Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pakistanis Sent $5 Billion to Relatives in India in 2015

Pakistanis sent nearly $5 billion to help their relatives in India in 2015, according to data released by the World Bank. This makes Pakistan the 4th largest source of foreign remittances to India, putting Pakistan ahead of Kuwait and the United Kingdom. Only United Arab Emirates, United States and Saudi Arabia sent more money to India.

Source: Wall Street Journal 

With over 1.4 million Pakistanis born in India, there are literally millions of family connections between the two countries and millions of reasons a person in Pakistan might find a way to get money to relatives in India. The money could be sent for a brother in need, a cousin’s wedding, an uncle’s funeral or even to help educate a niece, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Source: Hindustan Times

I personally know people in my own circle of friends and family in Pakistan who regularly send money to relatives in India to help them out in times of need. Such remittances are used to build homes, educate children, pay for health care or girls' weddings.

While Muslims in Pakistan have prospered, the Indian Muslims have become the new untouchables in their land of birth. They suffer widespread discrimination in education, employment, housing and criminal justice. Muslims make up 13% of India's population but 28% of Indian prisoners. Similarly, Christians make up 2.8% of India's population but 6% of India's prison population.  Meanwhile, the newly elected parliament has just 4% Muslim representation. Housing discrimination in India is so bad that an Indian MP Shashi Tharoor recently tweeted: "Try renting an apartment using a #Muslim name (In #India )".

The latest World Bank remittance offers yet another confirmation that the South Asian Muslims who migrated from what is now India to Pakistan have fared relatively better in terms of economic and other opportunities. Pakistani Muslims have the means to help their relatives in India. It reinforces my own anecdotal observation during my visits to both countries.  I see that my own relatives in Pakistan are much better off than those in India. My Pakistani relatives enjoy better opportunities for education and jobs giving them higher standards of living than those in India.

In fact, Pakistan has continued to offer much greater upward economic and social mobility to its citizens than neighboring India over the last two decades. Since 1990, Pakistan's middle class had expanded by 36.5% and India's by only 12.8%, according to an ADB report titled "Asia's Emerging Middle Class: Past, Present And Future.

Source: ADB
New York Times' Sabrina Tavernise described the rise of Pakistan's middle class in a story from Pakistani town of Muzaffargarh in the following words:

For years, feudal lords reigned supreme, serving as the police, the judge and the political leader. Plantations had jails, and political seats were practically owned by families.

Instead of midwifing democracy, these aristocrats obstructed it, ignoring the needs of rural Pakistanis, half of whom are still landless and desperately poor more than 60 years after Pakistan became a state.

But changes began to erode the aristocrats’ power. 
Cities sprouted, with jobs in construction and industry. Large-scale farms eclipsed old-fashioned plantations. Vast hereditary lands splintered among generations of sons, and many aristocratic families left the country for cities, living beyond their means off sales of their remaining lands. Mobile labor has also reduced dependence on aristocratic families.

In Punjab, the country’s most populous province, and its most economically advanced, the number of national lawmakers from feudal families shrank to 25 percent in 2008 from 42 percent in 1970, according to a count conducted by Mubashir Hassan, a former finance minister, and The New York Times.

“Feudals are a dying breed,” said S. Akbar Zaidi, a Karachi-based fellow with the Carnegie Foundation. “They have no power outside the walls of their castles.”

In yet another confirmation that Pakistani Muslims are much better off than Indian Muslims, the World Bank data has revealed that $5 billion were remitted by Pakistanis to help their Indian Muslim relatives in 2015 alone. Such remittances are used to build homes, educate children, pay for health care or girls' weddings. This flow will have to increase in the future given the Modi government policies of Hinduization that are adversely impacting Indian Muslims by worsening the depth of their deprivations.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

Maulana Azad's Grand-Niece India's BJP Minister

Hinduization of India Under Modi

Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims

Hindu Nationalists Admire Nazis


usman778 said...

my grandmother made us all send money to relatives we have never met in india. their conditions are most dire. we mohajirs may complain here in pakistan but most of us are doing much better than family in lucknow, ridoli and even hyderabad deccan which is a prosperous city.

Anonymous said...

yeah sure we believe you more than Assaudin Owaisi who has categorically told Indian muslims are much better than their paki counterparts.

Moin said...

