Recently released Census 2011 data based on religious faiths has revealed that Muslims have the lowest share of employed people among all religions. This data studied a 482 million strong workforce of India.
Even after six and a half decades of independence, Muslims in India suffer from social stigma, fear of violence, spatial segregation and even lack of basic access to government jobs.
The union government had earlier set up the Sachar Committee and Kundu Committee to study the conditions of Muslims, where their plight, due to government apathy, was clearly mentioned. However, their situation is no different today and the government is full of shortcomings.
Here are a few numbers of concern for India's largest minority;
For Hindus the share is 41% with the nation-wide average being 40%.
Stigma plays out an important role. Many people hold a belief that Muslims, especially from slums, have criminal antecedents and are anti-socials and hence, cannot be trusted.
Ground-level Muslim activists say the main reason behind low workforce participation among Muslims is sustained neglect by the state. "There are young Muslim boys and girls with high educational qualifications reporting unemployment", Amitabh Kundu told Catch in an exclusive interview.
Across all socio-religious categories, only 17.1% were illiterate.
"Increasingly, they are breaking familial and traditional barriers to get education and employment", says Kundu.
Unfortunately, one-third of Muslim females are identified as out of school. In states like Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh more than 40% of Muslim females are out of school, signifying that the next generation of Muslim are growing up deprived of education.
'Financial constraints' is indicated as the primary reason for not studying, followed by 'parents not interested in studies'.
Practically, a Muslim family (who have an average of 3 children in a family) live on Rs 32.66 per day.
As expected, Muslim poverty rate is the highest across all religions, but lower than Dalits and tribals. Interestingly, Muslims also had the largest reduction in poverty among all categories between 2004-05 to 2011-12.
"I left school last year. My father who is an auto-rickshaw driver fell sick and there was no money at home. I am the eldest. When I left school I was in standard sixth. It was an English medium school. I get Rs 75 daily for six days of the week", said Anis, a 12 year old kid who works at a motorbike workshop, to the media.
Sex Ratio: Muslims have 951 female per 1,000 males as of Census 2011; for Hindus it is 939.
''I don't think, there has been any massive mobilisation for their acceptance and implementation. We know that the present government has given some importance to it. But there is hesitation, because of the various pressure groups within and outside the government and the various social groups which are behind the NDA government", concluded Amitabh Kundu.
Unfortunately, after all these years Muslims are untouched by development and continue to languish in fear and deprivation.
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