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Published in the 16-30 Apr 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Maulana Wahiduddin Khan

In the interview of Mohammed Shahid Rafique with (your father?), Maulana Wahiduddin Khan in the Feb. 1-15, 04 issue, the Maulana says: "Like other communities, Muslims too have greatly benefited... as a result, the economic condition of the Muslims today is far better than it was in 1947." this assertion flies in the face of many sources such as Omar Khalidi's chapter on economics in his study of Indian Muslims. Furthermore in the Times of India December 2, 2003, is quoted a survey by the Giri Institute for Developmental Studies (Lucknow) that "Muslims rank lowest on the development index." even below Dalits (who have benefited by government reservations.) 
(Prof.) Theodore P. Wright, Jr.

Editor: Yes, Maulana is my father but I differ with him on some issues. The urban, educated Muslim crust has benefitted no doubt. But it is a fact of life we witness everyday here that Muslims are economically and otherwise very backward. National Sample Survey Organisation's study conducted by Abusaleh Sharif [which is official] and other regional studies, official and non-official, tell the same story. While there is positive discrimination against Muslims since Independence even in the private sector, there is positive discrimination in favour of Dalits and OBCs in both education and jobs since then and the result has started to show. It is a common refrain of Muslim youth: what is the need to study if you can't get jobs. There is a new trend in this general election that for the first time Congress Party has promised reservations for Muslims. This has been a general Muslim demand since there seems to be no other way for ordinary Muslims to get into education and jobs. Muslim leaders since Independence have been pontificating that Muslim youth should rely on 'merit' in order to progress but hard facts of life prove that merit can be ingnored in many ways.

Please refer to Milli Gazette 1-15 Feb 2004 page no 17 where Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has said that on account of being Muslim he has never experienced any suffering. I think Maulana's comment is totally baseless. There are examples galore of harassement being meted out to Muslims. When Muslims were butchered in Gujarat then what Khan saheb was doing? Minorities are harassed under Pota. 
Md Shamim Sahidullah, Guwahati-1

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