minority report

Some shocking facts about Maharashtra's Muslims the state does not want you to know

The Mahmoodur Rahman Committee report on the socio-economic conditions of the state's Muslims is yet to be officially released, but it reveals that the community has very poor social indices.

Maharashtra's urban Muslims are poorer than even members of the scheduled castes and tribes. They tend to live in ghettos because they can't find homes anywhere else, and banks are wary of giving them loans.

These are among the findings of a report prepared by a five-member committee headed by retired bureaucrat Dr Mahmoodur Rahman, which was appointed in 2008 by the Maharashtra government to study the social, economic and educational condition of Muslims in the state. However, though the report was submitted to the state’s Congress-led government in October 2013, it has not yet officially been released or tabled in the Assembly.

Since the Maharashtra government showed no signs of releasing the Mahmoodur Rahman report, which Maharashtra’s version of the pioneering Sachar Committee report on the status of Muslims across India, community organisations filed RTI queries to find out the causes for the delay.

Last week, the Movement for Peace and Justice, a non-profit organisation, finally managed to obtain a copy of the report, seven months after applying for it. The contents reveal that Maharashtra’s 10.2 million Muslims struggle with the debilitating consequences of poverty, prejudice and discrimination on almost every aspect of their lives.

“The state of Maharashtra has witnessed the highest number of Hindu-Muslim riots post-Independence,” the report says. “Displacement and subsequent ghettoisation has been a result of communal riots. Ghettoisation has made it easier for state authorities to neglect Muslim concentration areas and not provide them with adequate services.”

The report says that one-fifth of Muslims in the state do not have a ration card, making it difficult for them to access government schemes for health, education or employment.

Here are some of the findings of the Mahmoodur Rahman report, which is based largely on data from the 2001 census.

Poverty: Maharashtra performs worse than the rest of India when it comes to urban poverty rates among Muslims. Urban Muslims in the state are also much poorer than members of scheduled castes and tribes:


About 45% of Muslim households have a per capita income of less than Rs 500 a month, and only 10% of Maharashtrian Muslims own land. Only one-third of Muslim households in the state have a bank account, and just 6.8% are able to obtain credit from banks or cooperatives. According to studies commissioned by the Minorities Commission, banks tend to be reluctant about granting loans to Muslims, on the assumption that that they will not pay back their loans.

Housing: Most Muslims tend to live in ghettos because of the fear of riots and discrimination in the housing market. In urban Maharashtra, 90% of them live in Muslim areas, 8% live in mixed areas and 2% in areas that have just a few Muslim families. Banks are reluctant to give members of the minority community housing loans, because they tend to declare Muslim localities as negative areas. In fact, 58% of urban Muslims live in slums. Meanwhile, only 18.5% of rural Muslims live in pucca homes.

Education: Maharashtrian Muslims have a total literacy rate of 78.1%, which is higher than the state average of 76.9%. But the Sachar report points out that these numbers are not a true measure of a community’s educational status, because most of these literates are not able to apply their reading and writing skills in real life and slip back into illiteracy in a few years of leaving school. In addition, barely 3% of literate Muslims manage to obtain graduate degrees.


The performance of women here is even worse: only 19% of urban Muslim women, and 10.9% of rural ones, are enrolled in secondary and higher secondary school. Only 1% of rural Muslim women in the state get college degrees.

Employment: While 32.2% of Maharashtra’s Hindus are farmers, only 8.1% Muslims cultivate land, because land ownership is low among Muslims. In fact, 44.4% of rural Muslims land up working as agricultural labourers, compared with 36.1% of Hindus. Because of a severe dearth of formal employment opportunities in Muslim areas, most of them work in the informal, unorganised sector.

Muslims also have very poor representation in government and semi-government jobs. Their share in government services is just 4.4%. In 2012, there was not a single Muslim in the entire cadre of the Indian Administrative Services.


Health: One of the few positives that emerge from the report is that the fertility rate among Maharashtra Muslims has been steadily declining, even though it is above the state average.


The use of contraception has also been increasing, although Muslim women commonly report being mocked about the number of children members of the community have. While trying to access public healthcare services, Muslim women often report facing stereotypical attitudes, like being called dirty or being constantly asked to remove the veil.

Discrimination: Muslims form 10.6% of Maharashtra's population, but form 27% of its prison population. The report found that overwhelmingly, Muslims feel that Muslim youth are wrongfully targeted.

