Muslims in Kerala Economically Better with High Literacy Level

Burgeoning population and limited participation in higher education are mainly blamed for backwardness of Muslims, but a new report questions this argument, saying the community’s population in Kerala rose by 15 lakh from 2001-2011, the NDTV reported. Though the economic status and the literacy level of Muslims in Kerala are better, the rate of their population growth is higher than the national average, says the report by Centre for Policy Analysis, an independent and non-profit policy research body, noted the report.

The Union Government, while evaluating India’s minority policy and Muslim community’s social and economic status, said the Muslim population in Kerala rose to 3.34 crore in 2011 from 3.18 crore in 2001. Giving a break-up of the increase in population in the state during the period, the report said the Muslim population grew by 10.10 lakh, Hindu population by 3.62 lakh and Christians by 84,000. It said the economic status of Muslims in Kerala is sound and their literacy rate too is better than the national average. Hindus constitute 54.9% of the total population in Kerala, Muslims 26.6% and Christians 18.4%, it said. However in 2015, Hindus contributed 42.87% to child births, Muslims 41.5%and Christians 15.42%.

On the contribution of Muslim women in education and workforce, the report suggests the government seriously look into this important issue related to the minorities in the country. According to the report, several programmes are run by the government for minorities but the schemes are not yielding the desired results because of their “improper” execution. The report citing the 2011 census said women participation in the workforce at the national level is 24.64 per cent but this rate is lowest in the Muslim community at 15.58 per cent. It said the low literacy rate negatively affects the availability of economic opportunities, which in turn affects the participation in the workforce.  The report suggests the government bring changes in its programmes for minorities to achieve larger national goals and improve the condition of women.

The CPA believes in the following:

  • The ‘alternative’ is the major part of the truth which is generally not spoken of in the mainstream
  • There is no one mainstream in India but multiple streams
  •  There is division in India based on unequal classes and this inequality is reflected in all social, economic and political issues
  • The social contract between the majority of people and the nation by way of the Indian Constitution remains unfulfilled
  •  Neo-liberal policies, communal ideas and exclusionary policies have become the norm and have penetrated into civil society.
  • This has become the ‘common sense’ and there is little protest or effort to set this right
  • There has been a decline in institutions especially the secular ones. This includes the executive, legislatures, judiciary and institutions that were intended to act as a check and balance on unbridled government powers
  •  There has been a decline in the idea of an autonomous press, where corporatisation and contractualisation has impacted the choices and freedom of the press
  • The media has imposed an ’emergency’ on itself and primarily reflects the interests of the owners
  •  An independent foreign policy that was the heritage of the non aligned movement and the outcome of the Indian national liberation struggles and was written into our history and social contract has now been abandoned.
  • This has made the current foreign policy dependent on a US-Israel axis. This needs to be effectively countered and stopped
  • The ‘alternative’ needs to be mainstreamed and made the new reality and this is possible by the reversal of neo-liberal economic policies, an independent foreign policy and inclusion of those peoples who have so far been excluded from the mainstream
  • The CPA thus believes in working for a just and inclusive political and social order
  •  It wants to evolve a consensus for equity based economic order and structures. It works towards an independent foreign policy. It looks for a truly decentralized federalism and empowerment of people at the grass roots. The CPA advocates rights based approach to the resolution of all.

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