Broken Promises: A Study on the Socio Economic Status of the Indian Muslims

Book: Promises to Keep - Investigating Government’s response to Sachar Committee recommendations   
Publisher: Centre for Equity Studies, New Delhi, 2011, revised 2014, pp. 94
(Available online at

Humra Quraishi

Justice Rajinder Sachar and his team had brought out the Sachar Committee Report in 2006 focusing on the rather dismal situation of the largest minority community of the country - the Musalmaans of Hindustan. I recall the words of the well - known economist and one of the prominent members of this fact - finding team, Dr Abu Saleh Sharief, who had commented that in many urban and rural locales Muslims are in a more disadvantaged and discriminated and bypassed position than the SC and ST communities…He was armed with facts and figures and data to detail the very surviving conditions of the Indian Muslims vis-à-vis housing, drinking water and electricity connections, education - primary and higher - government and private jobs, business outlets, small-scale industrial ventures, farming and agriculture and those connected facts and factors.

The Muslim community has continued getting bypassed by the establishment all these years and decades - in fact, the very decline began soon after the partition of the country. Added to the list is a feeling of insecurity and apprehension and utter despair.

Sadly, nothing noteworthy or substantial seems to have been done in these recent years to rectify those gaps. Centre of Peace Studies has launched a volume titled ‘Broken Promises: A Study on the Socio Economic Status of the Indian Muslims; Seven Years Post-Sachar”.

The crux of the ‘broken’ promises is that the Sachar Committee report established the fact of exclusion of the Muslim Community from educational, economic and social development in the country. The failure of the past government to successfully address issues of the community is no secret. With the newly elected government now in power, it is important to ensure that the Constitutional obligation towards socio-economic uplift of the minority community is on their agenda.

“Broken Promises” is a detailed study on the present socio-economic status of Indian Muslims. It attempts to trace a change, if any, in the situation of Indian Muslims in the recent past since Sachar Report was presented to the UPA government. It is based on a detailed interview schedule directly administered to 8082 respondents from the Muslim community in 15 states. RTIs and interviews with eminent persons across these states were also important tools of this study. “Our findings suggest that Muslims continue to be left out from most government schemes concerning food and nutrition, education, health, housing, jobs and livelihoods, civic amenities and infrastructure etc. The study also documents cases of individuals across states who have been left out in spite of being most marginalized and deserving,” the study says. (

Humra Quraishi is a visiting Professor in the Academy of Third World Studies in Jamia Milia Islamia.