Partition affected Muslims adversely: Vice President

September 11th, 2012 - 12:19 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) Partition affected the Indian Muslims adversely, especially those in the country’s northern and eastern regions, and its socio-economic impact remains understudied, said Vice President Hamid Ansari Monday.

“Partition (1947) affected the Indian Muslims adversely, especially in the northern and eastern regions, and its socio-economic impact remains understudied,” he said while releasing a book titled “Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation”, edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot, here.

According to Ansari, the book will add useful empirical data to the Sachar panel report, which is used by the government to press the case for affirmative action for the community.

“The socio-logical study in 11 urban centres explores the pattern of segregation and argues that Muslims are losing ground,” noted Ansari.

But this remains contested, he said, adding any generalisations in the matter may be hazardous as Indian Muslims are not a homogenous lot.

“New elites have sprung up in the community,” said Ansari.

Jaffrelot, who teaches South Asian politics and history at Sciences Po (Paris), as well as at Kings College, London, responded by saying “the purpose of the study was to go beyond generalisations”.

Pointing out an emerging trend, Gayer, co-editor of the book who is currently posted at the Centre de Sciences Humaines, Delhi, said it was difficult for the Muslims to find housing options in mixed areas.

Amitabh Kundu, who teaches social sciences at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, said that the gap between the Muslims and the non-Muslims was more in urban areas than rural parts of the country.

“There is discrimination in labour, land and capital markets against Muslims,” he said.

The Indian edition has been published by Harper Collins Publishers.

Combining first hand testimony with critical analysis, the book follows urban Muslim life in 11 Indian cities, providing uncommon insight into a little-known subject of immense importance and consequence, said the publishers.

According to the book, while the quality of Muslim life may lag behind that of the Hindus nationally, local and inclusive cultures have been resilient in the south and the east.

In the Hindi belt and the north, Muslims have known less peace, especially in the riot-prone areas of Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Jaipur and Aligarh and in capitals of former Muslim states like Delhi, Hyderabad, Bhopal and Lucknow, which are rife with Muslim ghettos, it said.

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