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08 September 2011

WikiLeaks: US feels India has more Muslim than stated in census

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New Delhi: The United States believes that there are many more Muslims who live in India than is being officially stated here through census, and 'Islam' here presents a series of dichotomies like most issues affecting the world's largest democracy.

The US views on 'Indian Islam' and its interpretation had found place in one of its diplomatic cable, leaked by WikiLeaks.

Referring to various 'contacts' in India, the cable says that most of them believe that the official figure ( Census 2001) of over 138 million Muslims in India is "under representative" as actual number is "substantially higher" - closer to 160 to 180 million.

Taking sympathetic views of Indian Muslims for their 'liberal' approach, the cable, originated from American embassy in New Delhi in February last year, says that majority of the Muslims live in a very poor condition despite some of the millionaires from the community, like Azim Premji, influence Indian market.

It says: "Iconic celebrities such as Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan attract legions of fans, while millions of Muslims languish in poverty. Since Independence, three Muslims have been appointed as President, but Muslims are grossly under-represented in Parliament and other elected bodies".

The US embassy cable also refers to the Rajinder Sachar Committee report which in 2006 revealed that Muslims in general fare worse in economic terms than India's Dalits. "These seeming contradictions reflect overall socioeconomic trends in India: a tiny percentage of Muslims thrive, while the vast majority struggles to support themselves".

The cable, however, noted that Indian Muslims are eager to catch up to their compatriots. "Their Sufi heritage, promoting pluralism and tolerance, should leave them well-equipped to compete in secular India. However, lingering resentment from the partition and external influences threaten to divide the community".

US diplomats in their dispatch to Washington also noted in details the composition of Shias and Sunni and existence of tension between two Sunni movements - Barelvi and Deobandi - rooted in differences in ideology, wealth, education and views on reforms. On political front, the dispatch says that Shia and Barelvi leaders have, of late, discussed forming a political alliance to counter Deoband and the increasing influence of Wahabism. The alliance would balance each group's strength: Barelvis have the numbers and Shias have a higher level of education and more contact with the Indian elite.

(Courtesy: The Economic Times)

1 comment:

  1. Mohd Sami khatana, Lucknow.September 9, 2011 at 12:10 AM

    Quality is better than Quantity.If Muslims improve their qualities and utility,they will be preferred,as every able minister prefers a Muslim P.A. or an officer.The Jews are in very less quantity in the world, but they dominate every where.Muslims should not bother for less quantity.
    Let the govt. machinery count them less but ground realities will not change.

    ReplyDelete