Muslims in India: How long will they remain marginalized?

By Shamim Akhter,

Two days back I went through a report in BBC website under the title “India state-run banks ‘turn away Muslims’” regarding denial of access to government banks to Muslims in India. The report reveals the truth of the government banks operating in different parts of the country.

The report quotes the National Commission of Minorities as saying that there has been a 100% increase in the number of complaints it has received over the past year from Muslims who say they are being prevented from opening accounts in state-run banks.

[TCN Photo: By Mudassir Rizwan]

On the other hand this is the fact that Muslims make up India's largest minority community.
BBC writes that reports indicate the worst case took place in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, where some 90,000 Muslim students were unable to open accounts to deposit scholarship cheques given to them by the government.

However, some bankers say it is not so much their religious background, but their economic status that makes it hard for Muslims to get banking facilities. It says Muslims’ poor economic status means they are often excluded by private banks, which prefer more well-to-do clients.

Official reports frequently put Muslims at the bottom of India's social and economic ladder. And already a number of reports have suggested that India's Muslims fare poorly when it comes to getting access to quality education or employment opportunities.

Not only this, if we talk about the presence of Muslims in government jobs it is more heart-rending.

Today, about 140 million Muslims constitute over 13% of India’s billion-strong population. Since the independence of India in 1947 the percentage of Muslims in government census has remained same, i.e. 12% or 13% or less. But in an interview with "The Hindu" newspaper (Friday, October 01, 1999) Mr. Justice K. M. Yusuf, a retired Judge from Calcutta High Court had said that in his view the total percentage of Muslims in India is at least 20%.

But the appalling fact is that Muslims comprise only 5% of employees in the government of world’s largest democracy. A study says the figure for Indian Railways, the country's biggest employer, is only 4.5%.

The study continues to reveal that the community continues to have a paltry representation in the bureaucracy and police – more or less 3% in the powerful Indian Civil Service, 1.8% in Foreign Service and only 4% in the Indian Police Service. And Muslims account for only 7.8% of the people working in the judiciary.

Moreover Indian Muslims carry a double burden of being labelled as 'anti-national' and as being 'appeased' at the same time’, says a three-year back report on the state of Indian Muslims.

India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had said, “If India was to be a secular, stable and strong state, then our first consideration must be to give absolute fair play to our minority.”

But what fair play and treatment have been provided to the Muslims of the largest democracy of the world? (The BBC report - India state-run banks 'turn away Muslims' reveals partially the truth). Why are we lagging behind in every walk of life? It is the time of self and collective introspection and to find the ways to overcome the appalling state.

(The writer hailing from the state of Bihar in India works in Kabul with Ariana Radio & Television Network, Kabul, Afghanistan)


BBc report/Shamim

Well, one way to get job is to go to KAbul as the author has done.

When will you guys stop whining?

2% Cristians have 11% of top jobs (and low jobs).. 0.05% Parsis have 80% of top jobs.. 4% Sikhs have 9% top jobs...

Muslims have to study man -- sitting at home with burqua is not going to do it.

Majority of Muslim youths

Majority of Muslim youths languishing in jails are either highly educated or were pursuing higher studies.
A number of educated Hyderabadi youths were honourably acquitted by Court but of course ruining their life in the process.

Raju Decide what you stand for

@ Raju,
You need to decide what you stand for? Are you a Christian or a Hindu or an Indian? The classic style of people like you is to talk stats? I saw a report on TV Channel CNN IBN where young boys were shown training and mind it they were not from any 'Jihadi' locale but your own christian 'Nagas'. The reporter never talked about the parade going on whereas had it been anything with Muslim name etc. So do not harp on things like 'education' etc. No churches are demolished for not having christian population. Christians are in habit of eating and having the cake too. Why on this earth people talk about absence of mosques in Makkah and Madinah and justify its absence from Charngigarh?
Do not treat words Arabic with the pollution of classic Egnlish, a burqa is burqa and bot burqua.
You need to stop whinning about the so called christian achievements. The christian world is paying for Holocaust and slave trade. A single supposed act of 'Muslim' and you think banning the organisation while the world over christians roam with their armada and people like RSS do train, where are you then.
PS: The writing was to educate you while rememeber that there are no thoughts of you being 'something'. Your folly is the thought that your 'system' is good while the world know what are your ways!!

