The Cry Babies of Hindustan

via published on February 10, 2007

“ By the late 1980s every Saudi was entitled to free medical care and high education. Any college graduate male or female was eligible for a $ 50,000 grant to start a small business upon reaching adulthood each young man received a plot of land plus a construction loan of $ 80,000. Electricity and water were provided without charge ….. “ between 1981 and 2001, the Saudi population more than doubled.

The Saudi women continue to bear children at the present average rate (7 each). The population will double again by 2020. When all these young people go looking for jobs, many will be disappointed. Unemployment has risen to 20% while per capita production is lower than it was 40 years ago. The country’s oil revenues equal to $ 22,000 per Saudi in 1980 dropped to $ 4,000 in 2004 despite record high prices….” “His Majesty King Fahd of Saudi Arabia changed this title of his in 1986 to Custodian of the two holy mosques. Fahd (who died in Aug 2005 was proud of precisely what makes me nervous – the support is government has given to Islamic institutions overseas, including some 210 Islamic centers, more than 1,500 mosques, 200 colleges and almost 2000 schools. The Saudis are confident that their faith is the true one and those see no inconsistency in subsidizing their own religion abroad and at the same time prohibiting the practice of other religions at home… This reflects their own sense of exceptionalism and a duty as a seed to propagate their faith….”

These are excerpts from the book, “ The Mighty and the Almighty” by Madeline Albright, Secretary of State during the Clinton Presidency, USA. Have the Saudis used the wealth to develop their human resources –education, health, limited number of children? No. In the Human Development Index ( a UN reckoning) the Saudis rank 127 (India: 136) although the per capita GDP of Saudis is 4.6 times more than that of India. In a special study of Arab states in this regard, the UN has shown that Muslims, in the Middle East, despite their oil wealth, are little developed, may be a little better than sub-Saharan Africans. These Arab Muslims are not under any white colonial rule; nor under Hindu- majority rule as in India. Why they are still not developed? Why did they not get any distinctions in science, technology, philosophy, engineering? The Al Azhar University in Cairo (Egypt) is more than a thousand years old. It did not produce a single Nobel laureate. The Hebrew University in Israel, less than 70 years old, has produced more than a dozen Nobel Laureates.

What are the human development and other indices of Muslims, in the self-governing, Islamic states of Pakistan an d Bangladesh (and a few other Islamic countries) not at all dominated by any Hindus there? [See Tables below:]

Table  #1

Egypt India Pakistan   Bangladesh   Sudan Yemen Nigeria
119 127 135 139 141 151 158

Table  # 2

Total Fertility Rate

Country 1970-75 2000-05 Country 1970-75 2000-05
Kuwait 6.9 2.4 Iran 6.4 2.1
Libya 7.6 3.0 Syria 7.5 3.5
Malaysia 5.2 2.9 India 5.2 2.4
Saudi Arabia 7.2 4.1 Pakistan 6.6 4.3
Turkey 5.3 2.5 Bangladesh 6.2 3.2
      Yemen 8.5 6.2

Table  #3

  Adult Literacy Rate Net Primary school enrollment ratio
1) India 61.0 87
2) Pakistan 48.7 59
3) Bangladesh 41.1 84

Table  #4

BPL, …….  

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Did You Know?

  Bangladesh Pakistan Yemen India
% of population BPL 49% (2000) 32.6% (1999) 41.8 (1998) 28.6 (2000)
Infant (2) Mortality 79.7 (2000) 90 (1990) 89.5 (1997) 73 (1999)
Mean Years of Schooling 3.92 (2000) 3.51 (2001) 3.34 (1999)