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Friday, December 01, 2006

Stop Patronizing - It's Bad For Us, Says...

After Sachar committee report on status of Muslims in India was tabled in Parliament, clarion calls for quotes for Muslims are abound. But, here seems to be a few sane people around:

Many Muslims argue that they are better off helping themselves, rather than holding out for the government. In fact they often seem to fare worse where they have more political clout, which easily translates into unreliable token promises, for, say, an increase in the number of teachers literate in Urdu, the language of Indian Islam. The leaked figures on government jobs show that Muslims do better in Gujarat, scene of an anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002, than in Bihar, where governments depend on their votes.

“Muslims do well in education where the initiative rests with them,” says Mushirul Hasan, vice-chancellor of Jamia Milia Islamia University in Delhi. “Where they are dependent on government patronage they fare badly.” Muslim educational societies have begun to improve education in Kerala and the booming southern cities of Bengalooru (Bangalore) and Chennai (Madras). More are needed if Muslims are not to fall further behind as India prospers. (Link)

This is corroborated in the article with few more details, especially on the status of education of Muslim girls. The entire report in downloadable .pdf form is here.

Mushirul Hasanji seems to be Friedmanite - Friedman, in his grave, would happily say, "I agree with Mr. Hasan." And so do I.

Cross posted on INI Signal