Are Muslims getting a fair deal in India? - Doha Debates.

Singh

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I was watching an episode of Doha Debates on BBC, and this was a topic being discussed in one of the debates.


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Details of Doha Debates

This House believes Muslims aren't getting a fair deal in India

http://www.thedohadebates.com/debates/debate.asp?d=72&s=6&mode=details

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Speakers and their Bios

Seema Mustafa
Sachin Pilot
Teesta Setalvad
M.J. Akbar

http://www.thedohadebates.com/debates/debate.asp?d=72&s=6&mode=speakers

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Video of the Doha Debate

Alternate link : http://www.thedohadebates.com/debates/magic.asp?d=72


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Transcript of the Doha Debate
http://www.thedohadebates.com/debates/debate.asp?d=72&s=6&mode=transcript

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Verdict

MOTION REJECTED by 38% to 62%

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Members please voice your opinions.
 
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Known_Unknown

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Haha....I love the way the moderator questions those mavericks. :D
 

hit&run

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can she prove that Muslims are failed in viva in PSU exams. I think she proved she was bias, doomed to be defeated.
But many interesting point debated. I personally blame it is because of Pakistani terrorism our Muslim communities have faced the short term prejudice from majority in past. Things have changed dramatically we are learning our lessons and are more alert not to make allegations or riots on the streets post Mumbai, raghunath mandir and akshar daam attacks; are nice examples.
What damage they (Pakistanis) have done to their own state and rest of the world is very visible. But what damage Pakistan has inflicted on the very strong fabric of our unity and religious tolerance, must be taken into considerations. Anti Muslim phenomenon became universal after 9/11 but India was always immune to this till today to my understanding. There are numbers of problems and we have inherited those problem because of our troubled past.
We as a nation with vast proud Muslim population can not accept any comparison with a Muslim majority Islamic nations or any other nation (please name here) which has never passed all the acid test which India has under given circumstances we have gone through. The very foundation of our nation was built on a brutal riot and not mention our animosity with Pakistan with so called Islamic identity always curating Indian nerves.
 

ajtr

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OK let me be the first to comment on this.There is no doubt the that Muslim empowerment is biggest challenge any govt. has to face and for that matter most of the economically backward classes are . we doing disservice empowerment of people if we gonna see it through the narrow prism of religion.Coz most of the political parties feed on religion issue and in the milieu the real issues of empowerment remains un-answered.Secondly a any government is good at making committees and plans only.Rather govt spend more time in setting up the committees than working out the actual plan on the ground.And when govt. makes any plan or issues directives it thinks its duty is done and it leaves the implementation of it on the bureaucracy,which every one knows in india how redtapeism works in killing some of the noblest plans like Public Distribution System.As seema mustafa articulates:

A lot of commissions have been appointed, a lot of committees have been appointed, but their recommendations are rarely implemented. Governments have also done very little to uplift, economically uplift, educationally uplift, the Muslims.
Before devolving into the issue of Muslim empowerment the real has to come from with in the community.Coz even God helps those who helps themselves.Most of the times Muslim empowerment is held back due to the Personal law AIMPLB( All India Muslim Personal Law Board) makes community under the control of Mullahs and Muslim elite leaders which always hampers the govt. plans.its not only exclusive to india only we have seen this in most of the Muslim countries and even in EU/UK.which is exclusively pointed out by seema mustafa again.

the Muslims themselves who are not giving themselves... have not been giving themselves a fair deal. The Muslim leadership, the elite and the Maulanas have been working against the Muslims and strengthening perceptions of communalism.
thirdly again Seema mustafa says,

