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Muslims and Marginalisation

  • 13.4 per cent of India’s population are Muslims and they are considered to be a marginalised community in India today.

  • Muslims have been deprived of the benefits of socio-economic development.
  • Statistics reveal that Muslims are lagging behind in basic amenities, literacy and public employment.

Based on the statistics the Government of India set up a committee chaired by Justice Rajindar Sachar. The committee examined the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim Community in India.


The Report discussed the marginalisation of this community.

  • According to the Report the average years of schooling for Muslim children between the ages of 7-16 is much lower than that of other socio-religious Communities

  • Muslim customs and practices are sometimes quite distinct from what is seen as the mainstream. Some Muslims wear a burqa, sport a long beard and wear a ‘fez’ and these became ways to identify all Muslims.

Muslim women in ‘burqa’

A Fez

The committee came to the conclusion that on a range of social, economic and educational indicators the situation of the Muslim community is comparable to that of other marginalised communities like Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.


  • The Muslims were identified as being different from other communities. This was the cause for Muslims being discriminated against by the others.

  • Social marginalisation of Muslims, in some instances, has led to them migrating from places where they have lived and they often formed colonies of their own.

  • Discrimination of Muslims led to hatred and violence.

Marginalization is a complex and delicate issue and has to be handled by the Government very carefully. To rectify marginalization a variety of strategies, measures and safeguards have to be undertaken.

It is the duty of every citizen of this country to ensure that the Fundamental Rights of all citizen, whether they belong to the majority community or the minority community is protected. It is only the effort of everyone that will protect the diversity that makes our country unique and promote equality for all.

Marginalisation results in having a low social status and not having equal access to education and other resources.

  • The Adivasis have been marginalised as their forest-lands were taken over for development and they have been side-lined.

  • The Muslims have been marginalised as they have different customs and traditions as compared to the majority of the citizens.

Different communities have been marginalised for different reasons, yet all the communities that have been marginalised experience disadvantage, prejudice and powerlessness.

Yet, the lives of marginalised people can and do change.

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