improve the condition of the Muslims. By treating Muslims as simply vote banks and by scaring them of the so called Hindu Communal parties, the Congress and other so called secular parties have managed to keep the Muslims marginalised. Its high time the Muslims of India get out of this rut and join the others in the progress of the country. The first step towards this is to embrace secularism and secular education. And getting secular educations doesn't mean forgoing their religion. They can very well be observant Muslims and secular too. As a footnote, it is important to emphasize that apart from the Muslims, all other minorites in India like Christians, Parsis, Jews, Sikhs etc are doing much better than their Hindu counterparts.
March 12, 2013 3:41 am
Mr.Raika, hats off to your perfect, accurate asssessment of muslims in India.
March 11, 2013 5:45 am
I have cousins in India. They used to visit us frequently in the past. When they came to us, they brought nice gifts, good cloths, excellent jewellary and perfumes. One thing i noticed that they were all going to universities, colleges and trying to up themselves. None of them went to Madressas. Each one felt somehow proud to be indian ( at least none of them wanted to be a pakistani ). Outside india, in USA or Canada or even in Europe, muslims from india and pakistan look a like but there are differences. When asked about marrying their daughters to pakistani origin muslim, indian muslim families would politely say no. Daily violence against one another in pakistan is the root cause of slowly declining one-ness of muslims of i ndian pakistani muslims. That hurts. Even if we forget past and try to look ahead to a bright future, indian muslims with all problems hope for a better future, pakistani muslims on their part still live under feudal perceptions and archaic muslim traditions. I heards a joke about russians in the Breznev era, Once the eternal foreign minister Andrei Gromiko told Leonid Breznev that "let's open the doors to everyone who wants to travel abroad, but then in the end there will be only two persons left in Soviet Union, You and I". "Are you a fool?", Breznev retorted, "only you will stay, I will go" Let's see how many pakistanis would like to stay in Pakistan if all doors are open!
Krish Chennai
March 11, 2013 5:16 pm
What a comment ! You got the mix of the brew that actually got different political configurations identified in '47, and again in '71, It's not just a question of who is or is not a true "believer" of the true "faith",, but if we think our offspring will be better off in so-called "greener pastures", then you are defeating the efforts of Jinnah or Gandhi or whoever else you wish to name, who gave their breath to such constituents. Over close to 70 years, we know who got away with it, the selfish close-knitted guys, who knew well how to manipulate the gullible, and ensured that they themselves had enough resources to send their wards far away, to the other side of the globe. Right now, it does appear that the ball is in the Pakistanis' court. It's not just India that's looking at what will be the positive Pakistani prerogatives in the couple of years ahead, but the entire region. We have to go with the world view of Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, the Mecca-born hard-core Indian, that the entire world is one big mosque for both solitary and united prayers.
March 11, 2013 4:43 pm
A vast majority of Muslim women in India are kept at home and not encouraged to go to school. This is one big reason that Muslim family income is less than their Hindu neighbor. Mother's education is important for the family to advance. She is the first teacher. Muslims in India need to encourage female education to keep pace with the society.
pk surendran
March 11, 2013 4:42 pm
Irfan is right to a large extent. but nobody but the community leaders and power-hungry congress leaders are responsible for backwardness of Muslims in India. Nowhere else do the Muslims pampered as in India largely because of vote-bank, so now when the country is progressing Muslims are pulled back by Mullahs and maulvis and selfish politicians. blaming Hindus for it would be outright unjust. Hindus are in fact victims of the vote bank politics.
A human who has right to live
March 11, 2013 5:10 am
I hope a day will come when we will genuinely discuss about upliftment of humans as a whole rather than a particular religion or cast.
Saleem Hassan
March 11, 2013 4:39 pm
This is pure non-sense. The Muslims of India are thriving and show more maturity and stability. The Muslims in India are much better off than the Muslims of Pakistan. Pakistani Muslims are bigots and persecute their Christian minorities with no regard to human values. These Christians of Pakistan chose to create Pakistan along with Muslims and are now persecuated in thier own homeland. Just look at the case of Joseph Colony, Gojra, Shanti Nagar.... Pakistan is a society of sheep without shapered and the "might is right".
March 11, 2013 4:44 am
Thank Allah for the advancement of Muslims in Pakistan. Look at all the economic, social and cultural advancement of Pakistani Indian Muslims must learn from us.
March 11, 2013 4:35 pm
Embracing modern education is hopefully what you mean, unless there is a touch of sarcasm in your mind.
March 11, 2013 4:33 am
Thank you sir. A honest piece.