"Muslims carry a double burden of being labelled anti-national and being appeased at the same time"
How true is this?unless we heard it in TV debates from Ms.Shabana Aazmz and Mahesh butts antics in imran hashmi's case.Coz same seema mustafa concedes later on, that everything is wrong on govt and politicians front but not the general populace.Which everyone knows in india regarding govt's/politician's apathy towards its population so this problem is not exclusive to muslim only but to whole of india
TIM SEBASTIAN
Seema Mustafa, thank you very much indeed. I'm puzzled to find you on this side of the motion because in the last few years you've been praising the way Muslims in India are assured of their right to vote, their say in the democratic process. Is that not a fair deal for them?
SEEMA MUSTAFA
Yes, they can vote, and probably so can the poor and so can all the marginalised sections in India.
TIM SEBASTIAN
And you wrote that because of the attitude of secular India, the minorities, Muslims included, feel they belong in India and are not alone. Is that not also part of a fair deal?
SEEMA MUSTAFA
Yes, that is part of what the people of India do - there's a difference, and that is why I've singled out the government, political parties and Muslim leadership. I'm not talking about the people of India because there is a certain democratic element, probably, in the people of India.
At one point seema mustafa does the mistake when she say that out of 543 loksabha MPs there are only 33 muslims but when most of the muslim MP's come from muslim elites only whom she blame as one of the reason for keeping the community backward then how can it will help if we have for sake 543 muslim MPs or 33 muslim MP.they are all same as politicians.which she herself concedes.

to be continued about others in later posts.....
 

Yusuf

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I guess BBC wanted to hear their are problems in india answer that Muslims are not getting a fair deal etc so that the west can further poke their noses in indian matters and try to sow further division. No happening.

Their are social issues for sure as expected in a country of the size and population of India and the poverty inherited from two centuries of British rule. But we will take time and in due course it will be resolved.

To a certain extent Pakistan sponsored terror has achieved at least one goal, that of creating communal divide. There are reports of ghettos but it might be only a small percentage.

The problem is that many muslims have not moved forward with time interns of adoption of technology and education. That is critical to move forward. But for some reasons large section of muslim population want to hide in the veil of religion which they think will take care of everything. But they are mistaken. religion is a guiding light for you to attain worldly and heavenly objectives not the be all and end all. Islam places a lot of emphasis on education and also pursuing career or business. The Prophet (PBUH) Himself was a businessman. He continued to work even after the Divinity was bestowed upon Him. Modern Mullas are the curse that is hurting the muslims more than anything else with their wrong interpretation of the Prophets teachings. Islam is not under threat anywhere. Ordinary muslims need to get this in their heads and go about empowering them so that they can help themselves and their future generations and therefore the country as a whole. Go to schools and colleges, mix with all other indians and exchange ideas and then see what happens.
 

maomao

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I DON'T THINK MUSLIMS ARE GETING A FAIR DEAL!

As compared to others they are far behind!

But I would also say that they themselves are to be blamed as we find Sikhs, Christians, Jains etc other minoritie sare in a far far better state than Hindus in every sense! So, I think muslims require to revamp and move towards prosperity and modern education, as I believe modern education is the key not madrasa education which poor muslims ususlly opt!

Plus Govt. has to push Modern education forward in muslim areas rather than funding madrasa to get votes(they may be correct in their calculation that majority of poor muslims are influenced by Holier-than-thou mullahs).


I somehow find muslim women more active and smarter than men, they are not at all like they way they are projected, they are capable of eating men alive, lack of education is the only drawback and education of women should be promoted on war level.
 

duhastmish

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its not at all about - religion.

In india i think minority are opressed and its not all based on their relgion color creed or clan. poor scheduled cast , scheduled tribs are all opressed.

i seen how poorly most hindu lives in india. the reform is required in the state policies.

this whole halabaloo about hindu muslim chritian minoirty is nothing but a politicial propaganda to gain some vote bank.
 

ajtr

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Sachin pilot is basically the govt. voice in the debate he says everything except on the topic of the debate.What he talks about is the preamble of constitution and the fundamental rights democracy and adult franchise.but then all these and others programs waterer the govt makes can not be implemented until govt takes proactive actions in implementing all such programs as i said before.So whatever he said as achievements of empowerment of Muslims is all from elites class.

