Demographic Dividend and the Indian Muslims - ii

By Aariz Mohammed
Director, Center for Social Justice, Hyderabad

The report by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seeks to provide up-to-date estimates of the number of Muslims around the world in 2010 and to project its growth from 2010 to 2030. The projections are based both on past demographic trends and on assumptions about how these trends will play out in the future.

India’s Muslim population is expected to grow at a slower rate in the next 20 years than it did in the previous two decades. The Muslim population in India increased by 76.4 million from 1990 to 2010; it is expected to grow by 58.9 million between 2010 and 2030.

The fertility rates for all populations in India have been declining in recent years, in part because of the increasing use of birth control methods.  However, Muslims in India continue to have more children on average than non-Muslims, mainly because the Muslim use of birth control still falls below the national average, reports Pew.

In 2005-2006, for example, 45.7 pc of Muslim couples used some form of birth control, compared with 56.3 pc of couples in the general population, according to an analysis of the National Family Health Survey.

Muslims in India are poorer and less educated than other religious groups. These characteristics are often associated with higher fertility rates. For instance, according to the 2001 census, only 3.6 pc of Muslims in India of the age of 20 and older are college or university graduates, compared with 6.7 pc of all Indians in this age group. The literacy rate among Muslim women (50.1 pc) is lower than the rate among other women in India, including Hindus (53.2 pc) and Christians (76.2 pc). Muslim women also are less likely to work outside their homes than non-Muslim women, and employment is associated with lower fertility.

While the global Muslim population is expected to grow at a faster rate than the non-Muslim population, the Muslim population nevertheless is expected to grow at a slower pace in the next two decades than it did in the previous two decades.

From 1990 to 2010, the global Muslim population increased at an average annual rate of 2.2 pc, compared with the projected rate of 1.5 pc for the period from 2010 to 2030.

The work participation rate of Indian Muslims is 39.7% with lowest among SRC and even lesser than SCs in the 2001 Census.

Health:  Productive age female is highly anaemic, higher nero pediatric prognosis. Prone to occupation hazards like TB, arthritis, cervical cancer, lifestyle disorders, losing of eyesight at an earlier age, hearing impanrities, pulmonary diseases.
1. Education:  Higher level of dropout during secondary education.
2. Infrastructure:  No community centers other than mosques.  Colonies and living place are ill-fed with public transport, roads, pipelines, drainage etc
3. Economy: Saving - Credit accessibility, non-financial aid from Government, low income profile induced with poverty and higher incidental expenditure
4. Skill:  cycle is less, not remunerative.
5. Productive age employability:  less due to education and skill. Female employability is less than SCs due to religious practices.
6. Work participation: High rate of informal work participation - job insecurity, vulnerability, occupational hazards.
7. Living: rented house, bad living conditions, higher numbers of occupants; living hazards.
8. Housing: poor basic amenities, lack of ventilation, away from sunlight.
9. Sanitation and drinking water: lack of awareness about balanced diet, nutritious food.
10. Land-holding: almost ‘0’ land holding,  
11. Industry: no share in heavy, medium and small scale industries, with dying cottage and conventional agro-economic industry.
12. Child Health: Higher numbers of malnourished, autism, behavioural disorders.
13. Dependency: Higher dependency of productive age population and very low female work participation.
14. Civil Society support:  Almost nil civil society support,  absolutely no NGOs of community in the area of development, health, finance and legal aid.  Non-participation in social engineering.
15. Social Security:  Socio-cultural insecurity, communal riots, systematized bias, institutionalised discrimination, challenges of public space. Youth conflict - study conflict drivers - prevention - more specifically with 40% of Hindu youth ‘saffornized’, 30% of Dalit youth  and 26% of Muslim youth polarized at many fronts .

Way out:
1. Creation of ‘Work-ready-labour’ as the present educational system is not compatible with it. Dual educational system induced with class room+apprenticeship programme.
2. Capitalizing world HR market.  CSR linked with workplace courses. Possibilities of exporting the HR to countries in need.
3. SHGs and NGOs in respected areas with challenges.
4. Place in governance, policy-inducing, legislative bodies.
5. Avoiding youth conflict and State suppression. (Concluded, For Part One click here)