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Wrong assumptions about Muslims
By Arif Aziz

Complaints of Indian Muslims are not irrelevant that after independence they are being ignored at every level till date with the result that day by day they are becoming backward and even worse than untouchable. Today majority of their population is settled in dirty localities. They are victims of unemployment in large numbers.

During the past fifty years of Independence the least of the developmental plans have taken place in Muslim majority areas. Among the non-Muslims inhabiting the under-developed areas the majority belongs to the ‘dalits’. But as compared to Muslims, ‘dalits’ enjoy much more privileges and concessions. Partly they enjoy the concession because they are included in the category of notified castes for whom special arrangements are being made for their comforts and raising their standard of living and partly because majority of them have monopoly over housing facilities being made available to them. On the contrary, the feeling of insecurity and poverty among Muslims is creating among them a sense of worry and disappointment and they are feeling deprived of will-power, determination and hope which induces them to take interest in building up the society, because disappointment always creates irritation and anxiety. Unhygienic conditions and various diseases, malnutrition lead to ill-health and death, specially of children and result in tension and many more diseases. All these have a very adverse effect on them. That is why dirty localities are centres of restlessness and often criminal activities. But instead of associating these evils with the mentality of a particular religious group and taking the whole community as criminals, it is necessary for politicians and rulers to reform them and improve their environment.

It is a pity that no-body pays any attention to solving the problems of Muslims as a nation nor any effort is made to improve their lot. Instead effort is made to isolate them from the national mainstream. A common assumption about Muslims is that they are believers in a particular political concept or ideology which is different from their (majority community) collective life and national viewpoint, that they are communal in their political outlook, that they actively participate in communal slogans instead of secular ideology and that they are haunted by their past glory which they want to, and actually do, adore like fancy toys.

However, if analyzed with an unbiased mind, none of these assumptions, or accusations, is correct. As for as communalism of Muslims are concerned, is it not sufficient to say in contradiction that during the past fifty years or so Muslims have not collectively voted for any communal party or group but very often they have voted for secular parties. In the 1977, 1987 and 1996 elections, when anti-Congress feelings overtook them, they voted in favour of other national political parties, as against Congress. They adopted this attitude in spite of the fact that their grievances were never removed. This proves that the whole nation, and not only Muslim community, is out of the common national mainstream. But instead of improving and reforming the system, only Muslims are being made the butt of criticism. They are still being treated as self-purchased people irrespective of the fact whether the treatment meted out is by a secular or a non-secular party or government. (Translated from Urdu)
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