If one has to learn obfuscation of facts and figures he/ she has to learn it from TEESTA SETALVAD or Mahesh bhatt.When she says that at time of partition muslim population in army was 32 % and and at present 2%.The point is that majority of recruit british indian army were from punjab and northwest and Jats and gorkha and gharwalis.With most of the punjab and Northwest gone to pakistan with that the sizable or the majority of muslim army gone to pakistan.As of today sikhs are over represented in army with gorkhas and jats .The percentage of muslim representation in indian army is no way a pointer to the empowerment or dis-empowerment of any community.If thats the case then bengalis and even gujratis are not represented as much in army.At one point she and seema mustafa recognize that its the political elites but this is same for every community and in that case every community is not getting the fair deal in india.she in the end extrapolate the main topic by equating the emopwerment by saying:

160 million or 130 million of us feeling disenfranchised, feeling discriminated against, functioning under the label of a terror[ist] or anti-national is not healthy for any society.
I dont know what the ghettoisation has to do do with not getting the fair deal. ghettoisation is not exclusive to india only you can see the ghettos in UK,usa and all over EU and in most of the muslim majority countries so why ghettos are equated as equated as being segregated.
 

ajtr

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I guess BBC wanted to hear their are problems in india answer that Muslims are not getting a fair deal etc so that the west can further poke their noses in indian matters and try to sow further division. No happening.

Their are social issues for sure as expected in a country of the size and population of India and the poverty inherited from two centuries of British rule. But we will take time and in due course it will be resolved.

To a certain extent Pakistan sponsored terror has achieved at least one goal, that of creating communal divide. There are reports of ghettos but it might be only a small percentage.

The problem is that many muslims have not moved forward with time interns of adoption of technology and education. That is critical to move forward. But for some reasons large section of muslim population want to hide in the veil of religion which they think will take care of everything. But they are mistaken. religion is a guiding light for you to attain worldly and heavenly objectives not the be all and end all. Islam places a lot of emphasis on education and also pursuing career or business. The Prophet (PBUH) Himself was a businessman. He continued to work even after the Divinity was bestowed upon Him. Modern Mullas are the curse that is hurting the muslims more than anything else with their wrong interpretation of the Prophets teachings. Islam is not under threat anywhere. Ordinary muslims need to get this in their heads and go about empowering them so that they can help themselves and their future generations and therefore the country as a whole. Go to schools and colleges, mix with all other indians and exchange ideas and then see what happens.
Thats the same thing as articulated by MJ Akbar .The question is of modernity and the integration of the community as whole with the rest of the population


Today's challenge, the challenge before St. Stephen's, is which Muslim community, which community will reach the stage of modernity? Who will become modern and how do you define modernity? There are four definitions: one, adult franchise, political equality, a nation without political equality cannot be modern. Number two, gender equality, extremely important - you cannot be a modern society, nation, without gender equality and I say this particularly before Muslim audiences that if - and this is an internal fact, not an external one so much - that if Indian Muslims do not get gender equality, nobody will invite them to the nineteenth century, forget the twenty-first. Number three: religious equality - we have it. It is visible in your dress, it is visible in the freedoms, we don't have burkha debates in the country, we have the right to wear a turban, we have the right to do what we like, if it's part of our... and we do not insult the other by treating one religion as superior to the other, or inferior to the other. Some Indians do, but India does not. Four: we have economic equity and that is really where our real challenge lies, in creating economic equity for a community. India can grow at eight percent and ten percent, but if 15 percent of Muslims of India do not grow at eight percent then Indian growth is incomplete.
And the real integration of the community is a challenge which is not exclusive to india alone.and one cant not equate the lack of integration with dis-empowerment or being segregated.The main problem towards integration is the AIMPLB and Mullahs and elitist leader which keeps the community backward as pointed out by MJ Akbar in the case of shah bano. as for that matter any community.Like the dalit population of UP and bihar been held backward due to the casties politics.Even when UP has a dalit CM there is no improvement in ints situation.
 

Sabir

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Few individuals may have religious biasness- (Hindu-Muslim both) but there is no reason to believe that Muslims or any other minorities are not getting fair deal in India. Though some may give such excuses to cover their own incompetence. If anyone has caused harms for the Indian Muslims- that is our own Mullahs. And some politicians have always backed them to retain vote bank. It is time moderate Muslims should raise voice for a Unified Civil Code to diminish the influence of those Mullahs from the society. If they hesitate to merge with the Indian society there will be no end of suffering.
 

