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Thursday, 5 September 2013


Historical Back Ground of Muslim Minority 

Muslim community started claiming as religious minority only just before independence. Islam came in India in 712 A.D. through foreign invaders. First invasion was made by Mohd. Bin Qasim and thereafter a series of invasions were made by Mohd. Gajni and Mohd. Gori etc. Mohd. Bin Qasim established Islamic Rule in Sindh and Multan in 712 A.D. After Mohd. Gori, Mohd. Qutubbuddin Aibak, Akram Shah, Altmus, Gyasuddin Blaban, Razia Sultan, Jalaluddin Khilji, Alauddin Khilji, Firoz Shah Tughlak, IbrahimmLodhi and other Sultans ruled India and thereafter Babar established Moghul rule in 1526 followed Humaun, Akbar, Jahangir, Shahjahan, Aurangjeb and other Moghul rulers and lastly by Bahadur Shah Zafar in greater India. Indian society other than Muslim minority was ruled by Muslim Rulers for about one thousand years over most parts of India. For all these years Indian society other than Muslim minority was subjected to pay Jezia Tax in most parts of India to remain as Hindus and to perform their cultural and religious rites. 

Relevant Paragraphs at page 50 of a Book 'Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India (Vol. III: Medieval Indian Society and Culture) by J.L. Mehta is relevant in the present context, the same is being reproduced below:- 

"Mohd. Bin Qasim, who laid the foundation of the Muslim Rule in Sindh and Multan (711-12), secured the status of Zimmis for his hindu subjects from the caliph and accorded protection to their lives and property on the receipt of jaziya. Obviously, this step was necessitated as a matter of political expediency because in spite of the loss of independence, the hindu masses, in general offered odgged resistence to forced conversions. It was physically impossible for Qasim and handful of his Arab followers to compel the vanquished multitude 'to choose between Islam and death', particularly, when they were 'armed to the teeth'. Recognition of hindu 'idolators' of Arabia. His example was followed by the turkaofghan rulers of Delhi in their dealings with the hindus. The latter were not treated as full-fledged citizens of 'the Islamic stte' albeit they received status of zimmis-'the second-class' or 'inferior' citizens, which denied them all political rights and made them suffer from certain socio=religious and economic disabilities so as 'to prevent them from growing strong. In the words of Jadu Nath Sarkar, 
"The very term zimmi is an insulting title. It connotes political inferiority and helplessness like the status of a minor proprietor, perpetually under a guardian; such protected people could not claim equality with the citizens of the Muslim theocracy." 
There developed, with the passage of time, four schools of though for the authoritative interpretation of shara or 'the Islamic law'; these were known as Malakite, Shafite, Hanbalite and Hanafite after the names of their founders-Malik Ibn Anas (715-95 A.D.), Ash-Shafi (767-820), Ahmad Bin Hanbal (780-855) and Abu Hanifah (699-766), Doctors of the first three schools offered no other alternative but death to 'the idolators' including the hindus, on their refusal to embrace Islam. It were the exponents of the Hanifah school alone who permitted their existence in the Islamic state as zimmis. That explains the intesne hatred of the non-muslims by the orthodox muslims fanatics, in general; whenever a muslim ruler fell under the spell of such orthodox ulema, he adopted the policy of religious intolerance and persecution of his hindu subjects. It created a permanent gulf between the hindus and muslims which could not be bridged effectively for a long time. According to an observation, 'the politcal and religious condition under which the hindus were forced to live in a muslim state raised a great barrier between the two communities. The political supremacy of muslims was absolute; the hindus not only enjoyed no political status in practice, but could not even aspire to it under Islamic theory'. While living in their own country and in possession of their own hearths and homes, the hindus were reduced to the status of inferior citizens of 'an Islamic state' as the sultanate of Delhi was usually styled. On the other hand, the muslims, though in microscopic minority, constituted the privileged or the most favoured children of the state who enjoyed the bounties and benefited from all the public welfare and other state enterprises." 