March 12, 2013 4:59 pm
Every dog has his day. In the first 40 years after independence my relatives visiting India would speak of the Riksha walas storming them at the sight of visiting Pakistani fatcats who were better fed, better clothed, better looking. Then the Civil War hit Pakistan ? a very necessary and timely turmoil to decide which Islam (Sunni, Shia, Hanafi, Maliki, Shafai, Hanbali, Jafri, Deobandi, Barelvi, Wahabbi, Qadiani, etc.) is most optimal for the emerging era of urbanized globalization and free trade. It takes time, but does not last for ever as the good guys always win in the end. At the same time India fell from the frying pan of Socialism to the fire of short-term gain for long-term pain Reaganomics/Thatcherism that bears bitter fruits 30 years later. It allows rapid progress while crushing the middle class, makes poor poorer, then financial meltdown. Just look at America and Europe after the startling advances of 1980s and early 1990s. Today the Indians look at Pakistanis and shake their heads, without realizing what is in store for them 10 years hence. The 9-10% growth rate has plummeted to 5% already and crime is rising. The fundamentals of Muslims in general and Muslims in India are solid. In the coming era of Free Trade a Muslim is bound to do well as trade is in Muslims?s DNA while Indians, mostly Hindus, have agrarian Hinduism in their blood. See you Indian friends in 10 years. You may look down on us now, but we wish you well and hope you can survive what is in store for you. A strong neighbour is a good neighbour.
March 12, 2013 4:56 pm
"Common marriages between Muslims and Hindus show that there exist many shared values among us". Quran says clearly in Surah Baqarah (2:221) "And do not marry polytheistic women until they believe" It is just what Quran says, and Islam does not acknowledge nationalism. Please visit this site for the Quranic Ref.. Allah knows best, JazakAllah Khair.
Kamal Gupta
March 11, 2013 3:15 pm
Very well said. It is a fact that a large number of Muslims in India do not participate in the formal education process,rather choose madrassas. Though some state governments recognize these studies as equivalent to class 10 and 12, this is seen more as a political gimmick. These students have extremely limited grasp of languages other than Urdu (other than what they have picked up in society), and that severely limits their work prospects. Of late I am seeing a disturbing trend, that of professionally qualified Muslims saying that Shias are pretenders,not real Muslims. Seems the preachers in their mosques are having more influence than their education and exposure in secular colleges.
March 11, 2013 3:05 pm
Its true but times are changing, personally our grand parents were not educated but our parents were and further more our parents have made sure we get better education and today we are doing good. Some do have very narrow mentality and they say what will the children gain with education but we are pushing people in our society to get their children educated and God willing it will change for better tomorrow and better India.
Ron Fonseca
March 11, 2013 3:03 pm
Pakistan was formed so that Muslims could all go there and have a wonderful life. Both India and Pakistan, and of course Bangladesh, should resettle all Muslims in Pakistan or in Bangladesh so that the Muslims in India can have that wonderful life living under sharia and join the ummah. Let us waste no more time and thereby end the suffering of Muslims left behind in India.
March 11, 2013 5:42 pm
But my friend the man who headed the 'Sachar Committee' was not! It's a highly tribal thinking that each man talks only for his community, not for all the communities composing his nation.
March 11, 2013 10:23 am
oh what a liberal brain and enlighted u are
Arun Panchal
March 11, 2013 3:01 pm
The reason of Muslim lagging behind is their orthodox thinking. They are not en cashing opportunities present by this India growth story. They find themselves not ready for the present opportunities and remained satisfied with tradition jobs.
March 11, 2013 10:21 am
hi shahriar please dont be so blunt
March 11, 2013 10:20 am
oh dont say that poor muslim will lose islam as all have become un islamic
March 11, 2013 5:52 pm
That's a great question Leo, and I wish we'd get some answers on this question. I will say however that, the Hindus and Sikhs that were forced to leave their lands in Pakistan have done reasonably well outside of Pakistan.
anonymous indian
March 11, 2013 3:52 am
"Muslims turned inwards. As western education became a requirement for government jobs, few Muslims could compete". This is the truth even today is that muslims prefer to educate their children in madarsas rather than english medium schools in India. No government wants to impose english education on the community since they are vote banks. Kapil Sibal the Union HRD minister tried a couple of years back to bring reforms to education in madarsas but the step was vehemently opposed by clerics who called it interference in religious issues. The result is that the community has left on it's own and has over he decades become more and more backward. Muslims in India have themselves to blame. Parsis, Sikhs, Christians are a classic example of other minorities who have done well in India. Even the Tibetian refugees have done very well in India.
March 11, 2013 3:49 am
The Indian muslims r lucky to have a very tolerant majority.
March 11, 2013 3:00 pm
One more thing, when are we going to see a President of Pakistan who is Hindu, our defence minister a Christian and the Prime Minister a Hindu. Dare I say more?.
March 11, 2013 10:18 am
Your choice of name says all.
Qaiser Hussain Khan Bakhtiari
March 11, 2013 5:44 pm
The article should just simply read "decline of muslims". this is coming from a Muslim who is fed up with the current state of affairs and religious fundamentalism that exists very much like cancer from Morocco to Indonesia.
March 11, 2013 2:59 pm
What rubbish. This article is nothing but kettle calling the pot black. What right do you have to comment on Indian Muslims?. Pakistan is all but a failed state. Forget about India and Indian muslims as they are more than capable of looking after themelves and focus on Pakistan, its perception around the world and more imprtantly the minorities that live in Pakistan.
