‘There are lies- damn lies- and Statistics’!!

via H.Balakrishnan published on October 30, 2006

This is in  reference to the series of Articles written by Seema Chishti,that has been appearing in the columns of the TN Indian Express over the past few days,based on the Sachar Committee report.  


The Articles appear to be ignorant of history. A frank and lucid exposition on the aspect of Muslim backwardness was given by the liberal Muslim leader, R.M.Sayani,in his Presidential Address at the twelfth Indian National Congress session held in Kolkata in 1896.He stated: “Before the advent of the British in India,the Mussalmans were the rulers of the country.The court language was their own. Meanwhile the noble policy of the new rulers of the country introduced English education into the country.The learning of an entirely unknown foreign language,of course,required hard application and industry.But the Mussalmans had not yet become accustomed to this sort of things,and were,moreover,not then in a mood to learn.The result was that so far as education was concerned,the Mussalmans who were once superior to the Hindus,now actually became their inferiors”.


That is the genesis of Muslim backwardness in this country. Then came Partition, when upper class Muslims migrated to Pakistan as supporters of the Muslim League.  A few of the upper classes who had very strong roots stayed back. Most of the rest of Muslims were poor, illiterate, and often didn’t have the means to migrate to Pakistan. This was India’s inheritance in 1947, the Muslim underclass.


The Muslims never managed their own leaders. As the ruling party all these years, the Congress kept them co-opted, yoked, with middlemen. These middlemen were Muslims, mullahs or orthodox elements, who promised to deliver the community’s vote to the party.They, did too. To be successful, these middlemen/ mullahs/ had to keep the Muslims backward. They did so in various ways. They prevented secular education from percolating down to the community. And the madrasas, often the only means of education for very poor Muslims, were kept medieval. Its syllabus concentrated on religion, Arabic, and so on, with no science, maths or the subjects required to equip students for employment. They ended up either as poor mullahs themselves or worked in tiny businesses with no future. Or they returned to traditional artisanship. There lies the tragedy of the Muslim community.


If the Sachar committee finds appalling Muslim under-representation in higher government jobs, blame this on the mullah/middleman induced backwardness as also the ‘secular’ political parties.Seema Chishti’s resort to statistics reminds me of the adage-‘There are lies- damn lies- and Statistics’!!

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