Study: Indian Muslims Worse Off Than Untouchables and Falling Further Behind

A recent Dartmouth study by three researchers has reported that "Muslims (in India) now have considerably worse upward mobility (29) today than both Scheduled Castes (37.4–37.8) and Scheduled Tribes (32.5–32.7). The comparable figure for African Americans is 34."

The research paper titled "Intergenerational Mobility in India: Estimates from New Methods and Administrative Data" says that "higher caste groups (in India) have experienced constant and high upward mobility over time, a result that contradicts a popular notion that it is increasingly difficult for higher caste Hindus to get ahead".

Dartmouth researchers' analysis focuses on two mobility measures: (i) the expected outcome of a child born into the bottom half of the parent outcome distribution (upward interval mobility, henceforth referred to as upward mobility); and (ii) the expected outcome of a child born into the top half of the parent distribution (downward interval mobility).

Indian Muslims at Bottom in Social Mobility. Source: Dartmouth College


Panel A  in the above figure presents bounds on trends in upward interval mobility, or the average rank among sons born to fathers in the bottom half of the father education distribution. Panel B presents bounds on trends in downward interval mobility, or the average education rank among sons born to fathers in the top half of the father education distribution. Panel C presents bounds on trends in the proportion of sons completing primary school, conditional on being born to a father in the bottom half of the education distribution. Panel D presents bounds on trends in the proportion of sons attaining a high school degree, conditional on being born to a father in the bottom half of the education distribution.

The Dartmouth paper by Sam Asher, Paul Novosad and Charlie Rafkin confirms what an Indian government commission headed by Justice Rajendar Sachar found back in 2006 by saying that "Muslim disadvantage has been widely noted, including by the well-publicized federal Sachar Report (2006)".  Here's an excerpt of the paper:

"India’s Muslims constitute a similar population share as the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (14% for Muslims vs. 16.6% for SCs and 14% for STs). Muslims have worse socioeconomic outcomes than the general population (Sachar Committee Report, 2006). While Muslim disadvantage has been widely noted, including by the well-publicized federal Sachar Report (2006), there are few policies in place to protect them and there has not been an effective political mobilization in their interest. Muslims have also been frequent targets of discrimination and even violence."

The discrimination and violence against Muslims that the paper refers to has only gotten worse since the election of Hindu Nationalist leader Narendra Modi to India's highest office in India in 2014.

Earlier this year, an 8-year-old Muslim girl Asifa Bano was locked in a Hindu temple, drugged, gang-raped for several days and then bludgeoned to death in Indian occupied Kashmir, according to a report in a leading American newspaper.

Gang Rape Victim: 8-Year-Old Asifa Bano
Support of Rapists: 

The horror of a Muslim child's rape and murder was made even worse when the ruling BJP-affiliated right-wing Hindu lawyers marched in defense of her attackers. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reluctantly condemned the crime after waiting for several days. His belated acknowledgment came in response to international outrage.

Is this just another rape in India? Did the child's Muslim faith make her a target? Has Islamophobia gone mainstream in India?  To answer these questions, let us put some context to what is happening in Modi's India.

India saw about 39,000 rape cases reported in 2016, a 12% jump over the prior year, according to Indian crime statistics.  Children were reported as victims in 42% of the cases.

It is hard to say how many of the rape victims were Muslim.  What is known, however, is the exhortation by iconic Hindutva leaders to rape of Muslim women.  Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, one of the founders of right-wing RSS who Prime Minister Modi describes as "worthy of worship", is among them. After getting elected to the highest office in India, Modi paid tribute to Savarkar by laying flowers at his portrait that hangs in India's Parliament.

VD Savarkar, in one of his books titled Six Glorious Epochs of Indian History, elaborates on why raping of Muslim women is not only justified but encouraged.

Savarkar has used revisionist Hindutva history to exhort his followers to rape Muslim women as payback for historic wrongs he believes were committed by Muslim conquerers of India. “Once they are haunted with this dreadful apprehension that the Muslim women too, stand in the same predicament in case the Hindus win, the future Muslim conquerors will never dare to think of such molestation of Hindu women,” he writes.

Hindutva Revisionist History: 

American history professor Audrey Truschke, in her recently published book "Aurangzeb: The Life and Legacy of India's Most Controversial King" has argued that colonial-era British historians deliberately distorted the history of Indian Muslim rule to vilify Muslim rulers as part of the British policy to divide and conquer India.  These misrepresentations of Muslim rule made during the British Raj appear to have been accepted as fact not just by Islamophobic Hindu Nationalists but also by at least some of the secular Hindus in India and Muslim intellectuals in present day Pakistan, says the author.  Aurangzeb was neither a saint nor a villain; he was a man of his time who should be judged by the norms of his times and compared with his contemporaries, the author adds.

Truschke says the original history of the Mughal rule was written in Persian. However, it is the English translation of the original work that are often used to distort it. Here's what she says about it in her book:

"The bulk of Mughal histories are written in Persian, the official administrative language of the Mughal empire but a foreign tongue in India today. Out of necessity and ease, many historians disregard the original Persian text and rely instead on English translations. This approach narrows the the library of materials drastically, and many translations of the Mughal texts are of questionable quality, brimming with mistranslations and abridgments. Some of these changes conveniently served the agendas of the translators, especially colonial-era translations that tend to show Indo--Muslim kings at their worst so that the British would seem virtuous by comparison (foremost here is Elliot and Dowson's History of India as Told by Its Own Historians). Such materials are great for learning about British colonialism, but they present an inaccurate picture of Mughal India."

Modi's Record: 

In 2002 when Narendra Modi was chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, hundreds of young Muslim girls were sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.  These rapes were condoned by the ruling BJP, whose refusal to intervene lead to the rape and killing of thousands and displacement of 200,000 Muslims.

Since his election to India's top elected office, Modi has elevated fellow right-wing Hindu extremists to positions of power in India. Yogi Adiyanath, known for his highly inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric, was hand-picked in 2016 by Modi to head India's most populous state of Uttar Pradesh.

Adiyanath's supporters brag about digging up Muslim women from their graves and raping them. In a video uploaded in 2014,  he said, “If [Muslims] take one Hindu girl, we’ll take 100 Muslim girls. If they kill one Hindu, we’ll kill 100 Muslims.”

Yogi wants to "install statues of Goddess Gauri, Ganesh and Nandi in every mosque”.  Before his election, he said, “If one Hindu is killed, we won’t go to the police, we’ll kill 10 Muslims”.  He endorsed the beef lynching of Indian Muslim Mohammad Akhlaque and demanded that the victim's family be charged with cow slaughter.

Madhav S. Golwalkar, considered among the founders of the Hindu Nationalist movement in India, saw Islam and Muslims as enemies. He said: “Ever since that evil day, when Moslems first landed in Hindusthan, right up to the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been gallantly fighting to shake off the despoilers".

In his book We, MS Golwalkar wrote the following in praise of what Nazi leader Adolf Hitler did to Jews as a model for what Hindus should do to Muslims in India: "To keep up the purity of the Race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of the Semitic races -- the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindusthan to learn and profit by."

Social Hostility Against Minorities in South Asia. Source: Bloomberg

Rise of Hindu Nationalists: 

The situation for India's minorities, particularly Muslims, has become a lot worse in the last two years with Hindu mobs raping and lynching Muslims with impunity. The 2016 election of anti-Muslim radical Hindu priest Yogi Adiyanath as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, is seen as a clear signal from Mr. Modi that his anti-Muslim policies will continue.

Mohammad Akhlaq is believed to be the first victim of Hindu lynch mobs claiming to be protecting the cow. He was accused of consuming beef. For more than a week Prime Minister Narendra Modi remained silent over the incident and even after he spoke about it, he did not condemn it outright. The ruling BJP officials even tried to explain it as the result of the genuine anger of the Hindus over the slaughtering of a cow.

Pew Research Report:

A Pew Research report from data collected in 2015, about a year after Modi rose to power, found that the level of hostility against religious minorities is "very high". In fact, it said India scores 9 for social hostilities against religious minorities on a scale of 0-10.   Other countries in "very high" category for social hostilities include Nigeria, Iraq and Syria. Pakistan's score on this scale is 7 while Bangladesh is 5.5.

Pew Research Report on Religious Freedom

History of Anti-Muslim Riots in India:

Paul Richard Brass, professor emeritus of political science and international relations at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington, has spent many years researching communal riots in India. He has debunked all the action-reaction theories promoted by Hindu Nationalists like Modi. He believes these are not spontaneous but planned and staged as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth.

Here's an excerpt of Professor Brass's work:

"Events labelled “Hindu-Muslim riots” have been recurring features in India for three-quarters of a century or more. In northern and western India, especially, there are numerous cities and town in which riots have become endemic. In such places, riots have, in effect, become a grisly form of dramatic production in which there are three phases: preparation/rehearsal, activation/enactment, and explanation/interpretation. In these sites of endemic riot production, preparation and rehearsal are continuous activities. Activation or enactment of a large-scale riot takes place under particular circumstances, most notably in a context of intense political mobilization or electoral competition in which riots are precipitated as a device to consolidate the support of ethnic, religious, or other culturally marked groups by emphasizing the need for solidarity in face of the rival communal group. The third phase follows after the violence in a broader struggle to control the explanation or interpretation of the causes of the violence. In this phase, many other elements in society become involved, including journalists, politicians, social scientists, and public opinion generally. At first, multiple narratives vie for primacy in controlling the explanation of violence. On the one hand, the predominant social forces attempt to insert an explanatory narrative into the prevailing discourse of order, while others seek to establish a new consensual hegemony that upsets existing power relations, that is, those which accept the violence as spontaneous, religious, mass-based, unpredictable, and impossible to prevent or control fully. This third phase is also marked by a process of blame displacement in which social scientists themselves become implicated, a process that fails to isolate effectively those most responsible for the production of violence, and instead diffuses blame widely, blurring responsibility, and thereby contributing to the perpetuation of violent productions in future, as well as the order that sustains them."

"In India, all this takes place within a discourse of Hindu-Muslim hostility that denies the deliberate and purposive character of the violence by attributing it to the spontaneous reactions of ordinary Hindus and Muslims, locked in a web of mutual antagonisms said to have a long history. In the meantime, in post-Independence India, what are labelled Hindu-Muslim riots have more often than not been turned into pogroms and massacres of Muslims, in which few Hindus are killed. In fact, in sites of endemic rioting, there exist what I have called “institutionalized riot systems,” in which the organizations of militant Hindu nationalism are deeply implicated. Further, in these sites, persons can be identified, who play specific roles in the preparation, enactment, and explanation of riots after the fact. Especially important are what I call the “fire tenders,” who keep Hindu-Muslim tensions alive through various inflammatory and inciting acts; “conversion specialists,” who lead and address mobs of potential rioters and give a signal to indicate if and when violence should commence; criminals and the poorest elements in society, recruited and rewarded for enacting the violence; and politicians and the vernacular media who, during the violence, and in its aftermath, draw attention away from the perpetrators of the violence by attributing it to the actions."

Summary:

A recent Dartmouth study by three researchers has reported that "Muslims (in India) now have considerably worse upward mobility (29) today than both Scheduled Castes (37.4–37.8) and Scheduled Tribes (32.5–32.7). The comparable figure for African Americans is 34."  The Darthmouth paper adds that " (Indian) Muslims have also been frequent targets of discrimination and even violence."

India is seeing a spate of gang rapes and lynchings of Muslims by Hindu mobs who have been emboldened by the rise of anti-Muslim Hindu Nationalist leader Narendra Modi since his 2014 election to the highest office in India.  In their writings, iconic Hindutva leaders like Savarkar have encouraged rape of Muslim women. The elevation of radical Hindu Yogi Adiyanath to the top job in Uttar Pradesh by Mr. Modi has further alarmed India's Muslim minority. University of Washington's Professor Emeritus Paul Brass, who has documented the history of anti-Muslim violence in India,  describes it as "a grisly form of dramatic production" by well-known perpetrators from the Sangh Parivar of which Prime Minister Modi has been a member since his youth. Pew Research report on religious violence confirms India's status as a country with "very high" levels of social hostilities against religious minorities.  There appears to be no relief in sight for them at least in the foreseeable future.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream

700,000 Indian Troops vs 10 Million Kashmiris

Muslim Lynchings in Modi's India

Yogi Adiyanath as UP CM

Hindu Nationalists Admire Hitler

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Muslim Victims of Gujarat 2002

India's Superpower Delusions: Modi's Flawed Policies

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
‘Tell Everyone We Scalped You!’ How #Caste Still Rules in #India.The crimes are happening across the country and #Dalits are not simply killed: They are humiliated, tortured, disfigured, destroyed. #Modi #BJP #Apartheid https://nyti.ms/2Dvj4ll

When Sardar Singh Jatav set out walking on a muggy night in early September to talk with the men who employed his son, he found them already waiting for him in the road. But they were not in the mood for discussion.