Milk for crying baby?

Start schools in our locality, maintain good quality in teaching, study well, try to become IAS,IPS,IFS etc.That is the only solution lies before us.We should not blame others for our leaders'failure.If we put hard effort,we will emerge as beautiful as TAJ MAHAL, as high as KUTAB MINAR and as stong as RED FORT Insha Allah. All these historical monuments symbolise the hard work and farsightedness of our ancestors.We lost what they had.

Stand united,emerge as a national political force, get educated, set goals,work hard, achieve goals and make contributions to our society and nation.All these must be done giving prime importance to our faith ISLAM.

Not possible till

Mr Abu Haroon,

Agreed what you said but it is not possible with your Kutab Minar for "Qutb Meenar'. Despite having name like Abu Haroon, the recklessness with which people do things is the bane. It is not that Muslims are running behind this world and there is nothing like 'Muslims hate' the progress the world is making. When the muslims fail to unite on things like Fajr, Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha' but insist on Fazr (z and j are interchangeable to many for their blind faith for langauges they think they know), Juher or Zohar or Dhaur for simple Zurh, Aser or Asar for Asr because you might have heard this from you grandfathers. you forget that these were the people who lost the power for the reasons well known!! There this very recklessness of doing what they have adopted from forefathers or thei own liking is the cause of all ills. Magrib for Maghrib is another point of discussion in neo-educated and moored Muslims. True that there is nothing like gh for a 'غ' but why to apply the rule of English natives to an alien words!! If we agree on this, we would have time to educate people in real sense of the word and not to fall pray to greed the world is falling for. Hope you agree with my contention without taking it personally.

Temples destroyed.

Submitted by ABUHAROON (not verified) on 24 July 2010 - 11:14pm.

Please visit the temples that were destroyed by muslim rulers. Off late is the buddha statue at afghanistan show the great secular thoughts of the practisioners of islam

Your statistics REVEAL A LOT

Raju Kurien @ 24 July 2010 - 3:35pm.

Your 2% population VS 11% job occupation, 0.05% VS 80% top jobs..... reveal a lot about GROUND REALITIES.

Had there been NO DISCRIMINATION - the statistics would have been TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

Wake up and remember the Sikh Riots of 1984, RECALL the recent Kandhamal incident, and "Love Jihad" Jhoota Prachaar. Just because of BLIND SUPPORTERS or SILENT OBSERVERS - those Hindutva GOONS are becoming BOLDER by the day. The day is NOT FAR, when innocent Hindus (including honest Brahmins) will be their TARGET.

An Indian

If someone want's to verify what the writer OR reporter of this article - Shamim Akhter is saying, here is the web-link of BBC Report:

ATS-Mumbai Chief Hemant Karkare, Vijay Salaskar, and Ashok Kamte - were targets of Hindutva vengeance.

HOw many karkare can be quoted in any other country?


Karkare is also a hindu. Please tell me how many majority side person has given the life for the minority. Pls list in out in any democracy or monarchy in the world. Hinduism works on the principle of good and bad and not on the principle of universal brotherhood among thugs.

I agree with your comment - NOT FULLY.....

"satwa gunam" @ 25 July 2010 - 7:56am. title: How many Karkare.....

I agree with your comment that Hinduism OR for that matter, any religion works on PRINCIPLES of "GOOD" and "BAD" i.e. "Truth" and "Justice".

But Hindutva / Sangh Parivaar works for QUITE the OPPOSITE, highjacking Hindu Religion.

