India Census 2011 - volunteer for Muslims and Urdu

In class 4, New Horizon School, year 1990, Sangeeta Ma'am asks a 96.6% Muslim class of 11 year toddlers, what is your religion. Faizan says Muslim. Ghulam says Muslim. Shazia says Muslim. Mazin says Muslim. Haneef says Muslim. Sangeeta Ma'am says you all don't even know your religion! It is Islam! Shagun was the only follower of Hinduism. I dont remember if he knew that either!

With the government yet again goofing up with the census process, All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat has appealed to Muslims to register their religion as “Muslim” – as it is printed in the Census 2011 form – and not insist on Islam as there is the word “Muslim” under religion section, not Islam.

It is all about numbers in a democracy. Muslims have to get their numbers right. We need volunteers to accompany the enumerators, says our activist reader from Jaipur, Faisal Mohammad Khan. But he is concerned about people not registering their correct mother tongue and that surveyors (generally government school teachers) have not been sensitised enough to understand the difference between Urdu and Hindi being a mother tongue.

Ms Naaz, who is on the Census duty in Delhi told MG that neither people correctly rightly know if their mother tongue is Urdu or Hindi or otherwise nor the surveyors dont bother to record it correctly. She adds that this problem is all the more with illiterate people. The shocking thing she tell us is she has come across respondents who find it "fashionable" to report Hindi instead of the "low-society" Urdu!

Faisal emphasising locals volunteering with surveyors writes to MG:

The second phase of 15th Indian National census began on February 9, 2011 to collect information for National Population Register following which all Indians will be provided with identification card containing all vital information. In the House Hold Schedule there are 29 vital questions to be asked and these questions will help the government and policy makers to derive policies for all the sections of the population. For Muslims, being a minority, and a deprived one, they cant afford being under reported.  The census depicts  demographics - the social, linguistic and economical status of the Muslim population. One question in the census form is about Mother Tongue which should "generally" be URDU for Muslims, especially living in the central and north India. Because all the language based policies derived from this vital information only. I urge students, youths, and everyone in the community to volunteer to survey along with census officers in your respective wards, areas, and wherever it is possible. This is a must exercise as this will definitely gives the policy makers the right direction to make policies for URDU speaking peoples, whether it is for recongising degrees of madarsa's, or offering scholarships for URDU students and or many other schemes which can benefits Muslims  economically and socially.

The census will involve three questionnaires; House listing, National Population Register and Household.

House listing schedule

House listing Schedule contains 35 questions.

Building number
Census house number
Predominant material of floor, wall and roof of the census house
Ascertain use of actual house
Condition of the census house
Household number
Total number of persons in the household
Name of the head of the household
Sex of the head
Caste status (SC or ST or others)

Ownership status of the house
Number of dwelling rooms
Number of married couple the household
Main source of drinking water
Availability of drinking water source
Main source of lighting
Latrine within the premises
Type of latrine facility
Waste water outlet connection
Bathing facility within the premises

Availability of kitchen
Fuel used for cooking
Telephone/Mobile phone
Scooter/Motor cycle/Moped
Availing Banking services

Household Schedule

Household schedule contains 29 questions

Name of the person
Relationship to head
Date of birth and age
Current marital status
Age at marriage
Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe
Mother tongue

Other languages known
Literacy status
Status of attendance (Education)
Highest educational level attained
Working any time during last year
Category of economic activity
Occupation Nature of industry
Trade or service
Class of worker
Non economic activity

Seeking or available for work
Tavel to place of work
Birth place
Place of last residence
Reason for migration
Duration of stay in in the place of migration
Children surviving
Children ever born
Number of children born alive during last one year


National population register

National Population Register Household schedule contains 9 questions

Name of the person and resident status
Name of the person as should appear in the population register
Relationship to head
Date of birth
Marital status
Educational qualification
Names of father, mother and spouse

Once the information will be collected and digitalized, fingerprints and photos will be collected. Unique Identification Authority of India will issue a 12-digit identification number to all individuals and the first ID is expected to be issued in 2011

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