The higher-caste men greeted Mr. Sardar with a punch to the face. Then they broke his arm. Then they pinned him down. Mr. Sardar shrieked for help. Nobody came.

One higher-caste man stuffed a rag in his mouth. Another gleefully pulled out a razor. He grabbed Mr. Sardar’s scalp and began to lift and cut, lift and cut, carving off nearly every inch of skin.

“Take that!” Mr. Sardar remembers them saying. “Tell everyone we scalped you!”

Mr. Sardar is a Dalit, a class of Indians who are not just considered lower caste, but technically outcaste — what used to be called untouchable. Bound at the bottom of India’s Hindu society for centuries, the Dalit population, now estimated at more than 300 million, has been abused for as long as anyone can remember.

And now, according to crime statistics, the violence against them is rising.

This might seem surprising against the new narrative India is writing. So much has changed. Millions of people have been lifted out of poverty. The Indian economy is now one of the world’s biggest. Everywhere in the country, there are new roads, new airports, new infrastructure.

But in many places, especially in poorer rural areas, caste infrastructure is still the one that counts. And those who rebel against it, like Mr. Sardar, are often greeted with unchecked brutality.

It is violence intended to send a message, pain inflicted to maintain India’s old social order. The crimes are happening across the country and Dalits are not simply killed: They are humiliated, tortured, disfigured, destroyed.

“We have a mental illness,” said Avatthi Ramaiah, a sociology professor in Mumbai.

“You may talk about India being a world power, a global power, sending satellites into space,” he said. “But the outside world has an image of India they don’t know. As long as Hinduism is strong, caste will be strong, and as long as there is caste, there will be lower caste,” he added.

”The lower castes don’t have the critical numbers to counterattack,” he said. And the result has been violence that he described as “intimate, sadistic and cruel.”

In late October, a 14-year-old Dalit girl was beheaded by an upper-caste man whose wife said he hated the girl specifically because of her caste. A Dalit scavenger was tied up and fatally whipped outside a factory in May, in a beating captured on video and broadcast across India. In March, a Dalit man was killed by higher-caste men for riding a horse (traditionally, Dalits aren’t supposed to do that).

“Such incidents would not have happened in my childhood,” said Chandra Bhan Prasad, a well-known political commentator (and a Dalit). “In my childhood, a Dalit would not ride a horse. Before 1990, most Dalits worked for someone. Now they are paying a price for their freedom.”

For decades, India has struggled to de-weaponize caste. When the Constitution was being written in the late 1940s, intellectuals knew caste was a sore spot that needed to be urgently addressed. They included specific protections for Dalits, who make up about 15 to 20 percent of India’s 1.3 billion people.

Affirmative action programs, though they have generated deep resentments among upper castes, have helped some Dalits escape poverty. Today there are Dalit poets, doctors, civil service officers, engineers, and even a Dalit president, though it is mostly a ceremonial post.
Riaz Haq said…
Stats on destruction of lives and property in #India Occupied #Kashmir

Killings: 94,479
Custodial killings: 7,048
Disappearances: 10,125
Gang rapes: 10,283
Civilans blinded: 188
Kids orphaned: 20,085
Women widowed: 20,005
Buildings destroyed: 106,071

https://medium.com/@cjwerleman/why-the-world-ignores-indias-violence-in-kashmir-c49f51bb21f9?fbclid=IwAR2mwyxGBg84B8agBtXkeEsu8fuaz-pyVUSSXdHKoN7bR6NSXP5BMC6UsX0
Riaz Haq said…
Every Muslim ruler in India, Mohammed bin Qasim onward, had a bureaucracy peopled by Hindu elites, alliances with Hindu rulers, Hindus in positions of political and military authorities, and Hindus in their army. So what is this nonsense about Hindus being oppressed by Muslims?

https://twitter.com/IndiaExplained/status/1104219388947750913
Riaz Haq said…
Speaking out may put us at risk, not speaking out will kill the soul: Anand Patwardhan on his latest film “Vivek”. Assassinations, cow-related, #Lynching #Hindu #terrorism and atrocities on #Muslims, #Dalits. #Modi #India #BJP https://caravanmagazine.in/culture/anand-patwardhan-film-vivek-right-wing-rationality via @thecaravanindia

As India heads to the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, it finds itself at a crossroads. Over the last five years, the idea of India as a secular and pluralistic democracy has been aggressively challenged by an authoritarian government led by Narendra Modi, and backed by the Sangh Parivar, which wields the sword of militant Hindu nationalism.

With growth stagnating and unemployment at a four-decade high, it is now becoming clear that the Modi government has failed to deliver on its promise of economic development. But whether this will weaken the majoritarian groundswell, currently buoying the Bharatiya Janata Party, remains to be seen. On the evidence of the activist-filmmaker Anand Patwardhan’s latest documentary, Vivek, or Reason in English, it seems unlikely that even an electoral defeat for the BJP will halt the march of Hindutva.

Nearly half-a-decade in the making, Vivek plays out over eight chapters that document Hindutva’s ascendancy in recent times through the trail of blood that it has left in its wake. The film covers the murders of rationalists such as Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, the connection of these crimes to the militant-Hindu outfit Sanatan Sanstha, the violent attacks on Muslims and Dalits in the name of cow protection, the caste-based discrimination that led to the suicide of the young student leader and scholar Rohith Vemula, and numerous other outbursts of violence, large and small, connecting them to present an overview of the turmoil that India is currently witnessing.

As it traces the scars that this violence has left on India’s collective consciousness, the film reveals a citizenry and a state so deeply penetrated by Hindutva and Hindu nationalism that it is difficult to imagine its ideology being dislodged by a mere election. In late March, I spoke to Patwardhan about the film and its themes. “I am hoping that if you have even a modicum of humanity, it will move you,” Patwardhan said. “Not because the film is great, but because what it describes is both real and tragic.”

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Patwardhan: Vivek traces the communal divide of today back to the “divide and rule” policy of British colonialists. After independence, imperial British power was replaced by another superpower, the United States, which created Islamic jihad in our bordering states in order to fight Soviet influence in Afghanistan. While the film just skims the surface of this, India and Pakistan, Hindus and Muslims are really playing out an agenda set elsewhere. That is not to say we are not responsible for what is happening today, so the main focus of the film is on the rise of fascism in India and its ongoing battle with humanists and rationalists.

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The actual line is, “Brahminism today is draped in the national flag, its storm troopers drawn from amongst those it has dumbed down and made jobless.”
Riaz Haq said…
Author Ashutosh in"Hindu Rashtra" talks about call to arms for #Gandhi’s #Hindus . “#Hindutva has an infinite appetite to quarrel with the past” under #Muslim rule. #Modi wants “masculine and martial nationalism” aimed at “#Kashmir, #Pakistan and #Islam” https://www.asianage.com/books/210419/a-call-to-arms-for-gandhis-hindus.html

As time moves forward, Hindu Rashtra will take its rightful place as a well-researched attempt to explain the unfolding of the Modi years. Review by Mani Shankar Aiyar

Ashutosh takes the reader by the hand, as it were, through the beginnings of Hindutva: the invention of this hitherto unknown word by V.D. Savarkar, its elaboration by M.S. Golwalkar, and its being put into political practice by the current icon of “masculine and martial nationalism”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Hindutva,” the author observes, “has an infinite appetite to quarrel with the past”. The past is seen, in Savarkar’s words, as “millions of Muslim invaders from all over Asia (falling) over India century after century with all the ferocity at their command to destroy the Hindu religion, the lifeblood of the nation”. Savarkar held that in this the Muslim invaders succeeded only because the Hindus had become “weak and cowardly” by upholding the “perverted virtues” of “compassion, tolerance, non-violence and truth”. The answer lay in recasting the Hindu as “masculine and martial”, the very qualities that Mr Modi seeks to embody. Ashutosh continues: “Modi epitomises Hindutva nationalism, which is founded on an adversarial attitude towards Muslims and believes that India’s history is one of Hindus being tortured in their own homeland for thousands of years because of the ruthlessness of Muslim rulers”.

But why continue this quarrel with the past even unto the 21st century, well after India, albeit a partitioned India, gained her Independence? M.K. Gandhi laid down the fundamental parameter of our contemporary nationhood in the following terms: “The assumption that India has now become the land of the Hindus is erroneous. India belongs to all who live here”.

Golwalkar held in direct contrast that the coming into being of Pakistan “is a clear case of continued Muslim aggression”. This led Nathuram Godse to justify assassinating Gandhi as, “Gandhiji was himself the greatest supporter and advocate of Pakistan… In these circumstances, the only effective remedy to relieve the Hindus from the Muslim atrocities was, to my mind, to remove Gandhiji from this world.”

This meshes seamlessly, as cited by Ashutosh, with Vinay Katiyar, several times BJP MP from Faizabad, asserting in an NDTV interview on February 7, 2018: “Muslims should not stay in this country. They have partitioned the country. So why are they here? They should go to Bangladesh or Pakistan. They have no business being here in India”. And that explains the conflation of “Kashmir, Pakistan and Islam” which Hindutva enjoins as “the duty of every Indian to fight”.

It is from such beliefs, argues Ashutosh, that have arisen the horrors of lynching and murder in the name of gau raksha and “love jihad”, assault and assassination of “anti-nationals”, the undermining of the institutions of democracy, and the nurturing of a new breed of “right-wing television channels that have become platforms for the propagation of Hindutva ideology: muscular nationalism; warmongering; militarism; bashing of Islam, Kashmir and Pakistan; and ridiculing and condemning liberal and secular values”.

The writer goes into each of these, and more, linking them to the ideology that inspires such hate and prejudice. The basic dream of Hindutvavadis, he shows, is “to make Hindus ruthless and masculine as they assume Islam did to its followers” by “effectively us(ing) state power to spread religion”.
Riaz Haq said…
This could become a self fulfilling prophesy if #Modi’s brutal oppression of #Kashmiris continues: #Kashmiris are preparing to take their jihad to pan-#India level and hit major #Indian cities in a big way

https://www.firstpost.com/india/message-from-anantnag-kashmirs-little-bin-ladens-are-preparing-to-take-their-jihad-to-pan-india-level-6802111.html

Inside Kashmir, there is a growing cohort of recruits willing to sacrifice their lives in fidayeen operations—something few were willing to do a generation earlier. Perhaps more important, the new-generation jihadists are seeking new fields for battle—their imaginations fired not by Kashmiri religious nationalism, but the global jihadist project.

For more than a year now, Al-Qaeda has been seeking means to transform the unwinnable war of attrition against Indian forces in Kashmir, by instead inflicting pain on the country’s cities.

The grenades tossed into the Maqsudan police station could prove to be the first shots fired by this new generation of little Osama Bin Ladens.

Little Bin Laden

Last week, one of the men behind the Punjab grenade attack, Abdul Hameed Lone, took charge of Kashmir’s fledgling Al-Qaeda unit—and of its project to transform the region’s conflict into a pan-India terror campaign. Born in 1990, to lower-middle class parents, Lone (also identified as Abdul Hameed Lelhari) grew up in the village of Lelhar, on the banks of the Jhelum, in the heart of southern Kashmir’s apple-growing country. His journey helps understand the generation of jihadists who have emerged from the debris of two decades of incessant conflict.

Lone completed his early school education from the Evergreen Public School, one of the private educational institutions that had sprung up across the region as public education collapsed amidst the conflict. In grade 5, though, straitened circumstances forced them to move him to a free, government school. Then, three years later, he dropped out of education altogether. He worked as a labourer, a cook, and then a mason.

Lone, family sources say, began exhibiting an interest in religion around this time. He turned to the Jama’at Ahl-e-Hadith—a neo-fundamentalist movement that was brought to Kashmir in 1925 by Sayyed Hussain Shah Batku, a Delhi seminary student who preached against the region’s Hinduism-inspired syncretic religious practices, such as worship at the shrines of saints, the veneration of relics, and the recitation of litanies before namaz prayers.

Early on, the Ahl-e-Hadith came under attack in Kashmir, from peasant clerics who charged Batku with being an apostate, and even the dajjal, or devil incarnate. Its message, though, resonated with an emerging, literate class. Though small, the historian Chitralekha Zutshi has pointed out, the “influence of the Ahl-e-Hadith on the conflicts over Kashmiri identities cannot be overemphasised”.