Nice! Does this make india a bigger begger than Pakistan trying to live off the remittances of Pakistanis and US based indians? As you know the that Pakistan depends on the $ revenue stream of remittances sent by US based Pakistanis that keep sending their family money each month. Do you have a similar graph for Pakistan?

Riaz Haq said...

Moin: "Do you have a similar graph for Pakistan?"

I don't have a graph but here's a recent story:

Overseas Pakistanis sent home remittances amounting to $11.2 billion in July-January 2015-16, which translates into a year-on-year increase of 5.98%, according to data released by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Wednesday.

Remittances amounted to $10.5 billion in the same seven months of the preceding fiscal year. They were almost $1.46 billion in December alone, which is 10.6% less than the remittances received in the preceding month, SBP data shows.

Pakistanis based in foreign countries sent home $18.4 billion in 2014-15, which translated into a year-on-year increase of 16.5%.

Inflows from Saudi Arabia were the largest source of remittances in the Jul-Jan period. These stood at $3.35 billion in the seven months, up 8.23% from the corresponding period of previous year.

Remittances from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) increased 9.24% to $2.48 billion on a year-on-year basis. Inflows from the UAE had registered the largest increase of 26.1% from any major remittance-sending country in 2014-15, SBP data shows.

In the first seven months of the current fiscal year, remittances from Dubai surged 39.71% year-on-year. But the figure for overall inflows from the UAE so far has remained subdued because of a 25.52% annual decline in remittances from Abu Dhabi over the same period.

Remittances from the United States and the United Kingdom were $1.52 billion and $1.42 billion, respectively, from July to January. The year-on-year change in remittances from the US and the UK was -4.97% and 2.42%, respectively.

Remittances from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, excluding Saudi Arabia and the UAE, stood at $1.36 billion in Jul-Jan, which is 12.47% higher than the remittances received from these countries in the same months of the preceding fiscal year.

Remittances from Oman in Jul-Jan equalled $458.7 million while those from Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar amounted to $426.24 million, $268.43 million and $210.77 million, respectively.

This means the overall share of the oil-rich GCC countries in Pakistan’s remittances is over 64.37%. Many analysts fear remittances from these countries may dwindle going forward, as their governments begin to scale back infrastructure spending in the wake of a sharp fall in global oil prices.

Rajbhog said...

"A little knowledge could be very dangerous"
Once again broad conclusions are being drawn. The way remittances are calculated is not very straight forward. Lot of money is sent by people in the US but then it is channeled through other countries. I have done this. Example - I send money to my brother-in-law in Nepal who then sends it to my family in Delhi.
Also, please note about 2 billion was sent to Pakistan by India. The bigger the population higher the remittances received. Look at China. China receives money from many African countries who are poor. That doesn't make China a beggar!

Shah said...

Of Course Owaisi Is Going To Say This He Has To Live In India

Shams S. said...


You are so right about Pakistanis sending to India money to support their kins.

My brothers and I are some of them.

Anonymous said...


Same Owaisi bashes Modi , Hinduvta and Hinduism while living in India.

Plus what is stopping 170 millions of muslims of India from attempting to migrate to Pak.

If Indian muslim are willing to take zakaat from their Paki cousins, why not migrate to the land of pure.

Ashraf said...

Fact: All the Zamindars, wealthy and the well connected migrated to Pakistan around partition. The poor who could not stayed behind. The same holds true of Hindus remaining in Pakistan. Of course there are many exceptions.

One big difference however. In India, in spite of being a third world country, and unlike Pakistan, there are efforts at addressing minority issues. Look at the Sachar Commission. That is commendable. I am an Indian Muslim and I know my extended family. My great great grand mother's family was poor but her brother bought large tracts of land in Sindh. They are still wealthy and are now in UAE

Riaz Haq said...

Ashraf: " All the Zamindars, wealthy and the well connected migrated to Pakistan around partition."

I know first hand that your claim is inaccurate. Vast majority of Muslims who migrated from India to Pakistan in late 1940s were very poor and lived miserable lives initially. But they got the opportunities and made good use of them to improve their lives significantly in the new land.

Ashraf: "here are efforts at addressing minority issues. Look at the Sachar Commission. "

The Sachar Commission report was done in 2006; not much has changed since then, according to its update done last year.

Unfortunately, things are getting a lot worse now for Indian minorities with Modi in power.

Jamshed said...