March 12, 2013 1:40 am
for the percentage of population of pakistan,minorities get more share in all spheres of life than the share given to muslims who are about 20% of indian populace while hindus in pakistan are barely 0,4% of the population in pakistan
March 12, 2013 12:45 am
Mr. Bhagvandas, the justice of the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
March 12, 2013 12:23 am
In my younger days when I lived in Mumbai I hardly used to see a woman in full burqa. Nowadays when I go there I find many burqa clad ladies. This clinging to old ways and having a very large family are two that have something to do with the poverty among Muslims. Mulaas and Imams tell their congregations that by populating this earth with more Muslims than any other religion will give Muslims power over all. This obsession has kept the poor and will continue to do so. Furthermore westerners want to bring down India and that is why books like these are published which cause hatred among Muslims for Hindus and they dream of causing murder and mayhem in India as happened on 26 November 2009. I condemn such books. If Muslims were so downtrodden in India why are they not migrating to Muslim countries? These biased westerners have no answer for this question?
March 12, 2013 6:08 pm
The Muslim from Pakistan is highly educated trained professional and can earn more than enough so that the Muslim mother can take care of the family without getting tired and exausted and the children learn her wisdom. The Indian is more Hindu than Muslim, an economic refugee barely making ends meet even with both of them working relatively menial jobs.
March 12, 2013 3:53 pm
Yes, live in that fantasy of being victims in every single geography your people exist. As you can see, it has served you very well till now, Pakistan being the greatest and most outstanding example.
March 12, 2013 8:46 pm
Good essay which raises some questions- some of the opinions cited as facts are not necessarily true- for instance there were more muslims in the Indian Civil and Police services at the time of partition then the proportion of muslims in the population. Nevertheless excellent.
Salim qayyum
March 12, 2013 3:51 pm
The well being and prosperity of any community depends on some of the following factors, a) Education, b) Openness to ideas and ability to adapt/change c) Hard work d) Stability of the surrounding. Now lets see how are Muslims in India doing. They have large familiies, restricting opportunities for education. They are not open to anything that is perceived to be un-islamic(Girls education for example) . Hindu's do not get any privileges over other communities,but they make more efforts to progress which muslims by and large don't make. Pakistan is the country made for muslims, whats stopping them from reaching the level of success Indian Hindus have reached. The reasons are same,be it India, Pakistan or any other place
Ram Krishan Sharma
March 11, 2013 9:52 am
It is time that Irfan Sahib writes something about the plight of Hindus in Pakistan who are regarded as 4th class citizens with no rights , whereas Muslims in India enjoy equal status to others as far as law is concerned. In general Muslims spend most of their valuable time in praying to Allah for help and guidance , while others have much less time for their God but keep busy in uplifting their standard of living in this world.This is one of the many reasons why they are ahead of Muslims in almost every field except URDU poetry.
March 11, 2013 9:50 am
Mistake correction : There is NO discrimination from the Govt to any religion in India.
March 12, 2013 3:32 pm
Why don't you invite them to Pakistan and see if they leave?
March 12, 2013 9:35 pm
We can't blame anyone for the backwardness of Muslims. Their blind belief in the religion is the main reason for their backwardness. Muslim parents sent their children to madrasas instead of modern schools. They are connecting everything to the religion. Without connecting to this 5th century ideology there is no life for them. But people from other religions are not like that. They are thinking wisely. Therefore they are on the right track.
Senthil Kumar (@senthils123)
March 11, 2013 11:30 pm
I would like to add that, not to forget that even there are many Hindus, Christians below poverty in India. I also feel people in poverty worry about their basic daily needs rather than the religion, castes etc,. There are all religion people in all categories of economy level.
March 11, 2013 11:17 pm
Let Indian Muslim be judge about there status.
March 12, 2013 3:53 pm
Dear Md Imran, People like you are the cause of Muslim residing in the basement of humanity. I am glad you are in Pakistan (I hope).
Md Imran
March 11, 2013 1:15 pm
Janab, thank you for highlighting this. It is about time that we in Pakistan realize how bleak conditions are for muslims across the border, and why our forefathers had the foresight to foresee what was coming, and they rightly created Pakistan. Sure, we've had some problems of late, but for much of the last 66 yrs, Pakistan and Pakistanis have been far more progressive, innovative, and wealthies than their Indian counterparts. Thanks to Allah, today we are considered as the sole islamic superpower that has withstood a vicious campaign from 2 other superpowers, USSR and USA. This also highlights why it is important for Pakistan to exist forever as a beacon for the oppressed in India. And Pakistanis should never rest until we fulfill Iqbal and Jinnah saab's dream of a secure and expanded Pakistan that spawns from NWFP to the Himalayas including UP,Bihar,Hyderabad in deccan and West Bengal where muslims continue to be oppressed.
Mohan Menon
March 12, 2013 2:07 pm
Jobs come at a price.That needs modern education not the like what you possess-bomb making and suicide attack techniques
March 12, 2013 9:00 pm
Indian Muslims currently have the best opportunity in the world to advance themselves. If they choose they can avail the opportunity or blame others for their ailments like the rest of their brothers worldwide.
March 12, 2013 3:29 pm
One word Gujrat. May may be two Babri Masjid or Bombay. I can name scores where so just stop comparing Pakistan.