Relevant paragraph at page 42 of the Book 'Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India (Vol. III: Medieval Indian Society and Culture) by J.L. Mehta is also relevant, the same is being quoted below:- 
"Thus, Islam does not separate religion from politics; in fact, the concept of religion in Islam emerged first, the state was 'an after-thought'. The additional Islamic law does not acknowledge 'the independent existence of state, nor is state regarded as a primary condition of human society. It makes the State completely subservient to the religion of the Prophet. According to the Islamic law, the state is only an instrument to serve the creed in the attainment of its objectives or fulfilment of ideals of the muslim brotherhood. The Islamic theory of state was, therefore, based on a three fold idea of one scripture, one sovereign and one nation; scriptu was the hly Quran, sovereign was the imam (leader), also called Khalifa (the caliph)- political successor to the Prophet, and nation was the millat-the muslim brotherhood. The basic feature of the state, according to this theory, was its 'indivisibility' in all the three aspects. It contemplated the establishment of a theocratic state based on the Islamic law, and recommended only one sovereign, the caliph, to rule over the whole of the muslim world. The caliph was styled as the amir ul momnin-'the leader of the faithful'; his office was thus a political institution based on Islamic injunctions. The sovereignty resided in the millat which elected their imam or the caliph, and the latter was under religious obligation to implement the Islamic law on and for the benefit of his muslim subjects. The Islamic government was, therefore, one which was composed of the muslims, by the muslims and existed for the happiness and welfare of the muslims alone." 
This paragraph has references of Books such as Arnol J Toynbee, A Study of History: 12 vols; OUP, 4th impression, 1948, IV, p. 230, Wolseley Haig, CHI,III, p.-10, A.B.M. Habibullah, Foundation of Muslim Rule in India; Allahabad, 2nd ed; 1961, p.2., Toynbee, Study of History, pp.clt; VI, p. 285, Toynbee, Study of History, pp.clt; IV, p. 98, Toynbee, Study of History, pp.clt; VI, pp.98-100, Toynbee, Study of History, pp.clt; VI, p.5,129, 131-132, 245-60. 

Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru in his Book titled as 'Glimpses of World History' (Published by Oxford University Press) has given detailed this in Chapter 66. Relevant passage finds place at page 214 of the Book, the same is being quoted below:- 
".....Meanwhile, the people of the country, the Hindus, were being slowly converted to Islam. The process was not rapid. Some changed their religion because Islam appealed to them, some did so because of fear, some because it is natural to want to be on the winning side. But the principal reason for the change was economic. People who were not Muslims had to pay a special tax, a poll tax-jezia, as it was called. This was a great burden on the poor. Many would change their religion just to escape it. Among the higher classes desire to gain Court favour and high office was a powerful motive....." 

How the assessment of amount of jezia tax was payable by Hindu population is clear from the Book titled as 'The Administration of the Moghul Empire' written by a Historian Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi. The relevant passage is being quoted below:- 
"...The assesses were divided into three categories in accordance with their wealth. Those in possession of ten thousand dirhems or more were considered to be wealthy; those who had less than ten thousand but more than two hundred dirhems were classified as belonging to the middle class, those who had less than two hundred dirhems but enough, in addition to the cost of maintaining themselves and their dependents, to pay the tax were considered to be poor. The first category was required to pay forty-eight dirhems per annum; the second twenty-four; and the third twelve. These seem to have been the rates for the urban areas; in the countryside the government levied a flat charge of four per cent of the state demand upon agricultural produce. If the agents of government failed to collect the jiziyah from any one for an entire year, he could not be charged the sum later. A dirhem was roughly 550 English grains of silver..." 