Agreed. My family had big karza with Dewan Zamindars. They left for Pakistan because Indian Constitution had abolished all karza after independence and made land reform. We got some land and all karza was take off.

Jay said...

Do you send money to your relatives in India Mr. Haq?

Prof Salam said...

Mr Haq, please understand that Muslims of India are not a homogenous group. Muslims in Gujarat and Kerala have done lot better since Sachar and both states are non Congress states. Congress states like UP have done the worst and it is where Politicians go after the Muslim vote!
Another thing that you fail to mention is Former East Pakistan. If you include Bangladesh into the equation, Muslims of India fare much better.
Humbly request you to research properly.

Riaz Haq said...

Salam: "If you include Bangladesh into the equation, Muslims of India fare much better."

Per capita income in Bangladesh was higher than India's until 1971 when it was East Pakistan. Check out the following:!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=ny_gdp_pcap_cd&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=region&idim=country:PAK:BGD:IND&ifdim=region&tstart=-65721600000&tend=1354435200000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

Riaz Haq said...

Jay: " Do you send money to your relatives in India Mr. Haq?"

this amount of $5 billion to India is from Pakistanis in Pakistan. It does not include remittances of Pakistani-Americans to India from US

Prof Salam said...

That is incorrect.
Please see page 8 in this article from Univ of Oxford.

Riaz Haq said...

Salam: "That is incorrect.
Please see page 8 in this article from Univ of Oxford."

No, you are incorrect. I read it. It does not say that East Pakistan per capita income was lower than India's; it only says it was lower than West Pakistan's, as it continues to be even today. Bangladesh's per capita is significantly lower than Pakistan's more than 40 years after its independence.

Read it again:

Rks said...

So Pakistan gives 2% of its GDP to India? Really? To a country whose per capita GDP is 50% more.

Shah said...

As Long As Awaisi Does Not Praise Pakistan Or Point Out The Fact That Muslims in India Are Worse Than Blacks in Apartheid South Africa(Like Shah Rukh Khan etc.),He Can Bash Modi All He Wants.Hindus Won't Mind It

Riaz Haq said...

19640909rk "So Pakistan gives 2% of its GDP to India? Really? To a country whose per capita GDP is 50% more."

It's not Pakistani state; it's millions of individual Pakistanis helping their less fortunate relatives in India to the tune of $14.36 billion over the last three years.

World Bank PPP GDP Per Capita in 2015: India $5700 Pakistan 4800

The Indian GDP figures are being questioned by its own central bank chief. The 50% higher claim is dubious.

Besides, Pakistanis own more private wealth per capita than Indians, according to Credit Suisse's Global Wealth Report 2015

Zamir said...

I am not sure about the number, but the idea is correct. Most of my family members help our relatives on the other side.

Btw, the stories I hear from my Indian relatives and friends make me appreciate Mr. Jinnah for creating Pakistan and my grandfather who had the wisdom to migrate.


Zamir said...

Riaz Sb.,

Thanks for the information. The amusing thing to note both here and on WSJ is how Indian react. The moment anything negative about India or positive about Pakistan is written they start abusing the source. Never want to change their own perception or face reality.

There is a reason why invention of board game ludu is considered one of the 10 major inventions of India.


Riaz Haq said...

Zamir: "There is a reason why invention of board game ludu is considered one of the 10 major inventions of India. "

I think you are little behind on Hindu Nationalists claims of invention.

The list now includes nuclear weapons, airplanes, rockets, plastic surgery among ancient Hindu inventions :-)

#India's #Modi claims ancient #Hindus did plastic surgery, found stem cells, built TV, nukes, missiles,airplanes,cars

Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, has relaunched his country’s controversial claims to some of the world’s greatest scientific achievements with his suggestion that ancient India was adept at genetics and plastic surgery, including the grafting of the elephant’s head onto the god Ganesh.

His remarks – ironically made at the opening of a high-tech hospital in Mumbai – have revived a political debate about the growing influence of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the Organisation of National Volunteers) over the governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party.

Hindu fundamentalists are delighted by Mr Modi’s words, left-wingers are appalled or mocking and many foreigners are simply bemused that India’s real cultural, scientific and medical achievements are being overshadowed by simplistic references to the mythological past.

“For the intelligentsia and the educated people it’s so preposterous and absurd I think they don’t want to comment on it,” says political commentator Vinod Mehta. He argues that Mr Modi is currying favour with the Hindu right to secure their support. “Periodically you will hear him say these kinds of thing. I don’t think there’s a 1 per cent chance that the prime minister believes it.”