Yusuf

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I don't know if unified civil code is going to make any difference to the lives of muslims. Unified civil code is its place and the vice like grip to the Mullas is in its place. Better education is the right way to start, as it is for the rest of the country too to alleviate poverty and backwardness. Someone like me has been able to make most of education by going to the best school in Bangalore and then pursuing an engineering degree. All this because our smaller community in the larger muslim population is more liberal in its thinking. Yes what's to be followed is to be followed in terms of praying etc... But then we also pursue our business or job vigorously to ensure a good life for our family.
 

tarunraju

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The scope of my opinion is limited in this issue, so please don't take undue offense, none is intended.

In my opinion, Islam in India is pretty healthy. Our Muslims are never circumstantially denied any amenity and are helped by quotas and reservations wherever required. There is 100% freedom of religion, no problem with day to day practice of the religion, so on and so forth.

But for one or more of the following reasons, there's a falsified perception of Indian Muslims not getting their fair share:
- Most of the Muslim elite classes left this country at the time of partition, so did a large chunk of mid/upper-mid class entrepreneurs, leaving behind a proletariat, peasant-class which is just about as relatively backward as the rest of India's backward classes
- Planners identified these sections of the society, and backed them with ample reservations and quotas, in whichever form viable and needed
- Although the government expects everyone, regardless of religion, to make use of the amenities provided, to pull themselves out of poverty and rise up in the society, the means largely opted by these sections, similar to the means opted by backward classes of other religions - largely small-business, family-business based, where the youth gets to either run business at a young age, or opts for technical educations to start earning at a relatively young age. Although this is a somewhat sustainable form of family income, its growth is slow compared to gaining higher education, and employment. As with middle-classes from all communities, a significant though relatively small number of people opted for professions. This group is growing.
- So to the outside world, the Muslim community, which amounts for 15-20% of our population having relatively the same proportions of lower income groups as Hindu lower income groups, gives a false outlook that a vast majority of Muslims are 'lagging behind'. when infact they could be nearly of the same proportions with respect to their community, as Hindu lower income groups
- Apart from income, the conservative nature of the community may also come in the way of liberalizing women, letting them seek higher education, professions, etc.
 

Kruel Rage

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As far as the topic is concerned, I would say that our democracy has given everyone an equal opportunity irrespective of religion or caste so nobody has been given an un-fair deal.

As far as the socio-economic conditions of Muslims in India are concerned than we have to realize that about ~46.88%(As per 2001 census) of Indian muslims live in states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal and given the socio-economic conditions within those states, the condition of a Muslim is no diffrent than that of a Hindu or Sikh living within those states.

Another important factor is that as per the Sachar commitee report, the economic condition of Muslims is not constant throughout India. Muslims in the three states of Delhi, Andhra Pradesh & Tamil Nadu earn better & have better access to civil amenites such as education, healthcare, etc than those living in Uttar Pradesh & Bihar.

In my opinion, the development of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar & West Bengal in a whole would improve the socio-economic conditions of Muslims remarkably as roughly half the muslim population lives in those states.
 

mehwish92

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i believe that the actual divide is not between hindus and muslims, but between the rich and the poor. The Muslim elite left for Pakistan and only the poor remained behind in India. While the Hindu elite came to India. Hence the Hindus are more powerful than the Muslims because it is the elite that controls India. There are just as many poor Hindus (if not more) that are just as disadvantaged as poor Muslims. But the constitution itself does not discriminate against Muslims at all. Muslims can excel in any field in India if they are qualified. Problem is, majority of Muslims are too poor/illiterate. And they themselves are partly responsible for this as well, not just the government. If the dalits can pull themselves up and begin to improve their condition, why can't Muslims?
 

ahmedsid

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Are Muslims Getting a Fair Deal? Well this Question is kinda very vague, because the thing is that, India is not one single entity like the UK or France or others wherein everyplace has the same situation. I come from the Southern State of Kerala, and In Kerala, Muslims are getting a Better Deal than any other community I feel. Why is it so? I dont know, but I havent come across discrimination against me or my family for being Muslims, nor have I been harassed or ridiculed nor have My grades in College been cut, nor have I been denied any other Things. To get the picture, we must break down this question State Wise, Region Wise, and see how the Muslims fare in each of these places, compared to the other denominations. We cannot tell as a whole, But one thing I can say is that, Muslims are Safer in India than in any other Country in the World.