March 11, 2013 9:19 pm
As an Indian Muslim, I think we have come a long way just in the last two decades. Education by and large had remained a second option for most Muslims - even amongst educated families - anecdotally speaking. However Muslims in cities have realized the importance of education. Maybe the momentum is not enough to swing the macro indicators in a big way to persuade public opinion otherwise but IMHO it is just a question of time. All the right indicators at the grass root level suggests that Muslims have woken up to the importance of education. Women by and large are also part of this new awakening. So unlike the esteemed author, I am very hopeful of the Indian Muslims' future. The overflowing mosques here in US teeming with young Muslim IT professionals is but a small indicator that Indian Muslims will soon catch up with their countrymen.
March 11, 2013 1:48 pm
Those who don't help themselves even All mighty Allah can't help them. They always remain cry baby if they don't help themselves.
March 11, 2013 8:52 pm
Whether you are muslim,hindu or christian does not matter in India.The only thing matters is you are hardworking and intelligent.I studied in a muslim college,lived in a muslim society although Iam hindu and I have got many muslims friends than hindus.From what I can recall you is my friends and many other Indian muslims are far more educated ,well employed and happily married than their counterpartsThey are more prosperous than any other muslims in the world.Without knowing the facts don't come to a conclusion.
March 11, 2013 12:00 pm
I think you missed these points from the article... Let me redirect you to them (a) Muslims in India outperform their neighbours in Pakistan on some social indicators, such as having lower fertility rates and infant mortality, and higher literacy and life expectancy.? (b) Muslims in India live in relative peace if not prosperity. Indeed, they are not subjected to the kind of sectarian and religious attacks that is making life so dangerous for the minorities in Pakistan. (c) Influential Muslim clerics, including those at the Deoband seminary, blamed eclectic Mughal rule that embraced Hindu influences for their decline. Their powerful message was that Muslims could only regain power by returning to the original and pure faith of the early Islamic period. This is their message still. if you are a believer of the last point listed ... Why expect modernization
March 11, 2013 6:04 pm
Its reality muslims becoming dead. No values, No culture, No Relations, No education, No innovations and every one is hungry for himself. No one ready to help others. Soon we should recover. Otherwise there would be nothing to recover. Awaken up Muslims Please, It is my request.
Ram Narayanan
March 11, 2013 1:02 pm
Indian Muslims are thousand times better off than Muslims in other countries. Granted, their plight must improve, but they enjoy far more freedom and opportunities compared to their brethren elsewhere. This is the reason they stay in India.
March 11, 2013 8:16 pm
Reason Muslims lag behind because Hindus control the government machinery and deny them access to jobs. Indian survey found 15% Muslims of the country had 1% of the jobs in the government services.
March 11, 2013 8:08 pm
3 Richest Man is Muslim In india , plus biggest bollywood stars, lot of people from poverty line are converted ones....People grow and Prosper on merit...The track record is ok much much better then other places
March 11, 2013 12:52 pm
Absolutely agree with you my friend. Well said .May God ( if there is one at all!) bless you and your tribe.
March 12, 2013 8:18 pm
Sorry Husain sir, We have a read a different version of History, We have read that after Mughals lost" the war of 27 years" by Marathas The whole deccan and middle part of India came under Maratha rule. Punjab came under the rule of Sikhs and Rajputs were in Rajasthan. Bahadur shah zafar or the so called last mughal controlled only 10sq km of Delhi. The Outskirts of Delhi, Meerut and Countryside was ruled by Jats. Other Muslim kingdoms were Awadh, Mysore and Hyderabad were there but they paid to Marathas. Please correct me if I am wrong.
March 11, 2013 10:46 am
i think saying ?muslims ruled india? is factually wrong?the mughal rule was in reality like the modern day coalition government with hindus very much part of the administration and infact Rajput king was the military chief and rajput soldiers were the one of the main fighting forces in the mughal army?the actual nawabs were just a family who happened to be muslim and were of turkish and afgan origin?the ordinary muslims were neo converts to islam who sought better opportunities by converting to islam and hence they look same as hindus as the genetic pool was same?infact in pakistan punjab the surnames are same as the hindu punjabis like ?kalia?, sethi etc By continuosly saying muslims ruled india and now hindus are ruling is incorrect?and results in demoralizing both communities..Most of punjab in india and pak was ruled by sikhs so should we say sikhs ruled over muslim ?? in medival times the ruler was one who could put together a mix of military might by combining various armies along with a decent administration and many families (muslim, hindu and sikh) did that at diff points in time..lets stick to facts and not give deceptions to ordinary muslims that the were once great rulers as a whole community.this is harmful to muslims themselves?and victimhood feeling will increase?
Nandakumar K
March 11, 2013 10:46 am
Muslims (or for that matter any religious ethnic, or linguistic group) would be far better placed if they forget their identity except (in the case of muslims) when they pray five times a day, attend the Juma prayers or when they are fasting in the month of Ramzan. At all other times he should feel, act, and behave like normal human beings. After all hunger, thirst, happiness, sadness (especially when someone dear to you is killed) are common to all human beings, Also is the desire to improve the lifestyles. Kerala muslims can be proud of the fact that they have become models of how they can adapt themselves in a changing world and how they can stand equal to other citizens in their state!
Keti Zilgish
March 11, 2013 10:47 am
I strongly disagree with "A human who has right to live":- Until animals don't have the same right to live as humans the later cannot possibly have any rights whatsoever.