Yes, Hemant Karkare did "sacrifice" his life, fighting for TRUTH and JUSTICE (i.e. GOOD and BAD), but Hindutvadis / Sangh Parivaar KILLED him because he STOOD for TRUTH and JUSTICE. Of-course, they will pay a HEAVY PRICE for this INJUSTICE.

An Indian.

Hinduism Hijacked By Sangh Parivar

Sangh Parivar hijacked Sanathan Dharma. Now it is really an insult to say that 'I am' or 'We are' a Dharmik. It is the duty of the Dharmik to conduct DharmaYush against Sangh Parivar. All Hindus should join together to defeat the terrorists and hijackers of our Dharma. PRATHIBA

Please answer with yes or no


Please answer with yes or no with one muslim name as a majority who fought for minority whether christin or hindus.

Karkare - exist only in india


It exist only in india is the truth. If you have some i would be more than happy to get enlightened.

There are many - here are few...

There are many JUST and TRUTHFUL personalities of India, if you have courage to acknowledge:

Frontier Gandhi - Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan

Allama Iqbal

Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

There will be many many more, ONLY if JUST people like you have: Courage to Acknowledge

I'm sure, other TCN readers will give you more and more examples. There are many many common, honest, and just people like the latest Mohammad Saleem, who is awarded for chasing GUN-WIELDING "terrorists" with STONES. Read this:

There was another Hawaldar Abdul Hameed, of Indian Army - who captured Pakistani Tank during the first Indo-Pak war. People tend to IGNORE, SIDELINE, or FORGET Indian Muslims' bravery - protecting RIOTERS / MISCHIEF MONGERS / TROUBLE MAKERS in "khaki chaddi".

An Indian

Apathy against Muslims

You views represents sorry state of affairs of the majority community who wants all minorities to be bullied and live under deprivation and constant fear.

I don't understand.. how

I don't understand.. how will such an attitude help the muslim community. If it expects the government to come and wish away their problems, then they would remain as impoverished as they have in the past.

You have to understand that the government has not lifted the lives of any single community as a whole. I don't think the Yadavs of UP and Bihar are doing any better after years of Yadav rule there.

When would the educated leaders of the muslim community understand that government apathy cuts across religions, caste and regions? So, if you want to make a change, encourage formal education, discourage religious education as a subsitute of formal education, do your bit to increase the awareness of the community.

TCN Picture

A picture speaks thousands of words. With the boy doning his head with a palestinian type headgear, and three menacing looking bearded guys next to him; fairly or unfaitly, they all look like terrorists whose pics we see in the media.

It may help to clean up the image for a change

Is Dr.M.M Singh also a terrorist? Mr.Raju

Reply to Sri Sri Sri Poojaniya Raju Kurienji; If anybody wears Arab headgear or spots beard, he can be called Terrorist!!!!! Very good lesson you taught me today Mr.Raju.Please disclose whether our PM,scores of Hindu Sandhs, scores of Christian Priests, Guj CM etc are also on your list of terrorists or only Muslims are reckoned.

I am sure that you have serious Psychological disorder caused by Islamophobia, Zionism, Brahmanical racism etc.You are not a normal man and you must consult a Psychatrist immediately.

It is not appropriate to call a person terrorist simply because he has headgear and beard unless otherwise he is convicted in connection with terrorism charges.
In my opinion all war mongering invaders are terrorists eg; George W Bush, Tony Blair, The Zionist terrorists in occupied Palastine, Invaders in Iraq, Invaders in Afghanistan etc.

In India context, RSS is the mother of all terrorists.Some RSS activists spot beard, some not but all are terrorists.Have you ever read Bunch of thought the BIBLE of RSS? It is a good guide for a TERRORIST.

