Home India News A comparative study of Muslims and Sikhs in Delhi

A comparative study of Muslims and Sikhs in Delhi

By Dr Anis Ahmad and Zahawa Ahmad for TwoCircles.net

The following are the findings from a sample survey conducted in Delhi

“Acquisition of knowledge of Science and technology is the only solution for the problems of Muslims.” Sir Syed Ahmed Khan

In this global era of technology and speed a man without education is just like a bird without wings or even if he has wings he does not know how to fly.

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Education, if looked beyond its conventional boundaries, forms the very essence of all our actions. Education provides the society with the ability to think and decide what is good for them and what is bad at given different situations.

When a community from a society fails to perceive the emergence and ultimate need of education, it becomes very hard and sometimes quite impossible for that community to progress in any field.

In India, Muslims are the largest minority, constituting about 14.23% of the total Indian population. The results of a survey conducted in the Indian capital are as follows:

Demographic structure of Delhi: An overview:

Hinduism is Delhi’s predominant religious faith with 81.68% of Delhi’s population, followed by Islam 12.86%, Sikhism 3.4%, Jainism 0.99%, Christianity 0.87% and others 0.12% (These other religious minorities include Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Bahaism and Judaism.

The Muslims are the majorities among the minorities, which means Muslims constitute a large part of the minority community both in India as well as in Delhi.

Literacy rate:
As per census of 2011, Muslims have the highest number of illiterates, nearly 43 % of their population.

The census has taken those between 0 and 6 years as illiterate and Muslims have the highest percentage of illiterates aged beyond seven years at 42.72%. This number is 36.4% for Hindus, 32.49% for Sikhs, 28.17 % for Buddhists and 25.66 % for Christians as per the latest census figure on ‘Educational level by religious community’ for age seven years and above.

The overall literacy rate among all religious communities has gone up since 2001. Among Hindus, it has risen from 54.92% in 2001 to 63.6% in 2011, while the corresponding rise for Muslims is 48.05 % to 57.28% which is a positive sign.

Among Muslims, however, just 2.76% went on to study till graduation or above, which is a highly disappointing number.

Population of Muslims and Sikhs:

Muslims constitute 12.86% of Delhi’s population whereas Sikhs constitute only 3.4%.

Urdu and Punjabi

7.14 % population of Delhi speaks Punjabi whereas 6.31% speaks Urdu hence both these languages are treated as Second official languages in Delhi.

The population of Sikhs is just 3.4% but the percentage of Punjabi speaking people is more, because there is also a sizeable population of non-Sikhs who speak Punjabi.

The population of Muslims is 12.86 % but Urdu speakers are only 6.31%. The reason is that there are a lot of Muslims who do not speak Urdu at all and their mother tongue is not Urdu.

Educational status:
Let us have a look at the educational status of both these minorities i.e. Muslims and Sikhs with reference to Delhi which is the capital of India and a true metropolitan city.

We already know that Literacy rate of Muslims is the lowest in India as well as In Delhi whereas Sikhs perform much better. There are reasons for that.

We will have a look at these reasons here and do a little introspection which is the need of the hour.

Religious Places

In Delhi, Gurdwaras are managed by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee or DSGMC which is an autonomous body. This committee also manages various educational Institutions, old age homes, libraries and other charitable Institutions in Delhi. It is headquartered in Gurdwara Rakab Gunj Sahib, New Delhi near Parliament House.

In Delhi, Masjids are managed by local Management Committees.

Educational Institutions:
DSGMC has opened many schools, polytechnics and Khalsa colleges for imparting education, whereas there is not a single educational Institution opened by any Masjid Management. There are only madarssas to impart religious Education.

It is important to point out that all schools managed by DSGMC are also imparting religious Education.

Schools run and managed by Sikhs in Delhi

Guru Harkishan Public Schools: There are many branches of Guru Harkishan Public Schools in Delhi and they impart quality education, withthe best infrastructure.

Guru Nanak Public Schools: There are many Guru Nanak Public Schools in Delhi.
Schools run by individuals (Sikhs): There are many Schools run and managed by individuals in Delhi, like Mata Jai Kaur Public School, Jaspal Kaur Public School and many more.

Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College
Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Technology
Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce
Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College
Mata Sundri College for women
Guru Tegh Bahadur Polytechnic Institute
Guru Ram Das College of Education
Guru Nanak College of Education
Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Institute of Management & IT

Schools run and managed by Muslims in Delhi:

Hamdard Public School, Sangam Vihar Managed by Hamdard Education Society
New Horizon School, Nizamuddin: Managed by World Education and Development Organisation(WEDO)

Crescent School, Darya Gunj: Managed by Crescent Education Society and it has one branch in Jafarabad.

Dr. Zakir Hussain College, Delhi University
Hamdard University A Private University run by Hamdard National Foundation.
Jamia Millia Islamia: A central Government University

When we look at population of Muslims in comparison with Sikhs, Muslims are four times more than Sikhs in Delhi. But we do not have educational institutions of our own that can cater to our educational needs. We have to depend either on government funded or institutions managed by others.

This is the reason that our Sikh brothers are doing much better than us in all fields of life. They have their own educational institutions that produce quality professionals.

Important takeaways
Collective effort and work will bear better results as we have seen in the case of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) Religious education can be imparted in regular schools as is done in Schools managed by DSGMC.

Education is what we need to solve all our problems.

When a community starts loosing the identity with which it was born, it sounds as if the soul has left the body and the body alone is barely of any need. The reason why this community has lost its identity are many but the most important is the absence of the will power in its members to take action or to work towards the benefit of the community at large. But this willpower is what we gain or achieve after getting educated.

It is our community. We are born into it. The community doesn’t need us but we need the community. It is our responsibility to work for it. We need to find our identity back and unite it with our souls. We need to fight for our status with ourselves. We need to stand in the society with the head held high.