March 12, 2013 7:56 pm
Some 5-6 years back (or more) I helped an American - Indian Honors graduate student perform a study on Hindu Muslim Violence in India. One could google it " Political incentives and disincentives in Hindu Muslim Violence in India". This study was done in Hyderabad, India. One very admirable fact surfaced then. Even though the economic descrepancy existed among Hindus and Muslims, the standard of living and level of education among the Muslims significantly improved after the "Middle-east golden era". Most Indian workers/labours hired in gulf countries were Muslims, who became rich overnight. Surprisingly most of them invested their money in education for their children especially daughters. In urban Muslim Hyderabad, the literacy among females was close 100%, too good to be true. The result was enhanced standard of living and very few racially driven violences. I firmly believe that if we promote education through schools rather than madarasahs, we could promote peace and tolerance.
March 11, 2013 10:57 am
As Irfan Sahib is a muslim.
Komal S
March 12, 2013 5:41 am
May be this attitude is the reason for your condition!
March 11, 2013 7:00 pm
But there are always saffron Brigades, RSS and Shiva Sena fanatics. One should be careful about these thugs whether you are a Hindu or a Muslim.
David John
March 11, 2013 6:54 pm
This is no brainer why muslims would continue to slide not only in India but around the world. If you continue to do what you do then who will rent you a place? Who will buy things from you? Civilized people are scared of you. While I agree that Muslims in India are far better than Muslims in Pakistan, they are responsible for their plight. If they adopted Nation First, religion 2nd mantra may be things will turn around in decade or so. Otherwise there is no chance. The downhill will continue.
March 11, 2013 11:38 am
It is Irfan Hussain, a very secular and enlighten intellectual wrote a very candid narration of Indian Muslim. So it must have some weight. First of all we must admit that India is a land dominated by the Hindus at least 4000 years before the birth of Islam and cherish the ethos of Indian Culture & history from time immemorial. Muslims are invaders; Islam is an alien religion. It was force upon these people who worship different gods and had a distinct culture and philosophy. The invader were from the land of hard terrain and not productive as the land of India. They found a treasure and want to settle. They built monument, killas, Mahals & Masjid. They never tried to built good education institute, good roads; improve the life of average Indian. They have destroyed Nalanda, the world famous center of learning, it was said that the library of Nalanda was seen burned for more than a month. So Hindus was always under painful subjugation. They never accepted Islamic dominance. The British occupation was a blessing in disguise. They immediately grab the golden opportunity, take advantage of modern education. The prominent personality & writer Nirad C. Chowdhury had rightly dedicated his biography ?An Autobiography of a un known Indian? to the British Raj. Hindus are by nature secular. By and large they do not feel any amenity with Muslims. They do not want to see the Muslims in bad state. But the Islamic terrorism and fundamentalism is the main hindrance. How any one can aspect no reaction from even a secular Hindu if Muslims wants India an Islamic or Islam dominated country?
March 11, 2013 11:46 am
I want to ask the author if he could kindly publish an article about the steady decline :aka ethnic cleansing of the Hindus in Pakistan? Has any one bothered to think where are the Hindus disappearing from Pakistan? The Muslims in India have done exceedingly well and all Indians are proud about this. But why has no Hindu done well in Pakistan? We have cricket captains, presidents , actors, politicians, leaders who are Muslims...How about Pakistan? Do you have any answers?
Sunil Datar
March 12, 2013 5:35 am
What one needs to study is the difference in incomes and quality of life between religious Muslims and those who are progressive. I am pretty sure the religious ones don't do as well as the other group.
March 12, 2013 5:37 am
You articulated well. Even Marathas under Sivaji himself had muslim soldiers in their army. Pakistanis are taught flawed and simplistic history and even this well read writer seems to lack depth and sophisticated view. Historical periods were also constituted of days like today and centuries were as long as they are today. They weren't any more face paced than current years and undercurrents were as complex as they are now. Not entire populations for centuries behaved with simple motives, but re-alignments and individual ambitions shaped events that set on course subsequent actions and events.
March 11, 2013 6:23 pm
Very well said.True of Muslims the world over and not just India alone!!
umesh bhagwat
March 11, 2013 12:42 pm
The responsibility for improving the lot of muslims in India lies with their more affluent bretheren!
March 11, 2013 12:42 pm
First of all, Muslims in India are in much better situation than the Hindus in Pakistan. Secondly this same congress party ruled India longest since independence. Who stopped them from improving muslim's condition? The so called vote bank seculars could not do much for the country or the hindus, let alone muslims and yes - the country made very much progress in guess high corruption.
March 11, 2013 1:31 pm
An enlightened and very correct analysis by the author. Without secular ,scientific education ,Muslims dont stand a chance any where.
March 11, 2013 2:27 pm
Dawn's moderate views will enhance Pakistan's prosperity in this century, Indian media must learn from Dawn.
March 11, 2013 2:27 pm
The fact is that most of the skilled artisan classes migrated to pakistan from India as pakistan lost a lot of its professional classes to India. Nevertheless the fact remains that pakistan is an historical mistake with no basis to exist.
