Hindus top poverty chart in Kerala, says Survey

via Raghavan V Nair published on December 14, 2006

The Kerala Sastra Sahitya Parishad conducted a survey titled `Kerala: How it Lives, How it Thinks’ in September 2006 and came out with some astounding findings. The survey found that it is not the so called minority Muslims or Christians who are at the economic downside, but Hindus comprising 54.47% of the state’s 3.2 crore population. 39.3 lakh Hindus are found to be living below the poverty line. Muslims follow with 24.7 lakhs and Christians 8.2 lakh. The Hindus also trail in land holdings. A privileged Hindu family owns only an average of 0.69 acres, a Muslim family 0.77 acres and a Christian family 1.264 acres. When it comes to the dwelling places, only 80.1% of Hindu houses are in a livable condition, while 89.7% Muslim houses and 83.6% Christian houses are in livable condition.  Only 90.4% Hindu homes have a toilet as against 93.8% Muslims and 94% Christian homes.  In 18.75% Hindu dwellings, the water is not safe compared to 11.55% Muslim homes and 15% Christian.  The minorities are also ahead in electrification of houses and access to pipe water.  14.5% Hindu houses are in danger of water logging while the figures for Muslims are 12.8% and Christians 10.9%.


 


When it comes to remittance from abroad, especially from Gulf countries, 34.5% Muslim families have Gulf income as against 11.61% Christian and 10.4% Hindu.  The Christian community, however, leaves others far behind on most economic indicators. Even in dowry, Christians lead the tally with 80% families following it, Muslims 76% and 52% of Hindus are still under the grip of this social evil.


 


The above report are of great importance to Hindus in Kerala at a time when the committee under retired judge Rajender Sachar has come out with figures based on certain aspects of the minorities in the country and recommended for remedial measures. The UPA government found in the report enough substance to appease the minorities; thereby secure vote banks at government expense. The Prime Minister went to the extent of making a statement that `the minorities, including Muslims, have the first claim on the country’s resources’. Whereas justice and common sense demands that the poorest of the poor must have the first claim on the country’s resources, and not a religious group.


 


In yet another appeasement measure, the UPA government has already decided to modernize the madrassa education and recognize it as an equal to any other national board exam. Already the government has set up a sub-committee to review and make recommendation regarding the centrally sponsored madrassa modernization programme.  A total of 1631 madrassas have been provided financial assistance by government during 2005-2006 for teaching subjects like mathematics and Science on voluntary basis.


 


It is time that Hindus in Kerala realize the stalemate they are in and formulate measures to tide over the situation. Their allegiances to political parties and blind following of the party doctrines have pushed them back in all areas of habitation and existence.  Unless they come in terms with this grave situation and earnestly work for a revival, the very existence is at stake.

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