ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Muslims: Beyond Godhra

Our media has totally ignored the deteriorating conditions of Muslims in Gujarat in the field of education, employment, health, etc, and focused only on issues related to Godhra. Gujarati Muslims are marginally ahead of their counterparts in most of the other states and the national average in terms of economic prosperity. In pre-Modi Gujarat they were much ahead of other communities as well. In terms of monthly per capita expenditure, the position of Muslims is worse than even the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs) in Gujarat and also in Bihar, West Bengal, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh (Sachar Committee Report, 2005-06, pp 155 and 158-59).

The Sachar Committee states that Gujarat is one among the states where the work participation ratio of Muslims is the lowest. In most of the states, Muslim participation in manufacturing and trade, and in general, as self-employed persons is higher than other religious groups but this is not the case with Gujarat (ibid: 102 and 105-06). The ratio of self-employment in Gujarat is less than the national average but this was not the case in 1999-2000 (55th round of the National Sample Survey, p 43, and NSS 66th round, p 59). In Gujarat, self-employment among Muslims in 1999-2000 was much higher than among Hindus but by the end of the decade the situation was reversed (Sachar Committee Report, p 343).

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