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Even if Pakistan is compelled to shut down jihadist operations on its soil, though, Lone’s story shows the problem won’t end there: India faces a generation which believes sacrificing their lives will open the doors to utopia.

In the absence of genuine political outreach to stall the youth rage in Kashmir, the government’s post-Balakot gains could prove illusory. For each terrorist eliminated, Lone’s story shows, there are several others lining up to die for the jihad—and willing to kill for it.

Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Muslims worse off than lowest #castes. Proportion of youth who have completed #schooling among Muslims in 2017-18 is 14% as against 18% among #Dalits, 25% among #Hindu OBCs, and 37% among Hindu upper castes #brahman. #Modi #BJP #Apartheid https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/muslim-community-youth-india-marginalisation-6096881/?fbclid=IwAR3z7JzcaVgwM5haZ6ft1JeLDJ9_ALnZpOaHZKQg9ld43bzakEoIvkoJShk

Written by Christophe Jaffrelot, Kalaiyarasan A |
Updated: November 1, 2019

The percentage of youth who are currently enrolled in educational institutions is the lowest among Muslims. Only 39% of the community in the age group of 15-24 are enrolled against 44% for SCs, 51% for Hindu OBCs and 59% for Hindu upper castes.

The 2019 Lok Sabha elections have reconfirmed the political marginalisation of Muslims — MPs from the community are very few in Parliament’s lower house. This process is converging with the equally pronounced socio-economic marginalisation of the community. Muslims have been losing out to Dalits and Hindu OBCs since the Sachar committee submitted its report in 2005.

Using the recent “suppressed” NSSO report (PLFS-2018) and the NSS-EUS (2011-12), examine the socioeconomic status of Muslim youth vis-à-vis other social groups in India. We use the same set of 13 states covering 89 per cent of the 170 million Muslims enumerated in 2011. We use three variables: Percentage of Muslim educated youth (21-29 age) who have completed graduation, percentage of the community’s youth (15 to 24 age) in educational institutions and the percentage of Muslim youth who are in the NEET category (not in employment, education or training). These variables together reflect pathways of educational mobility for the country’s youth.

The proportion of the youth who have completed graduation — we call this, “educational attainment” — among Muslims in 2017-18 is 14 per cent as against 18 per cent among the Dalits, 25 per cent among the Hindu OBCs, and 37 per cent among the Hindu upper castes. The gap between the SCs and Muslims is 4 percentage points (ppt) in 2017-18. Six years earlier (2011-12), the SC youth were just one ppt above Muslims in educational attainment. The gap between the Muslims and Hindu OBCs was 7 ppt in 2011-12 and has gone up to 11 ppt now. The gap between all Hindus and Muslims widened from 9 ppt in 2011-12 to 11 ppt in 2017-18.

Muslim youth in the Hindi heartland fare the worst. Their educational attainment is the lowest in Haryana, 3 per cent in 2017-18; in Rajasthan, this figure is 7 per cent; it is 11 per cent in Uttar Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh is the only north Indian state where the Muslims are doing relatively better in education — their educational attainment is 17 per cent. In all these states, except MP, SCs fare better than Muslims. The gap between SCs and Muslims with respect to educational attainment is 12 ppt Haryana and Rajasthan and 7 ppt in UP. In 2011-12, in all these states, SCs were slightly above the Muslims on this parameter.In eastern India, the educational attainment among the Muslim youth in Bihar is 8 per cent, as against 7 per cent among SCs, in West Bengal it is 8 per cent, as against 9 per cent for SCs, and in Assam it is 7 per cent as against 8 per cent for SCs. While the gap between Muslims and SCs has narrowed in the last six years, the latter still fare better.

In western India, the educational attainment figures for Muslims are better compared to 2011-12. But they do not necessarily reflect a significant educational improvement when compared to the SCs and Hindu-OBCs. In Gujarat, the gap in educational attainment between the Muslims and SCs is14 ppt in 2017-18; six years ago, it was just 8 ppt. In Maharashtra, the Muslims were marginally — by 2 ppt — better off than SCs in 2011-12, they have now not only lost to SCs but the latter has now overtaken them by 8 ppt.
Riaz Haq said…
#Liberals need to watch out for their own careless #Islamophobia. Our prejudices about Muslims are not even original. Through the last millennium, the West constructed the #Muslim as a threat, as #Christianity and #Islam competed for power https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/to-name-and-address/liberals-need-to-watch-out-for-their-own-careless-islamophobia/

Clearly, melting yourself down to Hindutva specifications isn’t enough if you have a Muslim name.

But forget the Hindu right, who are ideologically committed to their position. What is remarkable is how even liberals buy into similar suspicions.

Our prejudices about Muslims are not even original. Our language and images are borrowed. Through the last millennium, the West constructed the Muslim as a threat, as Christianity and Islam competed for power. Nineteenth-century European scholars of the Orient, obsessed with classifying and differentiating, with racial and civilisational theories— instilled the idea that the Muslim mind is one, unchanged from the deserts of Arabia, sexist and violent and fanatical.

These colonial storytellers gave us our H&M history — Hindus were cast as indisciplined and soft, Turks and Afghans and Persians were all made into generic ferocious Muslims, medieval warfare on all sides was recast as running religious enmity. This British-made history didn’t just set off Hindu nationalists — you hear it everywhere. Then the American Islamophobia industry after 9/11, which cast specific political conflicts as an enduring struggle with a malevolent, medieval other, fed perfectly into Indian politics and majority common-sense.

This stuff is not always about memories of trauma, it is mass-manufactured mythology. Someone I know in Kerala, who has inherited no psychic injury from any invasion or riot, is a library of Islamophobic stereotypes. He quotes cherry-picked bits from the Quran that abound on the internet, gives no quarter to context. He forgets his real schoolmates and acquaintances, as he frets about this abstract Muslim terrorist.

This allows people like him to blank out the violent hate-crimes, the insecurity and denial of rights that the NRC threatens, the majoritarian tilt of the Ayodhya judgment. It makes it impossible to see the facts of subordination and exclusion that the Sachar committee showed. It makes them reduce democracy-as-usual — i.e., responding to interest groups, as every party does — as suspect ‘vote bank’ pandering when it comes to Muslims.

Some liberals are not much better; accepting Hindutva terms like “appeasement” for basic cultural protections given to minorities in a multicultural nation. They hold pity-parties for Muslim women, as though non-Muslim women are much better off, affecting not to know that sexist societies make for sexist practices, whatever the faith.

To them, just being a believing Muslim is a sign of “indoctrination” or orthodoxy. Just speaking strongly for yourself, in this embattled situation, makes a Muslim a “Musanghi” in their eyes. The only acceptable Muslim is the post-faith Muslim, or someone willing to run down their community. Think of everyone clucking over Zaira Wasim’s choices, or liberal feminists bemoaning the hijab without respecting the rationality of the wearer. Remember how Nusrat Jahan’s sindoor was gloriously Indian, but Hadiya’s choices were about ISIS mind control? Most of us know little, ask little, but judge with an airy superiority.

Religion is a source of selfhood, a personal journey and a community, a refuge and a practice. But when it comes to political Islam, we make a point of the Islam rather than the politics. Even liberals divide things into a grid between good or bad, Sufi or Wahhabi, moderate or fundamentalist, syncretic or scarily alien. But Sufism has inspired fighters too; a better approach might be to see totalitarianism and violence as what they are, whether under the banner of Islam or class struggle or anything else.
Riaz Haq said…
Under the #Mughals , #India grew to be an #industrial powerhouse, overtaking China as the world’s leading exporter, notably of #manufactured #textiles. The global success of Mughal weavers attracted #European traders, among them the East India Company.

By William Dalrymple


https://www.spectator.co.uk/2019/12/as-english-spread-over-the-subcontinent-india-lost-forever-its-rich-persianate-literary-heritage/


By 1264, a bilingual inscription carved on a newly founded mosque in Veraval, near the great Hindu temple of Somnath in Gujarat, gives a picture of a town where two worlds were coming into intimate contact. The Persian text refers to the deity worshipped in the mosque as Allah, and describes the patron who raised it as ‘the sultan of sea-men, the sun of Islam and the Muslims’. By contrast, the Sanskrit text identifies the deity worshipped in the mosque as Visvanatha (‘lord of the universe’) and Sunyarupa (‘one whose form is the void’) and Visvarupa (‘having various forms’), while the patron is described as dharma-bhandaya — a supporter of dharma, the righteous cosmic order of justice and duty, as understood in classical Indian thought.

At the same time, in the eastern Gangetic plains, the earliest genre of Hindi literature — the so-called premkhyans, or Sufi romances — were being written in the Persian script. These

narrated the seeker’s mystical quest for union with God, but did so using characters who were ostensibly Hindu in name and cultural and religious practices, in a landscape saturated with Indian deities, mythology, flora and fauna.

Before long, in medieval Hindu texts from south India, the sultan of Delhi was being talked about as the incarnation of the god Vishnu.

This cultural mixing took place with ever greater thoroughness and complexity throughout the subcontinent over the next 600 years. Entire hybrid languages — notably Deccani and Urdu — emerged, mixing the Sanskrit-derived vernaculars of India with Persian, as well as Turkish and Arabic words. It was a process that went both ways. The great Hindu rajas of Vijayanagara described themselves as ‘sultans among Hindu kings’, and adopted Islamicate dress: Persian tunics of Chinese silks called qabas, and tall, brocaded, brimless Persian headgear called kulahs. At the same time, the Mughal Emperor Akbar ‘adopted a vegetarian diet and shortened his hair in the manner of religious ascetics’. He also abolished pilgrimage taxes on non-Muslim institutions and the jizya head tax on non-Muslims, banned the killing of cows and peacocks, and began giving generous land grants to Hindu temples.

In his court, Persian translations of the Mahabharata and Ramayana from Sanskrit were commissioned, just as elsewhere Persian romance narratives such as Nizami’s Layli va Majnun and Jami’s Yusuf va Zulakha were being translated into numerous Indian languages. By the 17th century, Akbar’s great grandson, the crown prince Dara Shikoh, had composed a singular study of Hinduism and Islam, The Mingling of Two Oceans, which stressed the affinities of the two faiths, and what he believed to be the Vedic origins of the Koran.

Under the Mughals, India grew to be an industrial powerhouse, overtaking China as the world’s leading exporter, notably of manufactured textiles. The global success of Mughal weavers attracted European traders, among them the East India Company. ‘India is rich in silver,’ noted the English merchant William Hawkins in 1613, ‘for all nations bring coyne and carry away commodities.’
Riaz Haq said…
People in #India Searching For 8-year old #Muslim Girl Victim of Kathua #Rape Videos On Porn Sites Exposes Sadist Mentality Of #Indian Society. Search term ‘Asifa’ was trending in India on XVideos, the world’s largest #pornography websites. #Modi #BJP https://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/people-searching-for-asifa-rape-videos-on-porn-sites-exposes-the-sadist-mentality-of-society-343590.html


Remember that eight-year-old victim in the Kathua gangrape and murder case? She was kidnapped, kept in a temple, drugged, raped by several men for several days, mutilated and finally, brutally killed in January. How could you forget?

The filthy mentality of a section of this country is exposed once again after the screenshot below started making rounds on the internet.

The image shows that the search term ‘Asifa’ was trending in India on XVideos, one of the world’s largest pornography websites.

It may seem extremely crude to be true but unfortunately, it is. The search shows the extremely sadist, sick and voyeuristic mentality of the consumer base for miseries of other people.

A recent study claimed that Indians are among the most "prolific consumers" of internet pornography, accounting for 40% of the website’s 14.2 billion visits.

The search hints at rampant sociopathy and excessive suppressed sexuality.

How can one relish the video of a dead child to satiate perversion? Porn enthusiasts, looking for fodder to gratify their deviance have searched multiple websites to find some sort of a clip. Search terms have surged overnight with people prefixing her name followed by a “porn”, “clip” and “videos”.

“Forced sex India” and “rape sex videos Indian” are among the top searches on porn websites.

Recently, a report said that in Uttar Pradesh, people are buying footage of a woman being raped for the price of a roadside meal. Al Jazeera found several videos that appeared to depict rape for sale across the state. They cost from Rs 20 to Rs 200 and are transmitted to a customer's mobile phone in a matter of seconds.