Infrastructure: On an average, in urban areas, bus stops are located at a 1.3 km distance from Muslim areas, and discussions with transport authorities revealed that they avoid planning bus routes in those areas because Muslims are considered socially problematic. In addition, frequency of buses in these areas is low.

 
We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Top picks, best deals and all that you need to know for the Amazon Great Indian Festival

We’ve done the hard work so you can get right to what you want amongst the 40,000+ offers across 4 days.

The Great Indian Festival (21st-24th September) by Amazon is back and it’s more tempting than ever. This edition will cater to everyone, with offers on a range of products from electronics, home appliances, apparel for men and women, personal care, toys, pet products, gourmet foods, gardening accessories and more. With such overwhelming choice of products and a dozen types of offers, it’s not the easiest to find the best deals in time to buy before your find gets sold out. You need a strategy to make sure you avail the best deals. Here’s your guide on how to make the most out of the Great Indian Festival:

Make use of the Amazon trio – Amazon Prime, Amazon Pay and Amazon app

Though the festival officially starts on 21st, Amazon Prime members will have early access starting at 12 noon on 20th September itself, enabling them to grab the best deals first. Sign up for an Amazon Prime account to not miss out on exclusive deals and products. Throughout the festival, Prime members will 30-minute early access to top deals before non-Prime members. At Rs 499/- a year, the Prime membership also brings unlimited Amazon Prime video streaming and quick delivery benefits.

Load your Amazon pay wallet; there’s assured 10% cashback (up to Rs 500). Amazon will also offer incremental cashbacks over and above bank cashbacks on select brands as a part of its Amazon Pay Offers. Shopping from the app would bring to you a whole world of benefits not available to non-app shoppers. App-only deals include flat Rs 1,250 off on hotels on shopping for more than Rs 500, and flat Rs 1,000 off on flights on a roundtrip booking of Rs 5,000 booking from Yatra. Ten lucky shoppers can also win one year of free travel worth Rs 1.5 lakhs.

Plan your shopping

The Great Indian Sale has a wide range of products, offers, flash sales and lightning deals. To make sure you don’t miss out on the best deals, or lose your mind, plan first. Make a list of things you really need or have been putting off buying. If you plan to buy electronics or appliances, do your research on the specs and shortlist the models or features you prefer. Even better, add them to your wishlist so you’re better able to track your preferred products.

Track the deals

There will be lightning deals and golden hour deals throughout the festival period. Keep track to avail the best of them. Golden-hour deals will be active on the Amazon app from 9.00pm-12.00am, while Prime users will have access to exclusive lightning deals. For example, Prime-only flash sales for Redmi 4 will start at 2.00pm and Redmi 4A at 6.00pm on 20th, while Nokia 6 will be available at Rs 1,000 off. There will be BOGO Offers (Buy One Get One free) and Bundle Offers (helping customers convert their TVs to Smart TVs at a fraction of the cost by using Fire TV Stick). Expect exclusive product launches from brands like Xiaomi (Mi Band 2 HRX 32 GB), HP (HP Sprocket Printer) and other launches from Samsung and Apple. The Half-Price Electronics Store (minimum 50% off) and stores offering minimum Rs 15,000 off will allow deal seekers to discover the top discounts.

Big discounts and top picks

The Great Indian Festival is especially a bonanza for those looking to buy electronics and home appliances. Consumers can enjoy a minimum of 25% off on washing machines, 20% off on refrigerators and 20% off on microwaves, besides deals on other appliances. Expect up to 40% off on TVs, along with No-Cost EMI and up to Rs 20,000 off on exchange.

Home Appliances

Our top picks for washing machines are Haier 5.8 Kg Fully Automatic Top Loading at 32% off, and Bosch Fully Automatic Front Loading 6 Kg and 7 Kg, both available at 27% discount. Morphy Richards 20 L Microwave Oven will be available at a discount of 38%.

Our favorite pick on refrigerators is the large-sized Samsung 545 L at 26% off so you can save Rs 22,710.

There are big savings to be made on UV water purifiers as well (up to 35% off), while several 5-star ACs from big brands will be available at greater than 30% discount. Our top pick is the Carrier 1.5 Ton 5-star split AC at 32% off.

Also those looking to upgrade their TV to a smart one can get Rs. 20,000 off by exchanging it for the Sony Bravia 108cm Android TV.