The history further makes it clear that population of any community played a vital role for affecting India's polity as well as Geography. Afghanistan was part of Greater India as Gandhar. It was also part of Greater India up to 1739 A.D. and Buddhism was a dominant religion in Afghanistan. Conversion of Buddhists into Islam in Afghanistan started process of separation which completed in 1739 AD when Nadirshah separated Afghanistan from India and merged in his empire. After death of Nadirshah Afghanistan became an independent Muslim State. Due to Islamic Rule for more than one thousand years in Sindh, Punjab, North Western Frontier Provinces and Bengal Hindu majority were converted into Muslim. In the year 1945, the percentage of Muslim population was 54 per cent and Hindus were 45 per cent and others were 1 per cent in Bengal only. Due to certain privileges to Muslims in India Greater India was partitioned in 1947 on the basis of two nations theory that the Muslims and Hindus constitute two nations. Present problem in Kashmir valley is also problem of Majority Muslim population whereas there is no such problem in Jammu and Laddakh where Hindus and Buddhists are in majority. History also makes it clear that due to special privileges to Muslims for more than one thousand years during Muslim Rule, though they were in microscopic minority and special separate rights to Muslims were given by Britishers also after 1906 upto Inidia was actually partitioned on the basis of Muslim population in undivided India. It is clear that population coupled with special rights awarded to Muslims, detailed above, played a greater role in changing history and geography of this country. 
As has already been discussed above which is a historical fact that majority of Muslims were converted Hindus and has origin of Hindus ancestors who adopted Muslim religion for various reasons during the period of more than one thousand years of Islamic Rule in the country and the majority of conversion took place due to economic reason of poor who could not pay Jezia Tax compulsorily made payable by Hindu population. Historic Book 'Glimpses of World History' written by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru makes it clear that conversion from Hindu community to Muslim religion during muslim Rule took place mostly due to poverty and due to non-payment of Jezia Tax. It is only after the end of the Muslim rule, Hindus and Muslims jointly fought against Britishers in 1857 AD-the first war of independence against foreigners to re-establish India's own rule. This common-ness and nationhood lasted not for more than 50 years, when Muslim League was established in 1906 which started claiming separate rights on the ground of religion which was conceded by Congress as well as British Parliament which ultimately resulted in division of the country on the basis of religion and changed Geography of India. 
The above careful study of the history makes it clear that minority rights were given for protecting their right and not to claim any privilege or special rights in comparison to Hindus, but to remove sense of insecurity and lack of confidence in minority, who opposed partition of India, but this minority right was misinterpreted by certain quarters and inspite of the fact that at present the population of Muslim Religious group is more than 18.5 per cent, they are still claiming themselves as religious minority community, though neither there is any insecurity nor there is any lack of confidence in Muslims whereas Muslim Religious group has now become single largest religious dominant group on the basis of population & strength affecting all walks of life including democratic process. It is further clear that in some States of India Muslim population is about 25 per cent and at least more than 13.8% on all India basis. In this backdrop, now Muslims have become a dominant group in all respects and have ceased to be a Religious minority community. As the matter before the Court is relating to Uttar Pradesh, hence the Court is expressing opinion only with regard to Muslim Religious community in Uttar Pradesh. This Court has taken note of historical background, judgments of Apex Court and debates of Constituent Assembly and is of the view that any further recognition of Muslims as a religious minority community will necessarily give rise to multinationalism in India and as such the State of Uttar Pradesh as well as Central Government may consider and pass appropriate orders to delete entry of Muslims as a religious minority community in India. 
The above discussions made it clear that ancestors of present Hindu society fought and saved their religion, civilization and culture even by paying Jezia Tax for continuing as Hindu in Islamic Rule in different parts of India and present Indian generation should be grateful for saving their religion, culture and civilisation even under such odd situation. 

It is further clear from the History that it was Akbar who did not impose any Jezia tax, but the same was re-imposed lateron by Aurangjeb. 

During the period of Muslim Rule for about one thousand year, no member of Muslim community claimed any minority rights. The Britishers thereafter tookover the administration of India. First war of Independence in 1857 was fought by both Hindus and Muslims jointly. After 1857, first war of independence, certain social, political and religious awakening took place in the Indian society. A number of social reformers and religious leaders emerged who worked in the Indian Society some of them were Swami Dayanand Sarswati who established Arya Samaj, Sri Raja Ram Mohan Rai, Swami Vivekanand and various other awakening and political changes also took place in the Indian society towards their rights in this era. 

From the Book 'Discovery of India' by Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru following facts are borne out that how concept of minority was developed in pre independence era:- 

Indian National Congress was also established in 1885 and thereafter in 1906, Indian Muslim League was established by some Muslim leaders. Under the banner of Indian National Congress, Hindus and Muslims both participated in the national movement of Independence under the leadership of national leaders belonging to both the communities and ultimately under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi movement for independence gained momentum. But, Muslim League started claiming separate electorate/franchise for Muslims even prior to 1935. 

The above history of Muslim Religious Community in India makes it clear that though Muslims were always in microscopic minority, but constituted the privileged class or were most favoured children of the State who enjoyed all the benefits from the public welfare and other State enterprises during Muslim Rule. The other non-muslim communities for about centuries under the Islamic Rules were underprivileged, weak and nondominant group of the Indian society. Muslim community was dominant upto partition of the India in all spheres of life including polity. The History itself speaks that abnormal growth of Muslim population proved to be a weapon for Muslim community for getting political power and to re-establish the Government in power of their own choice in the democratic process by using their voting rights in one side or the other prior and after partition in India. 

The above historical background makes it clear that the Muslim Religious Community was a privileged class in comparison to Non-Muslim religious communities during Muslim Rules and also continuing as such during British Rule which developed a complex in Muslim Religious Community and in order to revive aforesaid privilege the Muslim Religious Community claimed partition of India. Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan which were part of ancient India were separated from it and are Islamic States and non-muslim religious communities are compelled to reside under the Islamic Rules. 