Here are five types of achievements claimed for ancient India:

• Stem cell research and other medical advances such as plastic surgery: Mr Modi mentioned the miraculous birth of the warrior king Karna in the Mahabharata, the Hindu epic, outside his mother’s womb as evidence that “genetic science was present at that time”. As for Ganesh, he said there must have been a surgeon who grafted the elephant head onto a human body “and began the practice of plastic surgery”.

• Cars and aircraft: Indian legends refer to horseless chariots and to aeroplane-like vehicles called vimanas. In the Mahabharata, the hero Arjuna, for example, sees “an incredible ship of the sky” which lands softly on the ground. “Wonderful lights flashed on the vimana’s smooth body. As Arjuna rose and approached the craft, a door opened at its side and a flight of steps flowed out from it.”

• Nuclear weapons and high-speed missiles: Arjuna’s arrows are often likened to missiles, sometimes with deadly payloads. At one point he shoots “a silver shaft charged with that final weapon” at his enemies. “It is an adamantine thunderbolt… Like a small sun, it erupts among the Trigarta legions and nine of every ten men Susharma brought to war are pillars of ash.”

•Televsion: A controversial book by retired schoolteacher Dinanath Batra, distributed in schools in Mr Modi’s home state of Gujarat, lays claim not only to motorcars and stem cell research but also to television in ancient India. Indian sages, it says, use their yogic powers to attain visions, and one royal adviser receives a live telecast of the battle of Mahabharata. “There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this.”

• Mathematics: Like the claim to longstanding medical knowledge, this is based on real achievements in ancient times, even if many recent advances have been made beyond India’s frontiers. In particular India is credited with the system that became known as the “Arabic” numerals 0-9. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

Anonymous said...

Riaz Sb.

I live in real world. They need to come up with these stories because in 8000 years of history their only contribution to world is zero and Buddhism.


Shah said...

Zamir Sahib
Buddhism Is Technically Nepalese Not Indian And Even In Case Of Buddhism Indian King Pushymitra Sunga Wiped It Out From The Face of The Subcontinent

It Is Funny How Indians Talk bout Ghauri Ghaznavi and Aurangzeb But Conveniently Forget What Their Own Kings Have Done LOL

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India, not #Pakistan, denies visas to #US religious freedom body #USCIRF #religiousdiscrimination #BJP

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

India has denied visas for a delegation from the US government agency charged with monitoring international religious freedom.

The delegation from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom had been scheduled to leave for India on Friday for a long-planned visit with the support of the US state department and the US embassy in New Delhi, but India had failed to issue the necessary visas, the commission said.

“We are deeply disappointed by the Indian government’s denial, in effect, of these visas,” USCIRF chairman Robert George said in a statement.

“As a pluralistic, non-sectarian, and democratic state, and a close partner of the United States, India should have the confidence to allow our visit,” he said.

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

“One would expect that the Indian government would allow for more transparency than have these nations, and would welcome the opportunity to convey its views directly to USCIRF.“

The Indian embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, despite a much-heralded fresh start in US-India ties under Indian prime minister Narendra Modi, the United States ran into problems arranging visits by the head of its office to combat human trafficking and its special envoy for gay rights.

A state department official referred queries on the visa issue to the Indian government, but highlighted remarks by president Barack Obama on a visit to Delhi last year, in which he made a plea for freedom of religion in a country with a history of strife between Hindus and minorities.

In its 2015 report, the bipartisan USCIRF said incidents of religiously motivated and communal violence had reportedly increased for three consecutive years.

It said that despite its status as a pluralistic, secular democracy, India had long struggled to protect minority religious communities or provide justice when crimes occur, creating a climate of impunity.

Non-governmental organisations and religious leaders, including from the Muslim, Christian, and Sikh communities, attributed the initial increase in violence to religiously divisive campaigning in advance of the country’s 2014 general election won by Modi.

The report said that since the election, religious minorities had been subject to derogatory comments by politicians linked to Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and numerous violent attacks and forced conversions by Hindu nationalist groups.

U.S. law allows for imposition of sanctions on countries the commission terms “of particular concern,” but the USCIRF’s recommendations are not binding and these are not automatically imposed.

Anonymous said...

