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Published in the 1-15 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Commentary

Muslims marching ahead

What was called Hindustan earlier? India, Pakistan and Bangladesh were a single country and they were unitedly called “Hindustan”. If Pakistan and Bangladesh were not created what would have been the population of Muslims in Hindustan? The Muslim population would have been approximately 600 million. Inspite of the division of the country, Indian Muslims have made progress in every field. Mosques and madrasahs are being built, new schools opened and Muslim students are receiving higher and technical education. They have made progress in trade and commerce as well. The number of people going for Haj increases every year, and after Indonesia, the largest number of Muslims going for Hajj is from India. Indian Muslims are playing their role in the national life and politics.

It is a matter of pleasure that more and more Muslim girls are receiving education and a good number of them is heading for higher education. Muslims have become more religious and spiritual. Now a greater number of Muslims read newspapers. In cities as well as in towns and villages Muslims are engaged in all trades and have succeeded in maintaining their identity. Though there are conflicts among them on many issues, but there is no intensity in these conflicts. People do not like conflicts nor do they like those who create conflicts. Muslims, while adhering to their own sects, respect people of other sects. Even people who studied in madrasas have developed interest in modern education. Many of them have enrolled themselves in computer, technical and professional courses. Well-educated people are doing tabligh (religious preaching) and work for community welfare. They are implementing different programmes for the progress of the community.

Because of the increased Muslim population, the progress made by Muslims is not visible, but Muslims continue marching on the path of progress and development. Muslims are building new colonies and mohallas. 

It is true that a section of Muslims has lagged far behind others because of illiteracy and poverty. They are confronted with the same problems which Dalits face in the country. They don’t have houses to live in and schools to study. They are living in unhygienic conditions. They work on daily wages for a living. They have fallen into bad habits and face moral degradation. If national and Milli organisations come forward and draw up programmes for their social, educational and economic development, then this section of people would also start marching on the path development. (Al-Quds Ki Baat [Urdu weekly], Bangalore, December 10, 2004) 
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