The intention of Founding Fathers of the Constitution of India was not to create any privilege to minority religious community while introducing Articles 29 and 30 of the Constitution of India. This was just a protection given to minorities due to meagre population and strength treating such religious groups as non-dominant groups/communities. Constituent Assembly has categorised these non-dominant religious groups in three classes in the Schedule, i.e., 1/2%, less than 1-1/2% and above 1-1/2%. This was the criteria fixed by the Constituent Assembly for determining religious or linguistic minority. According to the Apex Court it is the region or the State which is the criteria for determining a religious or linguistic minority. Muslim Religious community is at present more than 18.5% of population in Uttar Pradesh is a dominant religious community and no sense of insecurity or lack of confidence exist amongst them at present. The claim of any religious group/community as privileged class may give rise to other community to make such demands which may be detrimental to nation's unity and integrity. 

Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru in his Book 'Discovery of India' at page 382 had described minority in India as under:- 
" ....Minorities in India, it must be remembered are not racial or national minorities as in Europe; they are religious minorities. Racially India is a patchwork and a curious mixture, but no racial questions have arisen or can arise in India. Religion transcends these racial differences, which fade into one another and are often hard to distinguish. Religious barriers are obviously not permanent, as conversions can take place from one religion to another, and a person changing his religion does not thereby lose his racial background or his cultural and linguistic inheritance. Latterly religion, in any real sense of the word, has played little part in Indian political conflicts, though the word is often enough used and exploited. Religion differences, as such, do not come in the way, for there is a great deal of mutual tolerance for them. In political matters religion has been displayed by what is called communalism, a narrow group mentality basing itself on a religious community but in reality concerned with political power and patronage for the interested group...." 

In his Book 'Discovery of India' at page 392, Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru further noted as follows:- 

"Mr. Jinnah's demand was based on a new theory he had recently propunded that India consited of two nations, Hindu and Mislem. Why only two. I do not know, for if nationality was based on religion, then there were many nations in India....." 

Above observations of Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru that the question of minority was raised by Muslim leaders in order to gain their political powers would be clear from Chapter II of the Book 'The Administration of the Moghul Empire' written by a Historian Ishtiaq Husain Qureshi published in 1973 and reprinted in 1973. The relevant part of Chapter II, pages 22 and 23 are being reproduced below:- 
"ISLAM takes a comprehensive view of life and does not separate politics from religion....." 

"By the time of the Prophet's death, the Muslim state was already strong and well consolidated. IN its essence it was the organized Muslim community functioning as a religious entity to preserve and propagate its beliefs and to provide the facilities to practise them, confronted with socia, economic and political needs to sustain its life as an independent society, hence organized into a state without which its prime object of maintaining its Islamic character could jeopardized. This need could be felt by any religious group, but in Islam religion was not merely a matter of prayer and belief but it also embraced the external behaviour of man to a degree that such a conception of the Islamic community was inevitable. The Muslim thinkers have mostly upheld this conception of the Islamic State. Their legal thinking also has been affected by this belief; indeed this conception is so deeply immersed in the Islamic doctrine that it would be difficult to separate it from religious thought....." 

Founding Fathers of Constitution never expected any such privileged and expected to make India a secular State, but given some protection to some of the religious communities having population about 1-1/2% of total population as religious minority community. The History of Minority narrated above also confirms the same. 

Upto 1941, Muslim community never claimed any minority rights. The Hindu and Muslim population ratio available on record makes it clear that Muslim population never gone beyond 12.58% prior to 1941. 

Following are the details showing percentage of Hindu and Muslim population according to Census of 1921, 1931 and 1941:- 
Census of 1921 
Hindu - 84.40% 
Muslims -9.57% 
Census of 1931 
Hindu - 84.34% 
Muslims -9.86% 

Census of 1941 
Hindu - 75.89% 
Muslims -12.58% 

In 1940, Muslim League started claiming separate nation for Muslims on the ground that Muslims constitute a separate nation and Hindus and Muslim could not live together. Muslim leaders at that time were of the view that after independence perhaps Muslims would be ruled by Hindus, though Muslims were rulers prior to British Rule and majority Hindu population was being ruled by Muslim rulers and after independence there would be dominance of Hindus in administration. Muslims were so dominant in 1941 that on the strength of their population which was 12.58% only compelled the people of India to get a separate country for themselves and Islamic State of Pakistan came into existence. 