George said USCIRF had been able to travel to many countries, including those among the worst offenders of religious freedom, including Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, China, and Myanmar.

So you are happy to allow a government of a foreign power come and certify how tolerant you are ? And what are their conclusions ? That Pakistan is one of the worst offenders.Happy now?

That too a country which allows organizations like the KKK to function on its territory?

India did the right thing in refusing these trouble makers.

Riaz Haq said...

Is Reading An #Urdu Book In #India's #Delhi Metro A Crime? "In haramiyon ko seedha #Pakistan bhejo" … via @ScoopWhoop

Reading in the metro, especially if you manage to find yourself a seat, is such a pleasure. But, thanks to the volatile environment we are currently living in, a person (of an unknown gender) had the most unpleasant experience ever. Why? Because he/she was allegedly 'caught' reading a booklet of the recently concluded Jashn-e-Rekhta festival which happened to be in Urdu.

Riaz Haq said...

#India is second most ignorant nation of the world after #Mexico: Survey via @dna

India has the "dubious honour" of being the second most ignorant nation in the world after Mexico, according to a survey which posed questions on issues like inequality, non-religious population, female employment and internet access.

The survey conducted by Ipsos MORI, a London-based market research firm, polled 25,000 people from 33 countries and found that while people "over-estimate what we worry about", a lot of major issues are underestimated.

Mexico and India receive the dubious honour of being the most inaccurate in their perceptions on these issues, while South Koreans are the most accurate, followed by the Irish," the survey said.

The rankings of the nations were based on the "Index of Ignorance" which was determined by questions about wealth that the top 1 % own, obesity, non-religious population, immigration, living with parents, female employment, rural living and internet access.

Most Indians "underestimate" how much of their country's wealth is concentrated in the hands of the top 1%, the survey said, adding that the top 1% actually own an "incredible" 70 % of all wealth.

The survey also found that most Indians "hugely overestimate" the proportions of non-religious people in the country to be 33% when the true figure is under 1 %.

While Israel significantly underestimates the proportion of female employment (by 29 % points), people in countries like India, Mexico, South Africa and Chile all think of more women in work than really are, it said.

India fell in the list of nations which overestimate representation by women in politics.

Countries like Columbia, Russia, India and Brazil all think there is better female representation than there really is, the survey said.

However, the Indian population seriously underestimates the rural population of the country and thinks more people have internet access than in reality.

In India the average guess among online respondents for internet access is 60 per cent - an overestimation of the true picture of 41 percentage points, the survey added.

Riaz Haq said...

Anti-Muslim housing discrimination Apartment Rental Ad in #Mumbai, #India: "All communities allowed EXCEPT #Muslims"

Such intolerance exists at all price points. In a TV interview, Shabana Azmi, one of India’s most celebrated actresses and a former member of Parliament, described how she and her equally famous screenwriter husband couldn’t buy the flat they wanted because they were Muslim.

More alarming to me, though, is how the inter-communal mix of my formative years has been lost. As the writer Naresh Fernandes describes in his book, “City Adrift: A Short Biography of Bombay,” some suburban areas are acquiring the feel of religious ghettos. Mumbra, one of the largest, is over 90 percent Muslim. It suffers daily power failures much worse than those in neighboring Hindu localities. To the west, the clearly demarcated Muslim parts of Jogeshwari are snidely called “mini Pakistan” by Hindus across the “border.”

It is not difficult to find Internet listings specifying whether a property lies in the Hindu or Muslim area of an outer suburb, or even, in the case of a half-million dollar flat in the closer-in suburb Andheri, saying explicitly, “All communities allowed EXCEPT Muslims.”

Riaz Haq said...

Stanford scholar Audrey Truschke on #Muslim rule in #India: #Mughal rulers were not hostile to #Hindus via @Stanford

Truschke, one of the few living scholars with competence in both Sanskrit and Persian, is the first scholar to study texts from both languages in exploring the courtly life of the Mughals. The Mughals ruled a great swath of the Indian subcontinent from the early 16th to the mid-18th centuries, building great monuments like the Taj Mahal.

Over several months in Pakistan and 10 months in India, Truschke traveled to more than two dozen archives in search of manuscripts. She was able to analyze the Mughal elite's diverse interactions with Sanskrit intellectuals in a way not previously done.

