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Rushdie is an excuse, free Muslims from the vote bank cage

By Swati Chaturvedi | Last Updated: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 16:45
Swati Chaturvedi

Stop the magical illusion excuses used to keep India's largest minority in a cage of political makings. Stop with if we cannot give them bread, let's give them circuses of hate figures and the pandering to the fatwas of the new Taliban.

Some reader responses to my last blog got me thinking. An attack on vote-bank politics is not an attack on Muslims, and only politicians and self appointed guardians of the vote banks thrive on keeping them backward.

For starters I want some answers to the questions below from both the politicians belonging to the old quota and dole school and the fatwa-walas who can spare a lakh to get Rushdie hit with a slipper.

Consider the following.

Only one out of every six Muslim children enters school stay till matriculation. The figures are worse for girls; only two out of five Muslim girls enter schools.

According to the Rajinder Sachar committee report, Muslim enrolment at IIM was 1.3 percent and at IIT was 3.3 percent.

Just about 5 percent applicants for the UPSC are Muslim. Only 3 percent of the IAS is Muslim and 1.8 percent of the IFS and 4 percent of the police service.

Muslims do not on average get loans equivalent to other communities. Many work in unorganised sectors with poor pay and job conditions and lack of any safety nets.

This is the stark reality and magical wand of offering quotas to those who cannot qualify will fool no one. Similarly, raising the creaky old slogans of ‘my religion has been insulted’ is actually an insult to people trying to survive and thrive.

These facts make public the decay in any kind of community empowerment and prove a fallacy of the government's weak claims that it is trying to improve the lot of the ordinary Indian Muslim.

The only way to seriously improve the lot of the Muslims who face huge odds and a lot of discrimination is to ensure quality education. That the government, any government, seems curiously unwilling to do. Why? Because then a captive vote bank goes astray.

If India is to move on, we need closure on the lollipops such as the Muslim's Women's bill which by a pathetic retrograde legislation overturned the Supreme Court verdict and denied helpless Muslim women maintenance all in name of being sensitive to Muslims. Sensitive to the mullahs, no doubt.

Isn't it strange that triple talaq that is outlawed in several avowedly Islamic countries such as Pakistan is still valid in India, while political parties screeching about Muslim protection don't care?

Enough, already people are gagging with this nonsense.

First Published: Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 16:45

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