March 11, 2013 2:28 pm
While Premji is a real model, Kalam is hardly Muslim, and Bollywood, peddling fantasy is hardly progress. While Hindus may revere Kalams and Khans, Muslims in India will most likely follow Premjis in the emerging world of Globalization and Free Trade, and outperform others, because Islam is a religion of trade while Hinduism is that of agriculture, an era past.
March 11, 2013 2:29 pm
Indian muslims need to get educated in the proper education system if they wish to prosper otherwise no one will be willing to hire a madrassa educated person . People be it Hindus or Muslims need to get educated properly to improve there social standing and earning potential ,this is no rocket science.
abdul narayan d'souza
March 11, 2013 2:31 pm
I am ecstatic that I am a person of a minority religion and I live in india.The vast majority of hindus are extremely accommodating and it is this that makes living in india fun.You do get some hindu fanatics and muslim fanatics as you would expect but it is our job as Indians to keep them in their place for the benefit of our motherland and its people.
March 11, 2013 2:39 pm
Mr Hussain the following is most suitable for you "ghar may nahi hai danay , amma chali bhunanay" What say you ?
Shridhar Subrahmanyam
March 11, 2013 2:41 pm
Secular, modern education is of utmost importance and increasingly the Muslims in south India do recognise that and send their kids to secular schools. In any case, there are not all that many madrassahs in south India and there is not any great attachment to Urdu among south Indian Muslims. I see a lot many more educated Muslims entering te middle class, having taken advantage of the educational opportunities available to the majority Hindus and other non-Muslim minorities. Reservation in elite educational institutions and Government jobs, as clamoured for by the so-called backward castes, is a no no as far as Muslims are concerned as reservation based on religion will be violently opposed by all non-Muslims. I always wonder why the likes of billionnaires Azam Premji, Habib Khorakiwala, CK Hamid, Irfan Razzak and many other prominent Muslims do not set up modern secular schools for Muslim children. I am told by my Muslim friends that most of these very successful Muslims do not want to seem parochial, given their large non-Muslim clientele and employees. The one wonderful aspect of Indian Muslims is the tolerance for all sects. We have had a Chief Justice of the Supreme Courrt named Ahmadi, our current Advocate General is a Muslim and so is the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Chief of our Intelligence Bureau is Muslim and so is our Foreign Minister. Given the way minotities of all hues are treated in Pakistan, most of the non-Deobandi Muslims in India must be thinking that they made the right choice in staying back in India in 1947. Sufi music flourishes and all shrines, most famously the one in Ajmer, are all doing fine.
March 11, 2013 2:48 pm
There is nothing like a Pakistani Muslims . All Muslims in Indian subcontinent are " Indian Muslims ".
March 11, 2013 3:17 pm
Would you have preferred him to write on Australian aborigines instead?
March 11, 2013 3:19 pm
One thing at a time. This article is about Indian Muslims in particular. So be content with reading this for now.
March 11, 2013 3:26 pm
I feel the word majority is being used rather casually. Dawn need to find writers with more intellect to draw better readers.
March 11, 2013 3:35 pm
Muslims in general, like Americans, are individualists, freedom-loving, government-hating. Their progress in India should not be measured by representation in public office. The only measure is Survival, Growth, Evolution ? whether they are growing in number and proportion, are healthier with better immune system, live longer, happier than the rest. Post-Partition Muslims in India (just as Muslims in Pakistan) on that measure are better than others, despite all the poor indicators cited by Irfan Husain and posters. Leave them alone. Islam is a religion of small business and trade, and in coming times Muslims will do well, government or no government.
March 11, 2013 3:36 pm
Just to add to your article...Poor economic conditions of India muslims are largely due to their own reluctance to get modern education..Education till 12th grade is almost free in India. People who took advantage of modern education and thinking have become successful in every part of India inspite of their religious background. I don't need to name any because there at too many ..LIve and let other live in peace..respect other peoples culture and belief you will automatically be respected. I am proud to India living in such a diverse society where I get to enjoy many different culture and traditions...I learn good things from other culture and try to stay away bad things in my caste system...
sanjay saksena
March 11, 2013 6:10 pm
I think this is where Mr. Jinnah and the Muslim League were totally wrong - they could not conceive of an India where muslims would be Presidents and Vice Presidents, Cabinet Ministers and Chief Ministers, Generals and Supreme Court Judges, Vice Chancellors and Ambassadors. The fear of a Hindu backlash from the millions who were subject to Muslim cruelty for several centuries bred deep insecurity which saw safety only in a separate state for muslims of the subcontinent. History was to prove him so utterly wrong. It is the Muslims of Pakistan who live in fear and insecurity even as muslims who chose to stay back benefit from a developing, enlightened, prospering society.
March 11, 2013 6:07 pm
Stay in india is not because of this freedom. It is because they have no other choice. be realistic
March 11, 2013 4:02 pm
Let Muslims accept family planning and have a two child policy. Hindus, Christians , Jains, and Sikhs are advancing because the nuclear family is now the norm in these communities.
March 12, 2013 7:05 am
rofl !! you have got a good sense of humor !!