The faces of women are visible, their screams are clear and the attacks on them are brutal. Such videos are made to blackmail victims so that they don’t report the rape but easily find their way into the dark trade of selling and buying rape videos. In plain terms, these videos are mostly referred to as “local films”.
Riaz Haq said…
Perhaps #Modi's words explain the current situation best: "Barah sau saal ki gulami ki maansikta humein pareshan kar rahi hai" (The slave mentality of 1,200 years is troubling us). Probably a reference to 1000 years of #Muslim rule, 200 years of #British Raj in #India https://www.firstpost.com/politics/1200-years-of-servitude-pm-modi-offers-food-for-thought-1567805.html

New Delhi: "Barah sau saal ki gulami ki maansikta humein pareshan kar rahi hai. Bahut baar humse thoda ooncha vyakti mile, to sar ooncha karke baat karne ki humari taaqat nahin hoti hai (The slave mentality of 1,200 years is troubling us. Often, when we meet a person of high stature, we fail to muster strength to speak up).

Those were some seminal words in the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Lok Sabha on Wednesday. He was speaking as part of the Motion of Thanks to the President’s address to the joint session of the Parliament on 9 June. The key phrase was – "1,200 years of slave mentality".

For years, India has grown up on the hard fact of "slavery of 200 years", that refers to the period that the country was under the British rule. By expanding it to 1,200 years—by including the millennium in which major rulers of the country were Muslims—is PM Modi trying to bring about a paradigm change in the way we perceive our history?

However, this is not the first time he has used this phrase in his speech – he has referred to "1,200 years of slavery" in quite a few of his addresses in previous years. The phrase assumes significance now as he is the prime minister of the country.

Scholars are divided on their assessment of this new usage in the context of Indian history. Makkhan Lal, historian and former ICHR Council member, says, "The prime minister has stated historical facts. He was not asserting to political correctness. Whether Ghoris, Ghaznavis, or the rulers of the Sultanate or the Mughal period, they were all foreigners originally. They didn't belong to the culture of the land then. They came from outside, waged wars against the local rulers, took them captive and in many cases, plundered the resources and ruled the land by enslaving the locals."

The question, it seems, is not about foreign rule or local rule, but about 'slavery' or subservience to a foreign power that gave birth to slave mentality. Lal elaborates, "Had the British not left India in 1947, and stayed on and become one among the Indians, they too would have begun to be considered as non-foreign."

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After all, it was not just Hindu rulers that the invading Muslims fought against. In later period, often, the locals challenging the invading Muslim armies were Muslim themselves. Says Rajeev Kumar Srivastav of Banaras Hindu University, "Most of the foreign Muslim rulers of India between 1206-1256 paid obeisance to the Khalifa and not to an Indian authority, which clearly points to their foreign character. Even local Muslims were at loggerheads with the Muslim rulers, which is clearly referred to in the book Tarikh-i-Firoz Shahi, by Zia-ud-din Barni and Shams-i-Siraj Afifi written during Muhammad bin Tughlaq and Firuz Shah's reign.”

As expected, the repositioning of the period of 'slavery' in Indian history is bound to incite academic attack. Mushirul Hasan, historian and former vice chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia, says, "It is complete falsification of history. Several historians have refuted this fact but if the government wants to revisit it, they are free to do so, just as we are free to contest. The British didn't make India their home, whereas Muslims who came here, settled in India and contributed to the country’s culture. That gave birth to the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (syncretic culture)."
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Modi Has Lit a Fuse. Killings of #Muslims by #Hindu mobs in #Delhi were neither spontaneous nor without a warning but inevitable. Modi's #Hindutva policies have entrenched impunity, captured institutions and fanned religious hatred. #pogrom #BJP https://nyti.ms/2whFvc4

Many Muslims are now leaving (their homes), hoisting their unburned things on their heads and trudging away from streets that still smell of smoke.


The question before the nation is whether the bloodshed will change the direction of Mr. Modi — who first ran for prime minister in 2014 under the slogan “Together for all, development for all.”

In that campaign, Mr. Modi presented himself as a strong nationalist leader and economic reformer, playing down his Bharatiya Janata Party’s history of Hindu-nationalist aims and vilification of Muslims.

Some doubt clung to him personally as well. Despite his having been cleared by a court, accusations remained that he was complicit in the massacre of hundreds of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, when he was the state’s chief minister.


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Lynch mobs who said they were protecting cows, a holy animal in Hinduism, popped up across the landscape. They have gone on to kill scores of people, mostly Muslims and lower-caste Dalits.

Mr. Modi appointed Hindu extremists to top government posts, including Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, India’s largest state, who has called Muslims a “crop of two-legged animals” and promised to wage a “religious war.”

Mr. Modi placed other Hindu nationalist allies at the heads of important universities and cultural institutions. Place names were changed — so, too, were textbooks — to de-emphasize Muslims’ contribution to India and play up Hindu teachings. Many Muslim Indians, who make up one of the world’s largest Muslim populations, at 200 million, said they had never felt so marginalized.

And impunity flourished. Members of mobs who had been filmed in broad daylight beating the life out of someone went unpunished, or, if they were caught, they were often hailed by party leaders as heroes.

That violence did not appear to hurt Mr. Modi with his most ardent supporters in a country that is 80 percent Hindu. And he was given a boost before elections last year by a wave of nationalist sentiment over clashes between India and Pakistan.

-------------------------

“It may not work in Delhi, but incidents like this do work in some places in Uttar Pradesh or Bihar,” said Mr. Gokhale, the Mumbai activist, mentioning two other states. “Tomorrow Modi might reap political dividends, but people are going to be dead.”

There could be other costs, as well. These days, Mr. Modi speaks less about the development and reforms he once promised. The economy is reeling, with unemployment at a 45-year high and growth slowing to the lowest rate seen in nearly a decade.

Privately, some officials say that Mr. Modi’s government is so focused on its ideological aspirations that it is losing sight of the economy. And as the country’s economic malaise deepens, there is worry that Mr. Modi and his allies will again look to Hindu nationalist sentiment for a boost, and a distraction.

“To build that Hindu nation, control is everything,” said Shivshankar Menon, a former national security adviser.

“We may see them continue to inflame tensions domestically,” he said. “They need the violence as a distraction from those failures.”
Riaz Haq said…
#India’s #rape culture grows without shame or consequences. If #Delhi #school boys on Instagram privately plan to rape underage girls, then men from IT cells of #BJP & its allies publicly threaten women on Twitter and Facebook. #Hindutva https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/locker-room-boys-it-cell-men-india-rape-culture-grows-shame/414502/ via @ThePrintIndia

India has a rape culture. When not making “victims” out of women — young and old, newborn and dead — it breathes life into Indian boys’ and men’s everyday public conversations and private group chats. One such private group on Instagram, Bois Locker Room, was outed on Twitter Sunday. Screenshots of Delhi school boys sharing images of underage girls, with conversations ranging from ‘jokes’ about their private parts to planning a gang rape, went viral. They finally drew the attention of the Delhi Commission for Women, which sent a notice to both the police and Instagram demanding a probe.

But while this Instagram group had about 30-35 members, thousands of locker room boys grew up into same sexist and misogynist adults a long time ago, and no one took note. As members of Indian political parties’ IT cells, they are doing publicly what Bois Locker Room boys did privately. They log into their social media accounts every day and go after women who wear ‘short clothes’, speak their mind, talk back to them, don’t worship their political leaders, or don’t ascribe to their political ideologies — everything that hits at their masculinity. IT cells of all political parties — BJP, AAP and Congress — are part of this big boys’ club. But the BJP IT cell is most notorious.

The tools deployed by these men to target women are the same — threats of gang rape, mutilation, reminders of past heinous crimes, body shaming, slut shaming, character assassination, and spreading rumours. These men reduce the existence of women to sexual intercourse and their body parts, and want to teach them a lesson by circulating their nude pictures. They don’t spare their target’s mother, sister or any female relative

Almost all these men swear by their religion, are “nationalists and patriots”, and are followed by leading politicians of India, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some are politicians themselves, like former MLA and BJP leader Kapil Mishra, who has targeted public figures such as Swara Bhasker, Kavita Krishnan, Shehla Rashid, Barkha Dutt, Alka Lamba in the past and most recently, directed his vulgarity at Jamia student Safoora Zargar over her pregnancy.

As the screenshots of ugly conversations of Bois Locker Room began to emerge on Twitter, many expressed shock over the language, the sexualisation of underage girls as well as the fact that they were casually planning to rape a girl.

But if the locker room boys talk mostly about girls’ breasts, the big boys of IT cells are obsessed with women’s vagina. Every other day, there’s a Twitter hashtag targeting the genitals of the mother of the person in whose name the attack is trending. But these rarely draw anyone’s attention — be it of Twitter authorities, the Indian police or the government. It’s part of men’s everyday conversation to refer to a mother or sister’s vagina; men’s abuses directed at other men are centred on telling them they rape their mothers and sisters.
Riaz Haq said…
#AyodhyaRamMandir is the twilight of the first Republic. #QuaideAzam MA Jinnah was very prescient: #Hindu nationalism has been the bedrock of #Indian polity. Nehruvian #secularism was the fringe. #Modi #BJP #Islamophobia_in_india #Muslim #Pakistan
https://www.hindustantimes.com/columns/ayodhya-marks-the-twilight-of-the-first-republic/story-QGXeiHufgM31X5zgjeg8hP.html

By Prof Abhinav Prakash Singh

The first Republic was founded on the myth of a secular-socialist India supposedly born out of the anti-colonial struggle. However, the Indian freedom movement was always a Hindu movement. From its origin, symbolism, language, and support base, it was the continuation of a Hindu resurgence already underway, but which was disrupted by the British conquest. The coming together of various pagan traditions in the Indian subcontinent under the umbrella of Hinduism is a long-drawn-out process. But it began to consolidate as a unified political entity in the colonial era in the form of Hindutva. The Hindutva concept is driven by an attempt by the older pagan traditions, united by a dharmic framework and intertwined by puranas, myths and folklore, to navigate the modern political and intellectual landscape dominated by nations and nation-states.

Hindutva is not Hinduism. Hindutva is a Hindu political response to political Islam and Western imperialism. It seeks to forge Hindus into a modern nation and create a powerful industrial State that can put an end to centuries of persecution that accelerated sharply over the past 100 years when the Hindu-Sikh presence was expunged in large swaths of the Indian subcontinent.

India’s freedom struggle was guided by the vision of Hindu nationalism and not by constitutional patriotism. The Congress brand of nationalism was but a subset of this broader Hindu nationalism with the Congress itself as the pre-eminent Hindu party. The Muslim question forced the Congress to adopt a more tempered language and symbolism later and to weave the myth of Hindu-Muslim unity. But it failed to prevent the Partition of India. The Congress was taken over by Left-leaning secular denialists under Jawaharlal Nehru who, instead of confronting reality, pretended it did not exist.

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Hindu nationalism has never been fringe; it is Nehruvian secularism that was the fringe. And with the fall of the old English-speaking elites, the system they created is also collapsing along with accompanying myths like Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb and Hindu-Muslim unity. The fact is that Hindus and Muslims lived together, but separately. And they share a violent and cataclysmic past with each other, which has never been put to rest.

Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb was an urban-feudal construct with no serious takers outside a limited circle. In villages, whatever unity existed was because the caste identities of both Hindu and Muslims dominated instead of religious identities or because Hindu converts to Islam maintained earlier customs and old social links with Hindus like common gotra and caste. But all that evaporated quickly with the Islamic revivalist movements such as the Tabligh and pan-Islamism from 19th century onwards. It never takes much for Hindu-Muslim riots to erupt. There was nothing surprising about the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests and widespread riots. As political communities, Hindus and Muslims have hardly ever agreed on the big questions of the day.
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What we are witnessing today is twilight of the first Republic. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is but a modern vehicle of the historical process of the rise of the Hindu rashtra. In the north, Jammu and Kashmir is fully integrated. In the south, Dravidianism is melting away. In the east, Bengal is turning saffron. In the west, secular parties must ally with a local Hindutva party to survive.
Riaz Haq said…
In 1026, Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni raided the Hindu temple of Somanatha (Somnath in textbooks of the colonial period). The story of the raid has reverberated in Indian history, but largely during the raj. It was first depicted as a trauma for the Hindu population not in India, but in the House of Commons. The triumphalist accounts of the event in Turko-Persian chronicles became the main source for most eighteenth-century historians. It suited everyone and helped the British to divide and rule a multi-millioned subcontinent.

In her new book, Romila Thapar, the doyenne of Indian historians, reconstructs what took place by studying other sources, including local Sanskrit inscriptions, biographies of kings and merchants of the period, court epics and popular narratives that have survived. The result is astounding and undermines the traditional version of what took place. These findings also contest the current Hindu religious nationalism that constantly utilises the conventional version of this history.

https://books.google.com/books/about/Somanatha.html?id=4-NxAAAAMAAJ

--------------------

Thapar, Romila. The Past as Present (pp. 168-169). Aleph Book co.. Kindle Edition.