She has accessed, for example, six histories that follow Jain monks at the Mughal court as they accompanied Mughal kings on expeditions, engaged in philosophical and religious debates, and lived under the empire's rule. These works collectively run to several thousand pages, and none have been translated into English.

Truschke found that high-level contact between learned Muslims and Hindus was marked by collaborative encounters across linguistic and religious lines.

She said her research overturns the assumption that the Mughals were hostile to traditional Indian literature or knowledge systems. In fact, her findings reveal how Mughals supported and engaged with Indian thinkers and ideas.

Early modern-era Muslims were in fact "deeply interested in traditional Indian learning, which is largely housed in Sanskrit," says Truschke, who is teaching religion courses at Stanford through 2016 in association with her fellowship.

Hybrid political identity
Truschke's book focuses on histories and poetry detailing interactions among Mughal elites and intellectuals of the Brahmin (Hindu) and Jain religious groups, particularly during the height of Mughal power from 1560 through 1650.

As Truschke discovered, the Mughal courts in fact sought to engage with Indian culture. They created Persian translations of Sanskrit works, especially those they perceived as histories, such as the two great Sanskrit epics.

For their part, upper-caste Hindus known as Brahmins and members of the Jain tradition – one of India's most ancient religions – became influential members of the Mughal court, composed Sanskrit works for Mughal readers and wrote about their imperial experiences.

"The Mughals held onto power in part through force, just like any other empire," Truschke acknowledges, "but you have to be careful about attributing that aggression to religious motivations." The empire her research uncovers was not intent on turning India into an Islamic state.

"The Mughal elite poured immense energy into drawing Sanskrit thinkers to their courts, adopting and adapting Sanskrit-based practices, translating dozens of Sanskrit texts into Persian and composing Persian accounts of Indian philosophy."

Such study of Hindu histories, philosophies and religious stories helped the Persian-speaking imperialists forge a new hybrid political identity, she asserts.

Truschke is working on her next book, a study of Sanskrit histories of Islamic dynasties in India more broadly.

Indian history, especially during Islamic rule, she says, is very much alive and debated today. Moreover, a deliberate misreading of this past "undergirds the actions of the modern Indian nation-state," she asserts.

And at a time of conflict between the Indian state and its Muslim population, Truschke says, "It's invaluable to have a more informed understanding of that history and the deep mutual interest of early modern Hindus and Muslims in one another's traditions."

- See more at:

Riaz Haq said...

Only 27% of Pakistanis identify themselves as Pakistanis first while 51% of Indians see themselves as Indians first. On the other hand, 43% of Pakistanis (vs 17% of Indians) say their religious identity comes first.

Three countries stand out in the way their populations think about self-identity. Spaniards are by far the most likely to identify with world citizenship (54%). For 56 per cent of Indonesians, belonging to their local community is the strongest defining identity. And for Pakistanis, a strong plurality (43%) identify first as a member of their religion.

The poll, conducted by GlobeScan among more than 20,000 people worldwide between December 2015 and April 2016, is being released as part of the BBC World Service Identity Season—a Spring season of broadcasts on the World Service’s 27 language services exploring stories about how people identify themselves around the world.

Among all 18 countries where this question was asked in 2016, the poll suggests more than half (51%) see themselves more as global citizens than citizens of their country, against 43 per cent who identify nationally. This is the first time since tracking began in 2001 that there is a global majority who leans this way, and the results in 2016 are driven by strong increases since 2015 in non-OECD countries including Nigeria (73%, up 13 points), China (71%, up 14 points), Peru (70%, up 27 points), and India (67%, up 13 points).

Riaz Haq said...

#Muslims in #India at bottom of higher education ladder, alongside backward tribes. #Modi #BJP