Personal Electronics

There’s good news for Apple fans. The Apple MacBook Air 13.3-inch Laptop 2017 will be available at Rs 55,990, while the iPad will be available at 20% off. Laptops from Lenovo, Dell and HP will be available in the discount range of 20% to 26%. Top deals are Lenovo Tab3 and Yoga Tab at 41% to 38% off. Apple fans wishing to upgrade to the latest in wearable technology can enjoy Rs 8,000 off on the Apple Watch series 2 smartwatch.

If you’re looking for mobile phones, our top deal pick is the LG V20 at Rs 24,999, more than Rs 5000 off from its pre-sale price.

Power banks always come in handy. Check out the Lenovo 13000 mAh power bank at 30% off.

Home printers are a good investment for frequent flyers and those with kids at home. The discounted prices of home printers at the festival means you will never worry about boarding passes and ID documents again. The HP Deskjet basic printer will be available for Rs 1,579 at 40% off and multi-function (printer/ scanner/ Wi-Fi enabled) printers from HP Deskjet and Canon will also available at 33% off.

The sale is a great time to buy Amazon’s native products. Kindle E-readers and Fire TV Stick will be on sale with offers worth Rs 5,000 and Rs 1,000 respectively.

The Amazon Fire Stick
The Amazon Fire Stick

For those of you who have a bottomless collection of movies, music and photos, there is up to 60% off on hard drives and other storage devices. Our top picks are Rs 15,000 and Rs 12,000 off on Seagate Slim 5TB and 4TB hard drives respectively, available from 8.00am to 4.00pm on 21st September.

The sale will see great discounts of up to 60% off on headphones and speakers from the top brands. The 40% off on Bose QC 25 Headphones is our favourite. Top deals are on Logitech speakers with Logitech Z506 Surround Sound 5.1 multimedia Speakers at 60% off and the super compact JBL Go Portable Speaker at 56% off!

Other noteworthy deals

Cameras (up to 55% off) and camera accessories such as tripods, flash lights etc. are available at a good discount. Home surveillance cameras too will be cheaper. These include bullet cameras, dome cameras, simulated cameras, spy cameras and trail and game cameras.

For home medical supplies and equipment, keep an eye on the grooming and personal care section. Weighing scales, blood pressure monitors, glucometers, body fat monitors etc. will be available at a cheaper price.

The sale is also a good time to invest in home and kitchen supplies. Mixer-grinders and juicers could see lightning deals. Don’t ignore essentials like floor mops with wheels, rotating mop replacements, utensils, crockery etc. Tupperware sets, for example, will be more affordable. There are attractive discounts on bags, especially laptop bags, backpacks, diaper bags and luggage carriers.

Interesting finds

While Amazon is extremely convenient for need-based shopping and daily essentials, it is also full of hidden treasures. During the festival, you can find deals on telescopes, polaroid cameras, smoothie makers, gym equipment, gaming consoles and more. So you’ll be able to allow yourself some indulgences!

Small shopping

If you have children, the festival is good time to stock up on gifts for Diwali, Christmas, return gifts etc. On offer are gaming gadgets such as Xbox, dough sets, Touching Tom Cat, Barbies, classic board games such as Life and more. There are also some products that you don’t really need, but kind of do too, such as smartphone and tablet holders, magnetic car mounts for smartphones and mobile charging station wall stands. If you’re looking for enhanced functionality in daily life, do take a look at the Amazon Basics page. On it you’ll find USB cables, kitchen shears, HDMI cables, notebooks, travel cases and other useful things you don’t realise you need.

Check-out process and payment options

Amazon is also offering an entire ecosystem to make shopping more convenient and hassle-free. For the festival duration, Amazon is offering No-Cost EMIs (zero interest EMIs) on consumer durables, appliances and smartphones, plus exchange schemes and easy installation services in 65 cities. HDFC card holders can avail additional 10% cashback on HDFC credit and debit cards. Customers will also get to “Buy Now and Pay in 2018” with HDFC Credit Cards, as the bank offers a 3 Month EMI Holiday during the days of the sale. Use Amazon Pay balance for fast and easy checkouts, quicker refunds and a secured shopping experience.

Sales are fun and with The Great Indian Festival offering big deals on big brands, it definitely calls for at least window shopping. There’s so much more than the above categories, like minimum 50% off on American Tourister luggage! To start the treasure hunt, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Amazon.in and not by the Scroll editorial team.