Some of the articles in this book discuss the manner in which religious ‘nationalisms’ interpret or object to certain historical texts. Items are picked out from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana—to be used for political mobilization; or there is a particular projection of an event such as the raid of Mahmud of Ghazni on the temple of Somanatha/Somnath. The dates of the epics have been contested since a long time and the more conservative attempt has been to take them back to remote antiquity. Historians try to date the core of each epic by relating it to the kind of society it represents as known from other sources, and the segments added on are investigated in terms of the society they depict or the artifacts they mention. It is thought that since evidence for them is lacking in earlier periods, signet rings were probably unknown to India prior to the coming of the Indo-Greeks at the turn of the Christian era. Would the reference to the signet ring in the Ramayana date to this period, as was suggested by the archaeologist H.D. Sankalia?
Riaz Haq said…
Those who refer to Mahmud of Ghazni’s destruction of Hindu temples and the carrying away of their wealth generally prefer to ignore the statement of Kalhana in the Rajatarangini that Harshadeva, an eleventh century king of Kashmir and therefore a close contemporary of Mahmud, defiled and looted temples when he required funds for the State treasury. The devotpatananayaka, officer in charge of uprooting the gods, was appointed to seize the images and the wealth of temples. Given the opulence of most temples, such evidence may be forthcoming from other areas as well. The wealth stored in temples required some to be walled in and defended almost like fortresses.

The religious intolerance of royalty flavoured with politics often taking violent forms is not unknown in many societies. Possibly what muted religious intolerance among the larger number of people in India was the link between religion and caste which confined it to being a local event. Communication of news was in any case relatively limited. For example, knowledge about the raids of Mahmud of Ghazni, was generally confined to the areas he visited.



Thapar, Romila. The Past as Present (p. 149). Aleph Book co.. Kindle Edition.

Riaz Haq said…
Indian historian Rmila Thapar:

https://theprint.in/pageturner/excerpt/muslims-enslaved-hindus-for-last-1000-yrs-historically-unacceptable-romila-thapar/552564/


As with all nationalisms of all kinds, Hindu religious nationalism also turned to history. But interestingly, it appropriated the two dominant colonial theories – the Aryan foundation of Indian civilization and the two-nation theory. These they now describe as the indigenous history of India. Ironically, it is claimed that these histories are cleansed of the cultural pollution of Indian historians influenced by Western ideas! That their own ideas are rooted in colonial theories is conveniently ignored.



The core of this ideology is the identity of the Hindu. The Hindu is the only one who can claim the territory of British India as the land of his ancestry – pitribhumi, and the land of his religion – punyabhumi. Muslims and Christians are described as foreigners since they came from outside the territory of British India and their religions originated in other lands. The ancestors of the Hindu and his religion having been indigenous to India, he, therefore, is the primary citizen. The true claimants to the ancient civilization can only be Hindus, descendants of the Aryans, and this is one reason why it has to be proved that the Aryans were indigenous to India, irrespective of whether they were or not. Being indigenous, they are the inheritors of the land. There are, however, glitches in this argument. Those of us who have pointed out the problems get our daily dose of abuse on the internet, and we are described as ignorant JNU professors and worse, even if in fact most are not from JNU.

….

The point that I am trying to make is that the reading and interpretation of the past requires a trained understanding of the sources and a sensitivity to understanding what has been written. The political requirements of today cannot be imposed on the history of the past. To maintain a generalized statement that the period of the last thousand years was one of the victimization and enslavement of the Hindus by the Muslims is historically unacceptable. This kind of generalization feeds communal nationalism. That is why I am cautioning against it. Unfounded generalizations have to be replaced by analytical history.
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi's, #BJP's parent org RSS's chief advocates ‘Akhand Bharat’ that includes #Pakistan & #Afghanistan:"There is a need to make glorious Akhand Bharat for the welfare of the universe. That’s why there is a need to awaken patriotism for the country”#Hindu https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/nation/rss-chief-advocates-akhand-bharat-says-pakistan-in-distress-ever-since-partitioned-from-india-217404#.YDmTjR7rIQc.twitter

More than the present India, the separated parts of erstwhile India, which shed their relevance with the country, have more necessity for the reunification to come out of their “miseries”, he further said.

Stressing that the concept of ‘Akhand Bharat’ is possible, Bhagwat said some people had expressed serious doubts before the partition of the country in 1947 whether Pakistan would be formed, but it happened.

India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, when asked before partition of the country in 1947, had said the possibility of formation of Pakistan was “dream of fools” though it happened.

According to Bhagwat, Lord Wavell (during British rule) also said in British Parliament that God has made India one and so who would divide it.


“But ultimately it (partition of India) happened.

What seemed to be impossible had happened, so it cannot be ruled out that ‘Akhand Bharat’ which may seem to be impossible, will not happen,” he said.

Alleging that there is unhappiness in the separated regions of ‘Akhand Bharat’ which now do not call themselves as ‘Bharat’, the RSS chief said the remedy to come out their miseries is reunification with India.


“They (separated countries) did all they could, but did not find any remedy. And remedy is reunification (with Bharat) only and all their problems will get resolved,” he said.

He, however, said the reunification should be done through “humanitys dharm” which according to him is called “Hindu dharm”.


“Gandhar became Afghanistan. Is there peace and tranquility in Afghanistan since then? Pakistan was formed.

From that date till now, is there peace and tranquility?” he asked.


He said India has the endurance to overcome several challenges and the world looks towards it to overcome difficulties.

With “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (world is one family) belief, India can again offer happiness and peace to the world, he added. PTI
Riaz Haq said…
Professor Audrey Truschke of Rutgers University speaking at a rally outside United Nations Headquarters on Nazi origins of Hindu Nationalism and Hindutva.


"The Party of BJP openly adhere to Hindutva. Hindutva was inspired in its early days by Nazism, the real historical Nazis, about a hundred years ago. Early Hindutva spousers openly admired Hitler. They praised Hitler's treatment of Jews in Germany as a good model for dealing with India's Muslims".

https://youtu.be/XbFrxTbxBAw
Riaz Haq said…
How colonialism eroded Pakistan’s history of religious fluidity
Before colonialism, Muslims and Hindus in Pakistan shared their sacred shrines and welcomed each other into their religious spaces. Post-Partition, this has changed but some traditions continue in rural areas.


By Haroon Khalid

https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/4/13/how-colonialism-eroded-pakistans-history-of-religious-fluidity


Over the cot is spread a “chaddar” – a piece of green cloth edged with gold embroidery – onto which the spectators have scattered hundreds of rupees as a gift to the young men who are dancing.

It is part of the festivities that take place at the shrine of Ram Thaman, a 16th-century Hindu saint, located in the village of the same name, during the annual festival of Vaisakhi.

Vaisakhi, which has both Hindu and Sikh mythological roots, is celebrated in the month of April to mark the beginning of the harvest season.

For three days, the village, which is located entirely within the compound of an ancient Hindu temple, is transformed from a sleepy hamlet into a bustling city of makeshift tents as thousands of pilgrims arrive from across the country and celebrations break out in the streets and alleyways.

Festival with a difference
At the spin-off celebration in the courtyard, the money scattered by revellers has now been removed and the cloth has been taken to the main shrine where it is placed inside a marble pavilion, on top of a triangle-shaped marble stone that contains the last remains of the saint.

The group of young male dancers have brought the cloth to the shrine as their offering to the saint. They all crowd into the small room.

“We brought this chaddar from Kasur,” explains Ghulam Ali, who is in his early 20s. “We wanted to offer it to the saint.”

“I have been doing this for 15 years,” he adds. “Paying homage to different shrines, offering chaddar, performing with my group and collecting any money that people give us.”

The scene is similar to hundreds of other festivals at Hindu shrines across South Asia, but there is one fundamental difference here in Pakistan. The majority of the devotees who come to the shrine of Ram Thaman, including Ali, are not Hindus – but Muslims.

‘We see the world in oppositions – Hindu, Muslim’
Pakistan is home to hundreds of shrines, many of which have a long history. Most of these are Sufi – a tradition in Islam that focuses on mysticism – but some, like Ram Thaman, are Hindu. Some shrines are visited by thousands of people; others attract millions of devotees during festivals.

“Pilgrimage to Sufi shrines is an important part of the religious experience,” explains Raza Rumi, a policy analyst, journalist and author of several books, including Delhi by Heart, and Identity, Faith and Conflict.

“A visit to a Sufi shrine provides a lived experience to the devotees as opposed to an intellectualised or ritualised understanding of religion. The pilgrimage to Sufi shrines is a multi-layered journey for the devotee. On the one hand, it denotes the effort and resources that are invested in the physical journey towards worship. At another level, it is a search for communion socialisation, and relating to the larger community of dargah (shrine) goer.”

The Vaisakhi festival at Ram Thaman is like any other Sufi festival but instead of being at a Sufi shrine, it is at the smadh (a sacred space constructed over the burial ground of the ashes of a prominent religious figure) of a Hindu saint.

Next to the building containing the sacred space is a Hindu temple, dedicated to the goddess Kali. Adjacent to these two buildings are the remains of a large, sacred pool. There are several other smaller temples within this larger complex, scattered all over the village.


This Hindu shrine is one of several non-Sufi shrines in Pakistan. Other examples are Udero Lal and Sadhu Bela, both in Sindh, the Pakistani province that is home to the vast majority of the country’s Hindus.

Riaz Haq said…
Amartya Sen on what British rule really did for India

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/29/british-empire-india-amartya-sen

It is true that before British rule, India was starting to fall behind other parts of the world – but many of the arguments defending the Raj are based on serious misconceptions about India’s past, imperialism and history itself

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https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/29/british-empire-india-amartya-sen

To illustrate the relevance of such an “alternative history”, we may consider another case – one with a potential imperial conquest that did not in fact occur. Let’s think about Commodore Matthew Perry of the US navy, who steamed into the bay of Edo in Japan in 1853 with four warships. Now consider the possibility that Perry was not merely making a show of American strength (as was in fact the case), but was instead the advance guard of an American conquest of Japan, establishing a new American empire in the land of the rising sun, rather as Robert Clive did in India. If we were to assess the achievements of the supposed American rule of Japan through the simple device of comparing Japan before that imperial conquest in 1853 with Japan after the American domination ended, whenever that might be, and attribute all the differences to the effects of the American empire, we would miss all the contributions of the Meiji restoration from 1868 onwards, and of other globalising changes that were going on. Japan did not stand still; nor would India have done so.


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I was persuaded that Marx was basically right in his diagnosis of the need for some radical change in India, as its old order was crumbling as a result of not having been a part of the intellectual and economic globalisation that the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution had initiated across the world (along with, alas, colonialism).

There was arguably, however, a serious flaw in Marx’s thesis, in particular in his implicit presumption that the British conquest was the only window on the modern world that could have opened for India. What India needed at the time was more constructive globalisation, but that is not the same thing as imperialism. The distinction is important. Throughout India’s long history, it persistently enjoyed exchanges of ideas as well as of commodities with the outside world. Traders, settlers and scholars moved between India and further east – China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand and elsewhere – for a great many centuries, beginning more than 2,000 years ago. The far-reaching influence of this movement – especially on language, literature and architecture – can be seen plentifully even today. There were also huge global influences by means of India’s open-frontier attitude in welcoming fugitives from its early days.

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In the powerful indictment of British rule in India that Tagore presented in 1941, he argued that India had gained a great deal from its association with Britain, for example, from “discussions centred upon Shakespeare’s drama and Byron’s poetry and above all … the large-hearted liberalism of 19th-century English politics”. The tragedy, he said, came from the fact that what “was truly best in their own civilisation, the upholding of dignity of human relationships, has no place in the British administration of this country”. Indeed, the British could not have allowed Indian subjects to avail themselves of these freedoms without threatening the empire itself.
Riaz Haq said…
Alauddin Khilji was one of India’s greatest kings and one of the world’s greatest military geniuses.
He was born in Delhi in 1266 AD (and hence an Indian; not a foreign invader) and ruled as Sultan of Delhi from 1296 AD – 1316 AD. Khilji greatly expanded the empire that he inherited from his uncle.
during his rule, the Mongols of the Chagatai Khanate invaded India. Khilji, by his military brilliance, managed to defeat the Mongols not once, but *five* times: in 1298 AD (led by Ulugh Khan, and inflicting 20,000 casualties on the Mongols), 1299 AD in Sindh (led by Zafar Khan), 1299 AD in Delhi (leading the army himself against the Mongols), 1305 AD (led by Malik Nayak, and inflicting 8000 casualties on the Mongols), and 1306 AD (led by Malik Kafur); and a “draw” in the sixth Mongol invasion of 1303 AD (again personally leading the army), where the Mongols were unable to defeat Khilji, but were able to sack Delhi.
This was a military feat unprecedented in those days, because the Mongols were an unstoppable force wherever else they went. No one in the rest of the world – whether the Russian Empire or the mighty Persian empire or the Baghdad Caliphate – could stand up to the dreaded Mongols. Khilji defeated them 5 times and had a draw in a 6th confrontation. The armies of the Delhi sultanate under Khilji were some of the most disciplined and well-trained in the world, and that is why they could defeat the Mongols time and again.