New Delhi, July 22: Despite almost trebling in the decade ending 2010 — from 5.2 per cent to 13.8 percent — the rate of Muslim enrolment in higher education trailed the national figure of 23.6 per cent, other backward classes (22.1 per cent) and scheduled castes (18.5 per cent). Scheduled tribes lagged Muslims by 0.5 per cent.
In proportion to their population, Muslims were worse-off than scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled tribes (STs). Muslims comprise 14 per cent of India’s population but account for 4.4 per cent of students enrolled in higher education, according to the 2014-15 All India Survey on Higher Education.
The situation has worsened over the last half century, according to the 2006 Sachar Committee, appointed to examine the social, economic and educational status of the Muslim community.
In the decade since then, the gross enrolment rate of Muslims doubled from 6.84 per cent to 13.8 per cent. Despite this, they trail the national average.
The 147 per cent increase in SCs and 96 percenet increase in STs in higher education enrolments — which still lags their proportion in the general population — since 2001 is the outcome of affirmative action, as we explained in part one of this series. The second part described how the proportion of other backward classes (OBCs) in higher education is now almost the same as their corresponding share of the general population.
So, should reservation be extended to Muslims?
That is not an easy question to answer. In a nation declared secular by its constitution, educational institutions are disallowed from discriminating between students on religious grounds. However, states can tweak constitutionally-mandated reservation provisions to provide “for the advancement of any socially and educationally backward classes of citizens or for the scheduled castes and the scheduled tribes”.
Where such reservations have been made for Muslims over and above the few Muslim castes included in the OBC list, such as in Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, their representation in higher education is three times the rate in non-minority institutions up North, according to Indian Muslims and Higher Education: A Study of Select Universities in North and South India, a 2013 comparative analysis.
Affirmative action has allowed many families to see their first-generation of graduates, post-graduates and doctorates. It has spurred progressive families to widen their horizons.
Poverty holds back Muslims from higher education — but not in south India
There is little doubt that Muslims are among India’s most economically disadvantaged communities. Hindus who are not classified backward and other minorities spent 60 per cent more than Muslims, according to the Sachar Committee.
No more than 81 per cent of urban male Muslims are literate, the lowest literacy rate among urban males from Indian religious groups — Hindus (91 per cent), Christians (94 per cent), Sikhs (86 per cent) and Others (95 per cent) — according to Employment and Unemployment Situation among Major Religious Groups in India, a 2010 National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report.
In higher education, Muslims (13.8 per cent) trailed all the major religions in gross enrolment rate in 2010 — Hindus (24.2 per cent), Christians (36.9 per cent) and others (Jains, Sikhs et al) (28 per cent).
Among Muslims, the work participation rate, another key determinant of socio-economic well-being, representing the workforce per 1000 population, was the lowest of all the major religions-536, below Sikhs (568), Christians (540), Hindus (563) and Others (573), also according to NSSO 2010.

Riaz Haq said...

75% of #India's #Muslims live below the poverty line. #Modi #BJP via @CatchNews

In another effort to counter the anti-minority image of the Modi government, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi visited Muslim-dominated Mewat in Haryana last week for a "progress panchayat". Recently, Mewat had witnessed a communal flare up.

Naqvi said that minority empowerment is 'Raj Dharma' of his government while he inaugurated a 100-bed girls hostel and laid the foundation stone of a higher secondary school.

Poverty is the biggest challenge for the minorities as 75% of Muslims live below the poverty line and discrimination based on caste, religion and region still exist in India, admitted Naqvi.

When a minister admits to a problem, it is time for some introspection. So here is a reality check:


- Number of Muslim students who appeared for the bi-annual basic literacy assessment test in August 2015.

- Of this, only 36,84,253, or 69% successfully passed the test.

- In Punjab, which is soon going to elections, only 49% could pass the test.

- The literacy rate of Muslims in India.

- The national average is 64.8%.

- Additionally, 1 in 4 Muslim students in the age group 6-14 years either never attended school or dropped out.

- "Muslim parents are not averse to modern or mainstream education and to sending their children to affordable Government schools. They do not necessarily prefer to send children to Madarsas. However, the access to Government schools for Muslim children is limited. Schools beyond primary level are few in Muslim localities. Girl schools are fewer," said the government in Lok Sabha in May 2016.

- Or more, is the share of Muslim male workers who are engaged as street vendors to earn their livelihood.

- The national average is less than 8%.

- "Self-employment (which falls under the unorganised sector of the economy) is the main source of income for the Muslim community," says the government.

- Out of all socio-religious categories, Muslims participate more in production (especially textile, tobacco), sales related activities as against professional, clerical, managerial and technical jobs. This leads to vulnerable job conditions for the community.

Rs 1,000
- The amount of money the union government spent in modernising madrasas in the past seven years, according to data-journalism website IndiaSpend.

- There are also nearly 24 schemes/initiatives for educational empowerment of Muslims run by the ministry of Minority Affairs.

- However, unspent funds, sometimes due to refusal to take part in initiatives or lack of project proposals, is a major problem in the path of the minority, caste and tribal development.