March 12, 2013 7:36 pm
So where these 1.2 billion people (from 400 million in 1947) in India came from in the last 65 years? Does not look like the result of a good family planning when growth is still around 2.2%. By this estimate India is adding roughly 25 million people every year. Do not single out Muslims for the explosive growth in Indian population. As far as Sikhs are concerned, they were always a small minority but still grew from 3-4 million to 18-20 million in 65 years. Jains probably as small as in numbers but never in spotlight for obvious political reasons. Repeating the mantra that India's Muslims are responsible for the population mess only serves to win some political points with largely uneducated population but does not help in addressing the issue in the long run.
Reality check
March 12, 2013 7:22 am
Any group where the literacy rate is low and fertility rate is high is left behind - be it Muslims or Hindus or others, Given poor performance of Indian government to educate its masses, each group has to take its own initiative to increase literacy rate and reduce fertility rate.
March 12, 2013 7:29 am
Md Imran you are dreaming just as Iqbal and Jinnah. First improve the conditions of Muslims in Pakistan. Even Jinnah will squirm in heaven bomb blast tear apart humanity and property in every part of Pakistan everyday. That's why I say don't be a ostrich with your head buried in sand. Educate yourself first. Do you have a Hindu millionaire in Pakisatn . We have Azim Premji in India. Do you have a Hindu superstar, We have Shahrukh Khan. Do you have a Hindu scientist. We have Abdul Kalam. What has Jinnah achieved with a separate Muslim State. After 66 years you guys are still nowhere!
March 12, 2013 7:36 am
I think you have altogether missed the thrust of the article. Please read it again to understand what the author is trying to convey
Harsh Srivastava
March 12, 2013 7:47 am
Good..balanced article. I must say..wasn't expecting it.
March 12, 2013 7:56 am
The more interesting speculation is what if Muslims had remained united in a federal India and constituted 600 million by now! Imagine the political strength of such a huge number and the potential of a nation without the defensiveness of having divided and separated.
March 12, 2013 8:11 am
The condition of muslims is much more better than any muslim countries of world. Their condition would improve more if they send children to schools instead of madrasas , If they reduce production of children. In some parts muslims still thinks that wearing burkha is necessary, so the girls deprived of education .
March 12, 2013 8:17 am
250,000 Parsis...fantastic people run respected businesses TATA, GODREJ...who is helping them..they don't crib like 20% leaderless community caught in 500 year old mindset!!
March 12, 2013 7:15 pm
Well said, and as a Hindu, I assure U (except a few bad apples which plague all cultures and societies) we all want the best for U. U are us and I am U, :-)
March 12, 2013 8:35 am
lousy piece of writing! I'm a Pakistani and I believe this is a biased article to undermine the progress India is making, due to which Muslims in India are also progressing. The author has gone into the history of muslims, which is irrelevant here in the context of this article; it's like reading some biased Pakistan-Studies coursebook from the school days! Also some contradictory statements within the article ... eg., if the author believes (without any references!) that the muslim population is increasing at a faster pace, then in the next statement, he mentions that "while the fertility rate in India is falling, the rate among Muslims is falling more slowly." ... serious wastage of time!
March 12, 2013 8:56 am
March 12, 2013 7:11 pm
A very insightful observation my friend, I am a non Muslim Indian but definitely want all Muslims to be at par, and if able, even better. When a Muslim in India can be the President of the country, surely he can be the best of what he wishes to be.
March 12, 2013 8:58 am
Well said.
Alex R.
March 12, 2013 9:01 am
False through out. And I am not Pakistani.
March 12, 2013 9:03 am
Did you even understand this article? our forefathers had the foresight to foresee what was coming? They didn't see that muslims will be killing muslims in pakistan. Pakistan and Pakistanis have been far more progressive, innovative, and wealthies than their Indian counterparts. Really?
March 12, 2013 9:16 am
Seems you failed to read and understand the last three paragraphs of the feature! It is clearly stated Indian Muslims are better off when compared to Muslims in Pakistan, they appear behind only when compared to other communities (largely Hindus) in India! Also, the writer of this feature has clearly explained the reasons why!
March 12, 2013 9:30 am
Yes. Pakistan had three notable Indians in over 65 years out of a population of 2 million or so - one spreme-court judge (Justice Rana Bhagwan Das), one bowler (Danish Kanaria) and one fashion designer Deepak Parwani.
I. Ahmed
March 12, 2013 9:34 am
Janab, are you on drugs?
March 12, 2013 9:55 am
continue living in the past....and keep playing shatranj !!
Abdur Razzaque
March 12, 2013 9:57 am
Most of the times The Daily Dawn afraid and shows hesitation to accept the truth!!!!!!!
March 12, 2013 9:58 am
Although the status of Muslims nationally is lower but in Southern part of India, in states like Kerala, most of them are very well off, mainly due to the opportunities in the Gulf. A general survey in northern part of Kerala, you may not see a poor Muslim at all. Kumar
March 12, 2013 10:11 am
I bet you did not understand what was the content.
March 12, 2013 10:25 am
didnt u read the article at all.. haha
March 12, 2013 10:26 am
Go to Kerala to learn the enormous progress of Muslim and Christian community in this beautiful state.