Riaz Haq said…
During his (Aurangzeb's) lifetime, the conquest of south India expanded the Mughal Empire to 4 million square miles, and ruled over an estimated 158 million people, with annual revenue of $ 450 million (more than ten times that of his modern Louis XIV of France), or £ 38,624,680 (2,879,469,894 rupees) for 1690. Under his rule, the Mughal Empire surpassed China into the world's largest economy, costing more than $ 90 billion, about a quarter (25%) of the world's GDP in 1700.
Sultan Aurangzeb Alamgir was born at Dahod, is a city in the Indian district of Gujrat, on the 4 November 1618. From childhood, Aurangzeb showed signs of glory and nobility. He was a bold cavalryman.
He was brought up, that he loved knowledge and religion. Even as a child, he was trying to stay away from a life of luxury. He rapidly gained knowledge and experience of administering the affairs of his Wilayah -The Deccan state, in the middle of India.
He spent 52 years of age, in the Jihad, to the Indian sub-continent, until the sub-continent (Indian) during his reign (1658-1707) expanded significantly. During his reign, the Mughal fought more than 30 battles out of which 11 were fought under Aurangzeb's personal command.
Aurangzeb succeeded in transforming the Indian subcontinent into Muslim Mughal Wilayah under one leadership. Aurangzeb established Islamic justice during its reign, Now Delhi became one of the modern cities on the globe. Aurangzeb cancelled 80 taxes and imposed jizya on non-Muslims cancelled by his ancestors.
He has established monasteries, schools, mosques, baths, and hospitals. He built gardens and repaired roads. He ordered the construction of the magnificent Badshahi Mosque, located in the city of Lahore "Pakistan."
Aurangzeb used to fast regularly, pray in the regular Mosque, and recite the Qur'an himself.
He appointed staff members who researched human resources and presented them to him. He used to sit three times a day and listen directly to the complaints/issues of the people, without any guard. He was the first king to record Islamic orders in manuscripts for use as a source of law.
When his death was imminent, he ordered that the price of his coffin should not be more than 5 Rupees. The Sultan was ninety years old and even in those years he commanded the army himself and studied the Qur'an.
On February 20, 1797, Aurangzeb died, after ruling for 52 years. After his death, the magnificent Islamic empire of India also came to an end. Next came the weak rulers, followed by the British.
Read more stories on legendary Islamic Personalities and Heroes
https://www.knowhistory.live/
Riaz Haq said…
The problem with cherry-picking facts from history
Narayani Gupta writes: Selective reading of historical events produces half-truths, tailored narratives

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/s-y-quraishis-on-hate-speech-and-indian-political-culture-of-cherry-picking-facts-from-history-7885481/?fbclid=IwAR2wg-IaJVKKQIN91U23zgX4nxZwhIc2YXm-ViN1_SwCXt5jTUcHjOF41L0

The simplest — but not wholly ethical — way to substantiate an argument is by cherry-picking. From 8th-century Sindh the author moves to 11th-century north India. He writes of Mahmud of Ghazni who “took a vow to wage jihad every year against Indian idolators”. (I tried to locate a source for this, and came up only with one — an earlier article by Punj, on July 12, 2019). Ghaznavi’s exact contemporary, Rajendra Chola, was in the same period raiding Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia. In Indian school textbooks Ghaznavi has always been an “invader”, the Cholas were “conquerors”.

The next eight centuries are omitted, and the trail moves down to Malabar (the Moplah Rebellion of 1921), then north and east India (the Partition tragedies of 1946-8), the “decimation” of Hindus in neighbouring countries (no dates) and people in Spain and Sweden.

He proceeds to ask a rhetorical question “Can laws or police fight hate?”

And this article was published a day after the BJP-run civic body let the bulldozers raze homes in Jahangirpuri “in the face of the Supreme Court order” as the Indian Express headline stated on the same day as Punj’s article!

Punj’s narrative could be described in his own words — “charged reactions, punctuated with half-truths, deliberate omissions and tailored narratives, offer no real solution” [to what?]. This is followed by a line which I find extremely difficult to decipher — “pusillanimity to face facts will only exacerbate the situation and give egregious results.”
Riaz Haq said…
Modi’s Double Engine Sarkar by Pervez Hoodbhoy

https://www.pakistanlink.org/Opinion/2022/Nov22/11/07.HTM

These are substantial, undeniable achievements that hubris-filled Hindu nationalists say derive from their greatness as an ancient civilization. But wait! China has done still better. And, though far smaller, many emergent countries of East Asia — Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore — also boast of better performance than India’s.

In every case, the secret of success is well-known — strong systems of education that create skills, knowledge, attitudes and social behavior’s suited for modern times. Together with that, a strong work ethic in the labor force. Stated differently, high national achievement springs naturally from the quickness with which a country universalizes or ‘Westernizes’ its education and creates positive attitudes towards work.

Here’s how India grew into the present. Empowered by the scientific and industrial revolutions, Britain colonized India and sought to spread Western education and values. Conservative Hindus emphatically rejected this modernization butsar reformist movements such as Brahmo Samaj under Ram Mohan Roy and others made deep inroads.

By 1947 under Jawaharlal Nehru — an avowed Hindu atheist devoted to the ‘scientific temper’ — India was already intellectually equipped to enter the modern world. For the next 50 years, India’s education sought to create a pluralist, secular, scientifically minded society. It reaps rich harvests to the present day — which the BJP happily appropriates as its own.

But Hindu nationalists now want India’s goals and self-image drastically revised. Modi’s second engine, fueled by febrile imaginations, pushes India towards emulating some kind of Hindu rashtra from an idyllic past. My friend Prof Badri Raina, now retired from Delhi University, says that “this backward engine would have us believe that in ancient times we had knowledge of plastic surgery, aeronautics, satellite vision, even as streams of foaming white milk flowed down our plains, and golden birds perched on the branches of trees”.

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The loudest call for reforming Muslim education was that of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan. Madressahs, he said, are entirely unnecessary. Using religious idiom, he passionately argued for science and modernity. While his efforts led to some measure of functionality and to jobs within the colonial system, they were nowhere deep or wide as that of Brahmo Samaj. Conservative backlash limited Sir Syed’s influence.

Thus, by the time Partition came around, there was a massive Hindu-Muslim gap. Nevertheless, for the first few decades, Pakistan’s engine #1 steadily gained strength and was consistently stronger than its second engine. Among other things, Pakistan’s space program (born 1961, now dead) much preceded India’s.

Riaz Haq said…
AT 9.4 out of a maximum possible score of 10, India’s Social Hostilities Index (SHI) in 2020 was worse than neighbouring Pakistan and Afghanistan, and a further increase in its own index value for 2019, the Pew data showed. A higher score is worse. The report covered 198 countries.

https://www.livemint.com/news/india/communal-rift-highest-in-india-says-pew-study/amp-11669743517440.html


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Indian American Muslim Council
@IAMCouncil
A latest
@pewresearch
report notes that India’s Social Hostilities Index (SHI) in 2020 was worse than Afghanistan, Syria & Mali.


https://twitter.com/IAMCouncil/status/1598143658796412928?s=20&t=rRgJr5qTL0sB-p9yW014gw

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In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced in April 2020 that more than 900 members of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat and other foreign nationals (most of whom were Muslim) had been placed “in quarantine” after participating in a conference in New Delhi allegedly linked to the spread of early cases of coronavirus. (Many of those detained were released or granted bail by July 2020.)

Pandemic-related killings of religious minorities were reported in three countries in 2020, according to the sources analyzed in the study. In India, two Christians died after they were beaten in police custody for violating COVID-19 curfews in the state of Tamil Nadu.

In India, there were multiple reports of Muslims being attacked after being accused of spreading the coronavirus. In Argentina and Italy, properties were vandalized with antisemitic posters and graffiti that linked Jews to COVID-19. In Italy, for example, authorities found graffiti of a Star of David with the words “equal to virus.” And in the U.S., a Mississippi church burned down in an arson attack about a month after its pastor sued the city over public health restrictions on large gatherings. Investigators found graffiti in the church parking lot that said, “Bet you stay home now you hypokrits.”

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/11/29/how-covid-19-restrictions-affected-religious-groups-around-the-world-in-2020/
Riaz Haq said…
Pew talks about how Muslims were blamed and targeted during the COVID pandemic.

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2022/11/29/how-covid-19-restrictions-affected-religious-groups-around-the-world-in-2020/

In India, Islamophobic hashtags like #CoronaJihad circulated widely on social media, seeking to blame Muslims for the virus.

In India, there were multiple reports of Muslims being attacked after being accused of spreading the coronavirus.

In India, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced in April 2020 that more than 900 members of the Islamic group Tablighi Jamaat and other foreign nationals (most of whom were Muslim) had been placed “in quarantine” after participating in a conference in New Delhi allegedly linked to the spread of early cases of coronavirus. (Many of those detained were released or granted bail by July 2020.)

Pandemic-related killings of religious minorities were reported in three countries in 2020, according to the sources analyzed in the study. In India, two Christians died after they were beaten in police custody for violating COVID-19 curfews in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Riaz Haq said…
Anti-Muslim bigotry that blamed the Tablighi Jamaat but allowed much bigger Kumbh mela gathering to go forward in the middle of India's worst COVID outbreak killed 4.7 million Indians.

https://qz.com/india/1996084/modi-governments-silence-over-kumbh-mela-shows-its-bias

What is much more evident is how the incident and the BJP’s rhetoric fueled hate speech and bigotry against Muslims in the early stages of the pandemic. Muslims were blamed for deliberately spreading the virus across India by waging what Hindutva adherents claimed was a “corona jihad”.

For months, headlines, incendiary statements, and viral videos sought to convey the idea that the spread of the virus in the country was the responsibility of a single community.

----------

Imagine if the Tablighi Jamaat gathering had been happening right now, with India in the grip of a brutal second wave of Covid-19 and daily case counts hitting numbers far higher than the worst days of 2020. Imagine the response of the BJP and India’s pro-government news channels if a police person had said something like this:

“We are continuously appealing to people to follow Covid appropriate behaviour. But due to the huge crowd, it is practically not possible to issue challans today. It is very difficult to ensure social distancing… A stampede-like situation may arise if we would try to enforce social distancing at ghats so we are unable to enforce social distancing here.”

It is not hard to imagine the anger and demands for accountability that might have been unleashed by a comment like that, from a senior police officer.

So what explains the relative silence of the government and the BJP when the same comment comes from the Inspector General of the Kumbh Mela currently taking place in Uttarakhand?

This was what Uttarakhand Chief Minister Tirath Singh Rawat said on March 20:

“I invite all devotees across the world to come to Haridwar and take a holy dip in the Ganga during Mahakumbh. Nobody will be stopped in the name of Covid-19 as we are sure the faith in God will overcome the fear of the virus.”

While claiming that all Central guidelines would be followed and that only those with a negative RT-PCR would be allowed to come, Rawat repeatedly said there would be no “rok-tok” or obstacles. “There is no strictness,” he said. “But Covid-19 guidelines should be followed… It’s open for everyone.”
Riaz Haq said…
Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

https://www.counterview.net/2018/06/buddhist-shrines-massively-destroyed-by.html

Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".
The book says, "Central to (Hindutva) perception is the belief that Muslim rulers indiscriminately demolished Hindu temples and broke Hindu idols. They relentlessly propagate the canard that 60,000 Hindu temples were demolished during Muslim rule, though there is hardly any credible evidence for the destruction of more than 80 of them."

