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Muslims Progress in Democratic India

on 2001/11/20 8:49:02 ( 1056 reads )


NEW DELHI, INDIA, November 20, 2001: With nearly 150 million Muslims, India is believed to have more Muslim citizens than Pakistan or Bangladesh, and is second only to Indonesia. Why is it, the author of this article asks, that you don't hear about Indian Muslims -- a minority in this vast Hindu-dominated land -- blaming America for all their problems or wanting to fly suicide planes into the Indian Parliament? Indian Muslims have their frustrations, and have squared off over the years in violent clashes with Hindus. But they live in a noisy, messy democracy, where opportunities and a political voice are open to them, believes this author, and that makes a huge difference. M. J. Akbar, the Muslim editor of Asian Age, a national Indian English-language daily funded by non-Muslim Indians said, "I am not going to exaggerate Muslim good fortune in India. There are tensions, economic discrimination and provocations, like the destruction of the mosque at Ayodhya. But the fact is, the Indian Constitution is secular and provides a real opportunity for the economic advancement of any community that can offer talent. That's why a growing Muslim middle class here is moving up."

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