Census of 1951 makes it clear that inspite of the division of India on the ground that Muslims and Hindus form two separate nations with support of Muslim population residing in every State of India supporting the demand of partition of the country, Pakistan was formed and India was divided, it was expected that except very few nationalist Muslims, who opposed partition of India would remain in India. For protection of those nationalist Muslims minority status was granted to them apart from other minority communities, but the majority of Muslim population did not go to Pakistan and remained in India, i.e., 9.09%, according to 1951 Census report, did continue to remain in India. Population of Muslims played an active role in dividing the country in two nations which shows that at any point of time strength & population of Muslim religious community played a vital role in deciding the fate of the India and that is why Sri Pocker Mohammed, a member of Constituent Assembly while delivering his speech rightly said that the Muslims are a strongly knitted community and also that if special rights are not given to them they will become desperate. Muslim religious group at present has become a major dominant force in democratic India on the basis of their population, voting rights and strength in getting elected their representative and own Government on the basis of their voting power. 

Out of 5,37,61,925 of rest of population in 1951 Census the Muslims population was 90,58,992 in U.P. which constituted about 1/6th of total population. Census of 2001, makes it clear that out of total population of U.P. 16,61,57,921, 13,39,79,263, was Hindu population and the Muslims population was 3,07,40,158 which is about 1/4th. It is worthy to notice here that population of Muslims throughout India in 1951 was 3,54,10,123 which is almost equivalent to All India population of Muslims of 1951 at present only in Uttar Pradesh. 

A perusal of the chart of the Census available on record also makes it clear that in a number of provinces the population of Muslims is more than 25%. In case Muslim community was in a dominant position at the time of partition only on the basis of 12.58% population and only 3% of Muslim population transferred to Pakistan after partition as is clear from the census of the 1951, though most of the population belonging to Muslim Religious Community throughout India supported partition and achieved their goal as is clear from the Constituent Assembly Debates. Such Religious group has now become a majority group again on the basis of their increased strength & population and if proper Training & Education of patriotism and secularism is not given and are left with any religious elements, it may give rise to multi-nationalism in India. This caution was made by the Apex Court in Bal Patil's case (supra) and as such this Court of the firm view that if in 1941, 12.58% population of Muslims was so powerful that they succeeded in dividing the country how the present population of 18.5% of muslims in the State of Uttar Pradesh could be treated as a religious minority community and a non-dominant group. 

Following Chart of the Muslim population in some of the Districts of State of Uttar Pradesh shows the strength of Muslim community which appears to be only dominant religious community which could affect the democratic set up of the country:- 

Census -2001, U.P.
Districts Hindu s Muslims

Saharanpur 17,23,226 11,32,919
Muzaffarnagar 21,51,009 13,49,629 
Bijnor 17,66,391 13,06,329 
Moradabad 20,52,014 17,35,381 
Rampur 9,05,062 9,45,277 
Jyotiba Phule Nagar 8,97,785 5,90,308 
Meerut 19,64,504 9,75,715 
Baghpat 8,54,718 2,87,871 
Ghaziabad 24,61,008 7,82,915
Gautam Buddha Nagar 10,28,937 1,56,415 
Bulandshahr 22,85,976 6,13,660 
Aligarh 24,38,496 5,31,956 
Budaun 24,02,152 6,54,797 
Bareilly 23,45,325 12,26,386 
Pilibhit 11,73,317 3,90,337 
Shahjahanpur 20,28,913 4,55,049 
Kheri 24,82,852 6,12,638 
Lucknow 28,52,721 7,48,687 
Farrukhabad 13,26,118 2,32,599 
Kannuj 11,64,479 2,19,104 
Kanpur Nagar 34,48,024 6,53,881 
Kaushambi 11,16,223 1,74,698 
Allahabad 82,84,834 6,27,735 
Barabanki 20,72,421 5,89,197 
Sultanpur 26,76,468 5,24,642 
Bahraich 15,37,177 8,29,361 
Shrawasti 8,72,653 3,01,117
Balrampur 10,58,676 6,17,675 
Siddharthnagar 14,28,543 6,00,336 
Basti 17,62,973 3,06,540 
Sant Kabir Nagar 10,73,646 3,41,154 
Maharajganj 17,93,304 3,57,822 
Kushinagar 23,94,602 4,87,674 
Deoria 23,98,395 3,08,731 
Azamgarh 33,32,711 5,93,907 
Mau 14,94,344 3,53,003 
Jaunpur 34,84,557 3,99,186 
Ghazipur 27,22,780 3,00,327 
Varanasi 26,27,565 4,97,516 
Sant Ravidas Nagar 11,87,835 1,61,962 

Considering the historical background discussed above and the proceedings of Constituent Assembly, it is clear that population and strength was the only norm basis of recognising any community as religious minority community in India. If India could be partitioned in two nations on the basis of 12.58% population of Muslims at the time of partition, the present population of 18.5% of Muslims in State of Uttar Pradesh are more dominant group in comparison to any other religious community according to strength & population and cannot be treated as religious minority community. 

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