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Indian Muslims not a homogeneous entity: Hamid Ansari

Press Trust of India
Sep 11, 2012 at 02:50am IST

New Delhi: Indian Muslims are not a homogeneous entity and any generalization about them is "hazardous" as they have performed differently at different sections of society, Vice President Hamid Ansari said on Monday.

Highlighting the Sachar Committee report as a "landmark" step to evaluate the socio-economic condition of minorities, Ansari said for several decades the community remained largely unstudied or understudied.

Ansari was addressing a gathering during the release of a book "Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation" edited by Laurent Gayer and Christophe Jaffrelot.

Indian Muslims not a homogeneous entity: Ansari

Ansari also said the community has realised that they can make their weight felt in the political decision-making process.

Contesting the editors' view that Muslims here are losing grounds, Ansari said "this conclusion may be contested on two grounds. Firstly, any generalisation for so large a number spread over a vast area is hazardous."

Secondly, he added, "as the editors themselves have pointed out, Muslims of India are not a homogeneous entity." Observing that different stratas of the Muslim community have performed differently, he said "the elite of the feudal past have lost ground but some amongst them have adapted themselves well."

"New elites have sprung up amongst those who in the past were under socially privileged and are now doing well in terms of educational levels and economic well being."

He also said the community has realised that they can make their weight felt in the political decision-making process.

"The realisation is donning that as equal partners in a democratic polity, governed by the ideal of social-economic and political justice, they can make the weight of numbers felt in political decision-making," Ansari said.

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