Advani says Muslims fare better in Gujarat


New Delhi : Muslims fare better in Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s Gujarat, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L.K. Advani said Monday, citing Justice Rajinder Sachar’s report on minorities.

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“In setting up the Sachar committee, the government had its own objectives. But going through the comparative statistics compiled by the committee, I feel Gujarat should be grateful to Justice Sachar for proving convincingly that under Narendra Modi’s regime, Muslims are far better off than their compatriots in other states,” Advani said in the latest post on his blog.

He said that the Muslim literacy level in Gujarat stood at 73.5 percent, compared to the national average of 59.1 percent.

Advani said Muslim women in urban areas of Gujarat had average literacy rate five points more than the national average whereas this was 14 points more for their rural counterparts.

He said a greater percentage of Muslims in Gujarat got primary, secondary and higher secondary education compared to the national average.

Referring to the economic well-being of Muslims, Advani said the community had an average per capita per month earning of Rs.875, which was more than the national average of Rs.804.

The per capita monthly income for Muslims was Rs.662 in Uttar Pradesh, Rs.748 in West Bengal, Rs.811 in Punjab, Rs.803 in Andhra Pradesh and Rs.837 in Karnataka, he said.

Advani said the story was similar in rural Gujarat where the per capita monthly income of Muslims was 20-25 percent more than of Muslims living in the rural areas of most other states.

He said Gujarat had 54 percent Muslims living below poverty line in 1987-88. This fell to 34 percent in 2004-05, “showing a healthy pace of improvement”.

“Even in terms of share of Muslims in state employment, i.e. government jobs, it is 5.4 percent in Gujarat while it is 2.1 percent in West Bengal, 3.2 percent in Delhi and 4.4 percent in Maharashtra.”

The BJP leader said the total picture dispels the “malicious propaganda” that injustice was done to Muslims in Gujarat.

“The study by the Sachar committee on educational condition clearly shows that Muslims of Gujarat are progressing well. They are provided ample opportunities and they are well cared for. The facts on their economic conditions dispel similar myths about their being discriminated against or being denied equal opportunity,” he said.