Presenting what he calls "a limited survey of the desecration, destruction and appropriation of Buddhist stupas, monasteries and other structures by Brahminical forces", Jha says, "Evidence for such destruction dates as far back as the end of the reign of Ashoka, who is credited with making Buddhism a world religion."
He adds, "A tradition recorded in a twelfth-century Kashmiri text, the Rajatarangini of Kalhana, mentions one of Ashoka’s sons, Jalauka. Unlike his father, he was a Shaivite, and destroyed Buddhist monasteries. If this is given credence, the attacks on Shramanic religions seem to have begun either in the lifetime of Ashoka or soon after his death."

According to Jha, "Other early evidence of the persecution of Shramanas comes from the post-Mauryan period, recorded in the Divyavadana, a Buddhist Sanskrit, which describes the Brahmin ruler Pushyamitra Shunga as a great persecutor of Buddhists. He is said to have marched out with a large army, destroying stupas, burning monasteries and killing monks as far as Sakala, now known as Sialkot, where he announced a prize of one hundred dinars for every head of a Shramana."
Bringing up "evidence" from famous grammarian Patanjali, Jha says, he "famously stated in his Mahabhashya that Brahmins and Shramanas are eternal enemies, like the snake and the mongoose. All this taken together means that the stage was set for a Brahminical onslaught on Buddhism during the post-Mauryan period, especially under Pushyamitra Shunga, who may have destroyed the Ashokan Pillared Hall and the Kukutarama monastery at Pataliputra—modern-day Patna."

Riaz Haq said…
Indian culture and civilization have been enriched by Muslims. The biggest draw of tourists to India is the Taj Mahal built by a Muslim king. The Red Fort where Modi stands every year to deliver Independence Day speech was built by Muslims. Indian musical instruments like sitar and tabla were developed by Muslims. Choli and lehenga worn by Indian women were brought to India by Muslims. Biryani, samosa and nan came to India with Muslims. Indian language has been enriched by Arabic and Farsi words added by Muslims. Even the words Hindi and Hindu are of Arabic/Persian origin.

Now Hindutva rulers are trying to erase Muslim history in India. They can not succeed.

Muslims have given the world algebra, calculus, scientific method, physics, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, social sciences and a whole lot more.

Watch Prof Roy Casagranda explain it in detail in the following video:

https://youtu.be/C8M4i9fvq1M
Riaz Haq said…
#Modi-loving #Hindu Nationalists spew the usual Hindutva #Islamophobic tropes about #India's #Muslims. Here's the growing gap between Hindus and Muslim populations: 1951 Census: 269 million more Hindus than Muslims. 2011 Census: 794 million more Hindus https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/09/21/population-growth-and-religious-composition/

https://twitter.com/haqsmusings/status/1612881554174529537?s=20&t=3DgccaesALoJlvs2903mhg

1. Population growth and religious composition
BY STEPHANIE KRAMER
India’s population has more than tripled in the six decades following Partition, from 361 million (36.1 crore) people in the 1951 census to more than 1.2 billion (120 crore) in 2011. As of 2020, India gains roughly 1 million (10 lakh) inhabitants each month, putting it on course to surpass China as the world’s most populous country by 2030, according to the United Nations Population Division.
Though religious groups grew at uneven rates between 1951 and 2011, every major religion in India saw its numbers rise. For example, Hindus increased from 304 million (30.4 crore) to 966 million (96.6 crore), Muslims grew from 35 million (3.5 crore) to 172 million (17.2 crore), and the number of Indians who say they are Christian rose from 8 million (0.8 crore) to 28 million (2.8 crore).

However, there is some evidence that Christians may be undercounted. People who indicate that they are Christian on the census are not able to also identify as belonging to Scheduled Castes (historically known as Dalits, or by the pejorative term “untouchables”). Members of Scheduled Castes are eligible for government benefits, reportedly prompting some people in that category to identify as Hindu when completing official forms such as the census.4 In the 2015 National Family Health Survey – a large, high-quality household survey that does not exclude Christians from Scheduled Castes – 21% of Christians interviewed said that they belonged to Scheduled Castes.
Riaz Haq said…
Did you know that the composition of Mahmood Ghaznavi's army when he raided the Somnath temple in 1025 was, solely not a Muslim Army. Out of 12 Generals, 5 were Hindus. Their names are:1. Tilak2. Rai3. Sondhi4. Hazran5. Not knownAfter the battle, Mahmood issued coins in his name with inscriptions in Sanskrit. He appointed a Hindu Raja as his representative in Somnath. Arab traders who had settled in Gujarat during the 8th and 9th century died to protect the Somnath temple against Ghaznavi's Army.

Just three years before Ghaznavi's raid on Somnath in 1022, a general acting on the authority of Rajendra I, Maharaja of the Chola empire (848–1279) had marched 1,600 kilometres north from the Cholas’ royal capital of Tanjavur. After subduing kings in Orissa, Chola warriors defeated Mahipala, maharaja of the Pala empire (c.750–1161), who was the dominant power in India’s easternmost region of Bengal. The Chola's crowned their victory by carrying off a bronze image of the deity Śiva, which they seized from a royal temple that Mahipala had patronized. In the course of this long campaign, the invaders also took from the Kalinga Raja of Orissa images of Bhairava, Bhairavi and Kali. These, together with precious gems looted from the Pala king, were taken down to the Chola capital as war booty.
The question arises why is Mahmud Ghaznavi demonized but not Rajendra Chola's plunder of Hindu temples?In fact, the demonization of Mahmud and the portrayal of his raid on Somnath as an assault on Hinduism by Muslim invaders dates only from the early 1840s.

In 1842, the British East India Company suffered the annihilation of an entire army of some 16,000 in the First Afghan War (1839–42). Seeking to regain face among their Hindu subjects after this humiliating defeat, the British contrived a bit of self-serving fiction, namely...that Mahmud, after sacking the temple of Somnath, carried off a pair of the temple’s gates on his way back to Afghanistan.
By ‘discovering’ these fictitious gates in Mahmud’s former capital of Ghazni, and by ‘restoring’ them to their rightful owners in India, British officials hoped to be admired for heroically rectifying what they construed heinous wrongs that had caused centuries of distress among Hindus. Though intended to win the letters' gratitude while distracting the locals from Britain’s catastrophic defeat just beyond the Khyber, this bit of colonial mischief has stoked Hindus’ ill-feeling towards Muslims ever since.By contrast, Rajendra Chola’s raid on Bengal remained largely forgotten outside the Chola country.12 years after the attack, a king from the Goa region recorded performing a pilgrimage to the temple, but he failed to mention Mahmud’s raid. Another inscription dated 1169 mentioned repairs made to the temple owing to normal deterioration, but again without mentioning Mahmud’s raid. In 1216 Somnath’s overlords fortified the temple to protect it not from attacks by invaders from beyond the Khyber Pass, but from those by Hindu rulers in neighbouring Malwa; apparently, such attacks were so frequent as to require precautionary measures; apparently, such attacks were so frequent as to require precautionary measures.
The silence of contemporary Hindu sources regarding Mahmud’s raid suggests that in Somnath itself it was either forgotten altogether or viewed as just another unfortunate attack by an outsider, and hence unremarkable.

1. “India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765” by Richard M. Eaton2. “Somanatha: The Many Voices of a History” by Romila Thapar
Riaz Haq said…
Ex British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw's Interview with Karan Thapar on The Wire

Topic: BBC's Modi Documentary

https://youtu.be/8gYkcqExkac

“I have long been very familiar with the history of India and independence in 1947 and communal violence that ensued. I was there when there were demonstrations against Ayodhya mosque”

“There are thousands of Gujaratis in my constituency (in England), mainly Muslims”

After Godhra incident or accident (in Gujarat in 2002) there was a need for effective policing that did not happen”


“There’s a colonial history of the East India Company and the British government playing one community against the other (Hindu vs Muslim) during the Raj”


“The United Kingdom was a colonial master of India until 1947. So we felt a moral responsibility and a long term bond. …the constituency of Lancashire I represented is 40% non white… I had a concern for our Gujarati Muslim constituents”
Riaz Haq said…
The Mughals | Empire-builders of medieval India - The Hindu



https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/profile-on-the-mughals/article66714869.ece

Within hours of the National Council of Educational Research and Training’s (NCERT) decision to remove a chapter on the Mughals from the history textbooks for Class XII students, noted historians of the country issued a statement, denouncing the deletions. “The selective dropping of chapters which do not fit into the ideological orientation of the present dispensation exposes the partisan agenda of the regime,” a statement signed by Romila Thapar, Irfan Habib, Aditya Mukherjee, Barbara Metcalf, Dilip Simeon and Mridula Mukherjee, among others, read. “Driven by such an agenda, the chapter titled ‘Kings and Chronicles: The Mughal Courts’ has been deleted... In medieval times, the Mughal empire and the Vijayanagara Empire were two of the most important empires... In the revised version, while the chapter on the Mughals has been deleted, the chapter on the Vijayanagara Empire has been retained.”

It’s hard to understand the history of modern India without the contribution of the Mughals, who, including Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb, were all born in undivided India; and were buried here. None of them ever left the country, not even to go on a pilgrimage to Mecca.“Is there anything in India today which does not owe to the Mughals?” asks Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi, secretary, Indian History Congress. “From legal system to legal jargon, we owe to the Mughal and Turkish Sultanate before them. Words like vakalatnama, kacheri, durbar, we owe them all to the Mughals. Today, when a large number of Indians consider Lord Ram as a major deity, we have to thank Tulsidas who wrote his version of Ramayana during the Mughal period. Also, Vrindavan, associated with Lord Krishna, developed thanks to Chaitanya saints who were given grants by Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan, and helped Vrindavan and Mathura emerge as a key centre of Krishna Bhakti.”

The richness was owed substantially to the Rajputs, who were sharers of power from the time of Akbar, who defeated Rana Pratap in the Battle of Haldighati, and co-opted them in his empire through matrimonial alliances. Most Mughal rulers after Jahangir were born to Rajput women. As a result, within the family, Hindavi was often the language of communication. Aurangzeb, incidentally, conversed in Hindi and composed in Braj bhasha.


Riaz Haq said…
Mughals, RSS, evolution: Outrage as India edits school textbooks

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/14/mughals-rss-evolution-outrage-as-india-edits-school-textbooks

India’s right-wing government removes significant historical and scientific facts from textbooks as it pursues a Hindu supremacist agenda.


In 2018, a year before the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) stormed back to power for a second term, a federal education minister said he believed Indians were the descendants of Hindu “rishis” (sages) and not monkeys.

Satya Pal Singh, who was the minister of state for human resource development, said Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution was “scientifically wrong”.


“It needs to change in the school and college curriculum. Since man has been seen on Earth, he has always been a man. Nobody saw an ape turning into a man,” he said.

By the 2021-2022 academic year, Darwin’s theory was quietly removed from the examination syllabus for the students of Class 9 and Class 10. By 2022-2023, the topic of evolution was completely purged from school textbooks, teachers and education experts told Al Jazeera.

Now, millions of school students will not know who Darwin was or what his theory says – unless they opt for biology in Class 11 and Class 12.

The changes to textbooks were prescribed by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), a state-run body under the federal education ministry.

NCERT textbooks are prescribed by more than 24,000 schools affiliated with India’s Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), with tens of millions of students. CBSE also has about 240 affiliated schools in 26 countries across the world.

Apart from that, at least 19 school boards in 14 Indian states also use NCERT books in classrooms.

Muslim rulers erased from textbooks
Evolution is not the only glaring omission in the textbooks, introduced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government that has ruled India since 2014.

Modi’s BJP and its ideological mentor, the far-right Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), have long campaigned for a revision of India’s textbooks that aligns with their political objective of replacing a constitutionally secular India with an ethnic Hindu state.

In pursuit of that goal, the BJP and other RSS-affiliated Hindu groups are running a campaign to marginalise India’s 200 million Muslims, who constitute 14 percent of its population. Denying the historical fact that Muslims ruled over the Indian subcontinent for centuries – and demonising those rulers by creating an alternate history of alleged Hindu persecution – are major elements of that campaign.

As part of the same campaign, references to the Mughals, who ruled over the subcontinent between the 16th and 19th centuries, have also been removed from history textbooks.

In a move that the NCERT claimed would “rationalise” textbooks and reduce the workload on students affected by the pandemic, it deleted several pages from the Class 7 history textbook that referred to the Delhi Sultanate rulers, such as the Mamluks, Tughlaqs, Khiljis and Lodis. It also removed a two-page table explaining in detail the milestones and achievements of the Mughal emperors.

Along similar lines, three pages talking about the expansion of the Delhi Sultanate and a section explaining in detail a “masjid” (mosque) were also removed. A chapter called Kings and Chronicles: The Mughal Courts, which dealt with Mughal-era manuscripts including Akbar Nama and Badshah Nama, were removed from Class 12 history textbooks.