March 12, 2013 10:26 am
' Muslims in India outperform their neighbours in Pakistan on some social indicators, such as having lower fertility rates and infant mortality, and higher literacy and life expectancy.? With that quote - do you really know what you are saying?
March 12, 2013 10:33 am
Before you think of expanding into UP, Bihar, Hyderabad & West Bengal, please ensure the present people in Pakistan are living in prosperity. Once the people are prosperous and happy, then expansion becomes very easy.
March 12, 2013 10:39 am
Thank you for an enlightening article. Now can someone please write an article detailing why Hindus in India are so backward?
Ahmed Sultan (India)
March 12, 2013 11:01 am
dream on dude
March 12, 2013 6:17 pm
Do they want jobs without studying ?
March 12, 2013 11:12 am
You have got a great sense of humour. You comment is very hilarious
March 12, 2013 11:27 am
I am very much encouraged by the comments from our Indian friends on this article. Most of them have a very logical and balanced approach to the issues the Muslim community is facing in modern India. Detaching our selves from the narrow minded ideologies will do much good to both people. Common marriages between Muslims and Hindus show that there exist many shared values among us. I was in Delhi few years ago invited by IIT Delhi to present a research paper there. I was happily surprised by the love of young Hindu generation for Urdu. I think things will change as people are lifted out of poverty by the rapid economic rise of India.
March 12, 2013 11:38 am
This macho talk is funny and entertaining. But please remember that someday the West will tire of the antics of the Islamic nations. It will then take them a week to utterly demolish the entire Muslim world. Better you all come to your senses before then.
March 12, 2013 11:43 am
except in terms of population :p
Another Human
March 12, 2013 12:02 pm
Friend.. these are common misconceptions that Urdu is language of Muslims, Sanskrit is language of Hindus. True, these languages have influence of the said religions. But it is crime to bind a language within religion. Myself a proud Hindu yet open minded, I really sweetness of Urdu.
Another Human
March 12, 2013 12:04 pm
Couldn't stop laughing upon reading this crazy full name.
March 12, 2013 12:19 pm
People like you really exists.
March 12, 2013 12:27 pm
I think Mr. Irfan Hussain (the writer of this piece) should be more concerned about the decline of Pakistani muslims in general and Pakistani society in particular.
March 12, 2013 5:46 pm
Very interesting thought! With almost 40% of Muslim population, Muslim League would be among three major parties along with Congress and BJP. Naturally, it would be a major force in national politics, often forming natural alliance with Congress and enjoying the seat at the power. I believe they would have done better championing interests of an average Muslim compared to how the average Muslims have fared so far in both Pakistan and Bangladesh.
March 12, 2013 12:44 pm
Looks like you were dreaming when you wrote this. Muslims are oppressed in India? Nonsense. Jinnah being a Shia, might not have been safe in today's Pakistan. Author has not given any comparison between the muslims between India, Pakistan and Bangladesh otherwise you would find muslims in India are better placed then their counter parts in other two countries. Pakistan a Islamic superpower? just because it has nukes, even Britain and France which are developed countries and posses nukes do no claim themselves to be superpowers.
March 12, 2013 12:47 pm
The best place to judge Indian and Pakistani Muslims is Toronto. Here we have Muslim family coming from Pakistan and India. You will see that Muslims from India will generally have both husband and wife working but large number of Muslim family from Pakistan will have only husband working. Other difference is that an average Muslim from from India will have 2 children whereas an average Pakistani Muslim family will have 3 children. Over the period of time, an average Indian Muslim family will have a better lifestyle than an average Pakistani Muslim family.
March 12, 2013 12:48 pm
Please mention they are reduced to 0.4%. At the time of partition they constituted over 20% of Pakistani population.
March 12, 2013 1:07 pm
Bravo, Rahmat, Being a Christian from Kerala I fully support you & our Indian State. India is a Safe, Plural & Secular country and Hindus being one of the Best tolerant people in the world. If hindus were fanatic no religion would have prospered in India. Of agree there are religious riots and some fanatic Hindus BUT minorities also have their share of Fanatics. Our Govt and liberal Indians take care of the fanatics and check their growth and that is the beauty of India.
March 12, 2013 1:36 pm
I think Indian Muslims are doing well as they are living with a secular majority. We need to think more about Pakistani minorities where they are sandwiched between the State/Army and fundamentalist majority.
Agha Ata (USA)
March 12, 2013 1:47 pm
If you could read the FUTURE history of Pakistan written by Muslims in 2050, you will see that there was nothing wrong with the leaders in Pakistan. They were all pious, God fearing good Muslims. All Landlords invited all poor workers, on their land, every day to their houses and fed them, clothed them and took care of their families like good Muslims. Historians will also have used their favorite phrases and say: ?Muslims in Pakistan were the bravest of fighters, they defeated India in every war, in every battle, and they made the teeth of Americans very very sour. They stood like wall drunken with lead.? Even if you could produce a video recording of the entire history and of all what you said, very few people are going to believe it. They would even argue on every point and might even make another video to disprove everything you said. Such is the power of their faith on their history, based on false information fed to them for centuries. All Muslim kings and conquerors had highest of characters and nobody did anything wrong, ever. And of course, there were a lot of conspiracy against them, all the time! .
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
Front Page