Muslims in Gujarat have equal opportunities: Advani

LK Advani referred to the Sachar Committee report on status of minorities to defend Narendra Modi.

Updated: May 17, 2010, 22:17 PM IST

New Delhi: Senior BJP leader L K Advani
Monday referred to the Sachar Committee report on status of
minorities to defend Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,
saying progress made by Muslims in the state shows they had
access to equal opportunities in education and jobs as
compared to other communities.

"In terms of literacy level, Muslims in Gujarat stood at
73.5 per cent as compared to the national average of 59.1 per
cent. While the figure for the urban males was 76, it was 81
for those living in rural areas as compared to the national
average of 70 and 62, respectively in similar category,"
Advani wrote in his blog today.
Even Muslim women in the urban areas of Gujarat have
average literacy rate 5 point higher than the national
average, whereas their counterparts in rural areas of Gujarat
fare even better with a literacy rate of 57 per cent as
compared to the national average of 43 in similar category, he
added.

"Also in Gujarat, a greater percentage of Muslims have
attained primary, secondary and higher secondary level
education compared to the national average and compared to
other states," Advani`s blog said.

Modi has faced charges of giving a free-hand to the
post-Godhra rioters and often accused of being anti-Muslim.

"In terms of per month per capita income, Muslims in the
urban areas of Gujarat earn an average Rs 875 which is more
than the national average of Rs 804. In contrast, it is Rs 662
in UP, Rs 748 in West Bengal, Rs 811 in Punjab, Rs 803 in
Andhra Pradesh and Rs 837 in Karnataka," Advani said.

The BJP parliamentary party leader pointed out that
Gujarat had 54 per cent Muslims living below the poverty line
in 1987-88 while the figure stood at 34 per cent in 2004-2005,
showing a healthy pace of improvement.

Even in terms of share of Muslims in government jobs, it
is 5.4 per cent in Gujarat while it is 2.1 per cent in West
Bengal, 3.2 per cent in Delhi and 4.4 per cent in
Maharashtra, he asserted.

"Overall, the total picture dispels the malicious
propaganda that injustice is being done to Muslims in the
state of Gujarat," Advani said.

He maintained that the findings of the Sachar Committee
on educational condition, job opportunities and economic
condition of Muslims clearly shows that they are progressing
well in Gujarat, belying all myths.

PTI