Terrosist looking Muslims

Raju Kurien's comment is unfortunate. He appears to be a sadist. He finds the bearded Muslims as Terrorist but is silent about the dangerously bearded Sadhus with Ganja and chillam in their hands. He perhaps considers them as Avatar.If the beard depicts the Terrorism then what about the Sikhs and their Nihangs? What about Guru Nanak? If scarf of Muslims looks dangerous to him then whether it would be better for him to advise the citizenry to live like Naga Sadhus? Language(Mother tongue),Attires and scripts are the identities of any living nation.If you want to save the identity of your nation then you have to clinch the scripts, attires and mother tongue which is there for the centuries.If Muslims are doing so then what is problem to you? Kurien is mentally sick.He is interested in seeing the bare thighs ladies ( as is shown in TV shows) and he expects that every one should behave and think like him.



apathy towards muslims


Before we go deep into this subject, we have to recall various incidents for over 200 years.

Jinnah did not support khilaphat because it was not of indian cause but Gandhi supported it ? Why? there by he marginalised Indian muslim community from the others.

Jinnah was not recognised as muslim leader till was a moderate muslim and Hard core Ali brothers who manipulated emotions of Muslims were given importane.
What benifit Ali brothers did to muslim community? Nothing.

After ten years out of politics Jinnah retunred as a hardcore muslim leader and achieved Pakistan.

Who made him so? Politics of this marginalisation by Congress party.

None of these muslims here have come from outside as it was being told. We are from this land. Our fore fathers are from this land. Foreign muslim invaders came conquered and some places forcibly converted native people here. Hence, we have become muslims.
But inherently, we have a culture distinctly different from those from middle east or else where in the world. We share the same culture of Fellow Indians who ever they may be Hindu or christian or sikh. Our Human values are same.

I do agree with some friends here it would not solve any problem of us just having muslim leaders. We have MIM ruling old city for several years. Still it is like that as it was 30 or 40 years back when all the other areas of Hyderabad are excelling.
What we need nationalistic muslim leaders not narrow minded ones who exploit our emotions and become wealthier themselves.

basha/Muslim apathy

well said Mohd; I agree to all (except Mahathmaji's support for Khilafet...He did this to bring Muslims into the national movement) your statements.

Becoming leaders at the national level (like Mulana Azad), leaders of local panchayat, municipality, state etc is the key. A key point you mentioned, that we are Indians and not "arabs" is an important point. Even in Kerala, the Arab influence is overcoming the Kerala/Indian influence among Muslims. Some extremist leaders are pushing this. the recent PFI fiasco about the chopping off the professor's hand has put the community behind.

A kerala "christian model" (which basically followed your prescriptions for the last 2000 years) is nthe right model for any minority. Integrate, educate, have your own church (or mosque) worship and related functions, but vigorously participate in the local celebrations like Onam or Holi or boat race...

Nobody in Kerala will say A K antony is a Christian leader or Chandy is a Christian leader or Ousepachan is a Christian music director or Jesudas is a Christian singer etc etc... Muslims should get out of their shell as you stated

first teach your children

first teach your children some desciplene,humanity,formal education,having only two children,respecting other's faith & doing some productive work.

please try to understand that religeous education is not a susbtitute for formal education.

please understand that female is not a factory to produce children. let her have her choice of living. becoming pregnet too frequently without using contraception in the name of islam will lead her to ill-health at ypung age. also if u produce more children u can not give love,affection,education & ?food to them..... & young age they start doing nonsense.

we two & we will produce only two. say no to third child. otherwise u will never improove even in 25th century.

race in abrahamic religion

Christian and islam are having the race to have largest believers. First goes for conversion and the latter goes for procreation.

Mother earth cannot take this amount of humanity which will lead only to natural disaster to bring human population in line of nature.

You have no right to demand

You have no right to demand anything from India as you separated the country now whatever is your is your pakistan and you must go back to that country after all you wanted that bloody terrorists bloody pisssssssssssssslam

Are muslims marginalised?

Being a Muslim I don't think so our community is marginalised.We are one of the richest people in India and remember all the terrorists are Muslim leaders.