Spatial Dimensions of Muslim Well-Being in India: A Comparative Study of Indian Districts

Published By: ISAS, NUS | Published Date: January, 29 , 2016

The Sachar Commission Report of 2006 on Social, Economic and Educational Status of the Muslim Community of India generated widespread awareness of the socioeconomic disparity and exclusion of religious minorities, especially Muslims, in India. The theoretical framework of the Report was predicated on Indian’s constitutional promise of equality of opportunity for citizens of secular democracy. One of the biggest gains of the Sachar Commission was its reconstruction of the Muslim community as ‘development subjects’ in the state rather than primarily as a religious community. An important finding of the Sachar Commission was that there is a clear and significant inverse correlation between the proportion of the Muslim population and the availability of educational, communication, health and physical infrastructures in villages. The concentration of Muslims in villages and States lacking these basic facilities was a major cause and contributor to their socioeconomic and educational deprivations. This paper will seek to deepen this analysis further by focusing on all Indian districts in all states. It uses the Human Development Index (HDI) to investigate the relative general wellbeing of Muslims. The findings show that the HDI of Muslims tends to be associated with their proportion in the population. The Muslim HDI decreases as their proportion in the district population increases. But this relationship does not hold in 21 districts in which the proportion of Muslim population is over 50 percent. However, the general relationship between the percentage of Muslim population and the overall wellbeing of the Muslim community is fairly universal.

Author(s): Riaz Hassan, Mikhail Balaev, Abusaleh Shariff | Posted on: Jan 29, 2016 | Views()

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