Now, back to me, Well Some might say I have been lucky, but I wouldnt say that. I studied in the University College, which is purely merit based and students come from all stratas of Society, and it is from there that I came to this conclusion. I have debated about this Topic with my friends who are RSS ideologues. We have come to the conclusion that, you really cant blame the Government or the System for any Communities situation. Yes we can blame Society as a whole for any neglect they show, but we cannot blame the Hindus for the Plight of the Muslims or for that matter the Muslims for the Plight of Hindus or Christians, or in any other equation.

The Muslim Society is a highly complex one, and there are issues of Education for Women and all like some of you have pointed out. It is changing atleast in Kerala, wherein the mindset of the people of North Kerala have started adapting and seeing Education as a way forward. Computer Literacy is proving to be a boon and helping the society too at many levels. The Government too is doing its bit to Help Muslims in Kerala, be it the Congress or the Communists. They might be doing it based on Vote Bank or whatever, but it cant be denied.

Like Mehwish said, Lastly I would like to say that we should try to bridge the gap between the ultra poor and the rich. I mean Hunger and Poverty Doesnt differentiate between Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian. When we truly are able to do something about it, all this talks of Muslims and Hindus will end.

One more thing is that, I dont know much about the status of Muslims as we go North of India, but the thing is that, I feel they are better off here than they would be in the country that was formed for Muslims after 1947. As for people telling that Islam is the sole reason for the backwardness of the Muslim Society, I would like to tell them, that it wasnt always like that, its only when extremists start dictating terms that science and development takes a backseat. We cannot blame a Religion just because a few in it, find it Good to keep their brethren down in the slums of poverty, While they can Use this to get Votes, and accomplish personal things.

This is my thought, My Personal thought, and I believe I am correct to the best of my Knowledge. God Speed
 
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Singh

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Many of our members are touching up on the subject of Poverty amongst the Muslim masses.

Very Briefly I will touch on a few points.

Throughout Indian history uptill the present, the vast majority of Muslims have been poor. Muslim rule was magnificent for the elites or one of the descendants of the rulers, however, for the vast majority of the Muslims their condition was no worse or better than their non Muslim counterparts.

Muslim society was never homogenous. There are various divisions amongst the Muslims, and for the purpose of this thread the 2 major divisions are the minority elite and the majority poor. The minority elite have never sought to emancipate their majority poor co-religionists. Even partition was as a result of Muslim elite seeking to retain their influence and used the poor muslims for their numbers to gain for more political leverage. The Muslim elite have never sought to work for the emancipation of the Muslim masses; the Middle class is not as influential and very many educated Muslims have preferred emigrating abroad in search of opportunities.

There were two movements for uplifiting the Muslims of India before independence, one was by Sir Syed who wanted the Muslims to embrace western ideals and liberalism; and the other was by the Clerics, exhorting the muslims to return to the roots of Islam. Till today the Muslims have an option between either, however a lot of them chose clerics. To progress in India a community needs to modernise and embrace education. Muslims have not done so.

The political class is happy letting the clerics lead the Muslims as long as their votebanks are not harmed. The Government India has played a very passive role in uplifting the society instead relying on communities themselves to seek their future path. Certain sections of society certainly have some anti-Muslim element/sentiments but these are not any insurmountable impediments. Those willing to work or "work the system" have made it big, irrespective.

At the turn of Independence, India had a population of 30 crores and of them over 2/3rd were in poverty, the Muslims were around 10% of the population. Today we have a population of close to 100 crores and of them around a 1/3rd are poverty stricken and the Muslim population is ~15% of the Indian population. It is clear from the statistics that the Muslim population has increased 5 times over the last 6 decades, whereas the overall Indian population has increased just 3 times in comparison. A majority of Muslims are concentrated in the two states of UP and Bihar, which are about as backward as you can get and are bringing down the Muslim rankings.
 

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