Gandhi’s killing, Gujarat riots details edited
The NCERT political science textbooks for Grades 11 and 12 also removed a reference to a brief ban on the RSS after India’s iconic freedom fighter Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, popularly called “Mahatma” (noble soul) and revered as the Father of the Nation, was assassinated in 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu hardliner with links to the RSS.

Riaz Haq said…
#Indian #Muslims in higher #education: Enrollment of Muslims in #India fell by 8% in 2019-20, while that of #Dalits, #Adivasis & #OBCs rose by 4.2%, 11.9% & 4% respectively. Upper caste #Hindus saw highest growth rate of 13.6%. #Islamophobia #Casteism https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/lower-in-higher-education-8598739/

The recently released All India Survey on Higher Education 2020–21 shows some contrasting trends. On the one hand, enrollment of Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs in higher education has increased by 4.2 per cent, 11.9 per cent and 4 per cent respectively compared to 2019-20. The upper castes, whose share in enrollment had been declining with the implementation of Mandal II since the late 2000s but who have come back with the highest growth rate of 13.6 per cent. On the other hand, the enrollment of Muslim students dropped by 8 per cent from 2019-20 – that is, by 1,79,147 students. This level of absolute decline has never happened in the recent past for any group.

UP accounts for 36 per cent of that total decline followed by Jammu and Kashmir, which accounts for 26 per cent, then Maharashtra (8.5 per cent), Tamil Nadu (8.1 per cent), Gujarat (6.1 per cent), Bihar (5.7 per cent) and Karnataka (3.7 per cent). Except in Tamil Nadu, Muslims alone witnessed an absolute decline in their enrollment. While the states that have a larger share of the Muslim population account for the higher share of decline, small states too show similar trends. For instance, between 2019-20 — 2020-21, Delhi lost about 20 per cent of its Muslim students while J&K lost about 36 per cent.

------------

Professor Sukhdeo Thorat, emeritus professor, Centre for the Study of Regional Development, Jawahar Lal Nehru University and former chairman, University Grants Commission(UGC) said that financially weak Muslims may go for higher studies if they are helped through scholarships.
Speaking on a lecture ‘Where do the Muslims lag behind in higher education?: Lessons for policies’ on the occasion of the 25th Foundation Day of the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (Manuu), Thorat said, “There are internal disparities among Muslims in attainment of higher education based on income level, gender and medium of education and institutions like Manuu must give preference to such groups through scholarships, differential fee structure, hostel facility and remedial coaching classes.”
He reiterated that Muslims have the lowest Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) at 16.6% in higher education among all the communities in the country (national average is 26.3%). He also pointed out that Muslim students depend highly on government institutions (54.1%) as compared to other communities (national average 45.2%) and only 18.2% Muslim students go to private aided higher education institutions and 27.4% go to private unaided higher education institutions against a national average of 24.4% and 30.1%, respectively.


https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/education/news/muslims-have-lowest-ger-in-higher-education/articleshow/88808430.cms
Riaz Haq said…
The Education Ministry data showed that the number of Muslim students decreased to 19.21 lakh in 2020-21 from 21 lakh in 2019-20.

https://indianexpress.com/article/education/enrolment-of-muslim-students-for-higher-education-dips-to-4-6-aishe-2020-21-8413124/



AISHE 2020-21: Enrolment of Muslim students for higher education decreases to 4.6%
The Education Ministry data showed that the number of Muslim students decreased to 19.21 lakh in 2020-21 from 21 lakh in 2019-20.

The number of Muslim students enrolling for higher education in India has dropped in the 2020-21 academic year compared to the previous year, according to a report by the All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2020-21.

Riaz Haq said…
Indian American Muslim Council
@IAMCouncil
The Muslim community is less differentiated within, along class and caste lines. But they experience clear collective deprivation, write
@jaffrelotc
and Kalaiyarasan A

https://twitter.com/IAMCouncil/status/1695232087526113388?s=20

---------

BJP’s Pasmanda Muslim outreach: It’s not as divided as you think
The Muslim community is less differentiated within, along class and caste lines. But they experience clear collective deprivation
Written by Christophe Jaffrelot , Kalaiyarasan A
Updated: August 25, 2023 17:20 IST
Newsguard

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/christophe-jaffrelot-kalaiyarasan-a-write-on-bjps-pasmanda-muslim-outreach-its-not-as-divided-as-you-think-8908162/


A couple of months ago, in his address to BJP workers in Bhopal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised that the party’s outreach to poor Muslims could take advantage of the “extreme exploitation of backward Pasmanda Muslims” by upper-caste Muslims and the parties playing the game of vote bank politics. This speech and the recent co-option of Pasmanda Muslims by the BJP have renewed the debate on caste among Muslims in India. While one cannot deny or disown the persistence of caste among Indian Muslims, in terms of socio-economic inequality, it is much less significant than among Hindus.

There are three broad groupings of Muslim castes — Ashrafs, Ajlafs and Arzals — which approximate to upper castes, OBCs and Dalits respectively. However, Dalit Muslims don’t self-identify as Scheduled Castes in survey data as they don’t enjoy reservation. Their castes are usually listed in the OBC category. OBCs constitute about 60 per cent of Indian Muslims, followed by 38 per cent of upper castes and the remaining 2 per cent constitute SC/STs. These groups, however, are unevenly distributed geographically. Pasmandas, comprising OBCs and Dalits, constitute 76 per cent of Muslims in UP and Bihar, for instance.

Drawing on the latest All India Debt and Investment Survey (AIDIS) and Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS), we use multidimensional variables — wealth consumption, access to jobs and educational attainment — to evaluate social inequalities among Indian Muslims and to compare them with the situation prevailing among Hindus.

The average per capita wealth among Hindu upper castes was Rs 8,64,984 in 2019, as against Rs 4,27,149 for OBCs, and Rs 2,28,437 for Dalits. The figures for upper-caste Muslims and OBCs were Rs 3,43,014 and Rs 3,10,922, respectively. In other words, on average, the wealth of Hindu upper castes was more than three times that of Dalits and twice that of OBCs, while this gap was just 10 per cent among Muslims. In Bihar, where Pasmanda Muslims are in large numbers, wealth inequality among Muslims is insignificant — just 2 per cent — and in Madhya Pradesh, Pasmanda Muslims do better than Ashrafs in wealth accumulation by 14 percentage points. By contrast, the gap is 43 per cent in UP, where there are remnants of landed Muslim aristocracy. However, if we compare the wealth gap among the Hindus of UP, on average, the Hindu upper castes own almost twice as much wealth as OBCs and three times as much as Dalits.

A similar trend can be observed in consumption, too. In 2021-22, the average per capita monthly expenditure among the Muslim upper castes was Rs 2,180, as against Rs 2,151 among Pasmandas, a margin of 1.4 per cent. The corresponding figures for Hindus were quite different: Upper castes, with Rs 3,321, consumed 40 per cent more than OBCs (Rs 2,180) and 57 per cent more than Dalits (Rs 2,122). The gap among Muslims was rather small in UP (6.2 per cent) and Bihar (10 per cent), while it stood at, respectively, 48 per cent for the Hindu upper castes vis-à-vis OBCs and 60 per cent vis-à-vis Dalits in UP, and 27 per cent and 48 per cent in Bihar.
Riaz Haq said…
The Muslim community is less differentiated within, along class and caste lines. But they experience clear collective deprivation

by Christophe Jaffrelot

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/christophe-jaffrelot-kalaiyarasan-a-write-on-bjps-pasmanda-muslim-outreach-its-not-as-divided-as-you-think-8908162/

In terms of educational attainment too, Ashrafs and Pasmandas are not so different. In 2021-22, the percentage of upper caste Muslim youth (18 to 23 years) attending higher educational institutions was the same as the Pasmandas: 19.8 per cent. By contrast, the percentage of Hindu youth in higher education among upper castes was as high as 46.5 per cent, while it was 36 per cent for OBCs and 26 per cent for Dalits. Interestingly, in UP and Madhya Pradesh, Pasmandas do even better than their upper-caste counterparts. In fact, in UP, Muslim upper castes are experiencing negative growth in educational attendance. As a result, their enrollment came down to 12 per cent in 2021-22, as against 14 per cent in 2011-12 — an unprecedented development in the history of India so far as we know, simply because every group, so far, has experienced greater access to higher education.

Muslims’ lower access to education gets reflected in access to regular jobs. The percentage of salaried workers among Muslims is 19.3 per cent as against 21.5 per cent for Hindus. But, again, there is no difference between Muslim upper castes and Pasmandas. In contrast, the percentage of salaried workers among Hindu upper castes is 33 per cent as against 19.9 per cent for Hindu OBCs and 21.5 per cent for Dalits. In states such as UP, Bihar, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, Pasmanda Muslims do better than their upper-caste counterparts, whereas Hindu upper castes still control most of the coveted jobs.

In sum, Muslims are less differentiated along class and caste lines than Hindus: While Hindus form an extremely unequal community, with upper castes being very resilient net gainers, Muslims are experiencing collective deprivation. That said, BJP leaders may still “divide and rule” Muslims by co-opting Pasmandas — the way they have done with Shias and Bohras — as well as by exploiting status-related faultlines, which remain strong even if class-based distinctions are much less visible than on the Hindu side. In UP, during the recent local body elections, the BJP nominated 395 Muslim candidates and 61 won. Three-fourths of these 395 candidates were Pasmandas. By contrast, in the previous local elections, the party had fielded only 180 Muslim candidates, with only one winning.
Riaz Haq said…
Muslims are the poorest religious group in India
By
Abhishek Jha
,
Roshan Kishore
Jun 30, 2023 09:22 AM IST

An HT analysis of unit level data from the latest AIDIS and PLFS shows they have the lowest asset and consumption levels among major religious groups in India

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/muslims-in-india-the-poorest-religious-group-with-high-inequality-and-limited-opportunities-data-analysis-reveals-101688097160955.html

An HT analysis of unit level data from the latest AIDIS and PLFS shows they have the lowest asset and consumption levels among major religious groups in India
The first of this two-part data series looked at intra-religious inequality among Muslims and found that they are as unequal a society as Hindus in India. These measures of inequality do not tell us about the material well-being (or lack of it) of Muslims as a whole vis–a-vis other religious groups in India. An analysis of the relevant numbers shows that they are the poorest religious group in the country. Here are four charts which explain this in detail.
Muslims have the lowest asset/consumption levels among major religious groups…

An HT analysis of unit level data from the latest All India Debt and Investment Survey (AIDIS) and Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) shows that they have the lowest asset and consumption levels among major religious groups in India. Average consumption and asset values for Muslims are 87.9% and 79% of the all-India average and 87.8% and 79.3% of the average values for Hindus. Religious groups which have a population share of less than 1% have been clubbed in the “others” category.

Which means that they over-populate the ranks of the poor in India

There is often a lot of dog-whistling about the population of Muslims increasing at a higher pace than other religious groups in India. While most such commentary is ill-informed – this was discussed in detail in these pages (https://tinyurl.com/2mhjxnn2) — Muslims do have an overrepresentation problem when it comes to their relative share in population among the poor. A comparison of relative share – among every decile class by assets ; it basically measures the share in a given decile class divided by overall share in population – shows that Muslims are concentrated in the bottom half of India’s population and outnumber the Hindus in relative terms in each of the bottom six deciles.

Even Muslim upper castes are poorer than Hindu OBCs

A comparison of average asset/MPCE values across social groups among Hindus and Muslims shows this clearly. The average asset value for non-SC/ST/OBC Muslims – they are the non-Pasmanda Muslims – is not just lower than the average value for non-SC/ST/OBC Hindus but also lower than that of Hindu OBCs, which shows that the claims of Muslim upper castes enjoying disproportionate economic power are just not true.

Poor employment and educational opportunities seem to be the primary cause of economic backwardness for Muslims

The PLFS gives data on both the status of workers (whether regular wage, self-employed, or casual) and the type of enterprise (such as government, public and private limited companies) at which a worker is employed. This shows that even non-SC/ST/OBC Muslims have a low share in regular jobs (the average wage in such jobs is the highest) compared to other religions. A comparison with caste groups among Hindus shows that non-SC/ST/OBC Muslims only do better than ST and SC Hindus. The disadvantage for Muslims becomes even bigger if one looks at their share in government jobs, a fact which has been pointed out by the Sachar Committee among others. To be sure, the low share of Muslims among the better jobs in India need not necessarily be a result of discrimination in the hiring process. Rather, it could be the result of Muslim job-seekers lagging in terms of educational qualifications, which is bound to have a big role in employability.

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