- For instance, according to Right to Information filed by IndiaSpend, about Rs 2.8 lakh crore of Dalit/tribal development fund remained unspent for the past 35 years.

Clearly, Naqvi has a lot of work to do ahead to change the situation.

Riaz Haq said...

Skype keeping #Indians connected to their families in #Pakistan. #Internet #Technology via @htTweets

Partition in 1947 displaced populations, divided families. According to a Dawn 2012 report, ‘North India and South Pakistan’, every fifth person in Sindh belongs to second or third-generation migrants from India, particularly Uttar Pradesh. Even till 1949, the idea of a border had not solidified; the question of legal status did not arise till 1949. People who went to visit relatives and decided to delay their return could not come back and began to be counted as Pakistani citizens. Four wars and other stand-offs and an uninterrupted history of quarrel have, however, hardened the divide. The recent Uri attack has made Indo-Pak relations hit a new low.

In such times how does an Indian family talk to or meet his Pakistani cousins? Air, train and bus travel –– at the mercy of political temperatures between both countries –– often stand snapped. ‘Trunk calls’, that ’70s perversity where one trekked to the local booth and shelled out Rs 400 for a 10-minute talk, or booked an international call days in advance on the neighbour’s phone, was thankfully over by the ’80s. Direct telephony between India and Pakistan had begun. But with the social media revolution of the 2000s, families in India and Pakistan have started to develop a more immediate connection over WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook
“Amma prefers the telephone,” says Abdullah, Naseem Ali’s son, punching the keys of his smartphone to show his Facebook page where he and his wife, Nayab are in matching white for a bash at their new hotel. His relatives from Pakistan, mainly his grand-uncle’s family, and his sister, have thumbed their ‘likes’. A quick round of “haalchaal (how are you)” and “khairyat (all well?)” conversations with his relatives in Karachi and Islamabad works for him. “No politics,” he says firmly. “We don’t talk politics.”


For the present generation, the connection with their across-the-border family is close, but loose. When Cousin Ahmad sees Cousin Javed across the screen, of course they smile. When they meet, they will, of course, hug. But it is more about being part of a network, than a feeling of being family.
“In large measure, the generation who grew up together, or played together, and for whom Partition was a wrench, are gone or dying,” says veteran journalist Saeed Naqvi. In his recently published book, Being the Other: The Muslim in India, he talks of his aunt, Alia Askari, and his helpless gesture – the sending of an email asking her to take care of herself on receiving the news of her husband, Kazi Imam’s death: “If we tried we would have got visas to attend his funeral. But we did not. The sheer habit of living in different countries with obstacles in travel increases distance exponentially. Dearest relatives take up residence only in the mists of memory….”


In the time of civil war, how did a Jaffna Tamil talk to his family in India? He probably couldn’t. How does a North Korea man speak to his South Korean cousin? He probably wouldn’t. But there are families in both countries who will not watch the weather vane and shut out the other. Saleem Siddiqui, a retired Indian Oil salesman in Delhi, and his sisters in Karachi, talk to each other every week.

Riaz Haq said...

#Pakistan has 2nd largest population of migrants from #India. More #Indian #Muslims, minorities migrate than #Hindus

India is the top source of international migrants, with one-in-twenty migrants worldwide born in India. As of 2015, 15.6 million people born in India were living in other countries. India has been among the world’s top origin countries of migrants since the United Nations started tracking migrant origins in 1990. The number of international Indian migrants has more than doubled over the past 25 years, growing about twice as fast as the world’s total migrant population.

Nearly half of India’s migrants are in just three countries: the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and the United States. About 3.5 million Indians live in the UAE, the top destination country for Indian migrants. Over the past two decades, millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers. Pakistan has the second-largest number of migrants, with 2 million.

Almost 2 million more live in the U.S., making up the country’s third-largest immigrant group. Among Indian Americans, nearly nine-in-ten were born in India. As a whole, Indian Americans are among the highest educated and have some of the highest income among racial and ethnic groups in the U.S.

India is also one of the world’s top destinations for international migrants. As of 2015, about 5.2 million immigrants live in India, making it the 12th-largest immigrant population in the world. The overwhelming majority of India’s immigrants are from neighboring countries such as Bangladesh (3.2 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), Nepal (540,000) and Sri Lanka (160,000).

India’s religious minorities have been more likely to migrate internationally. Religious minorities make up a larger share of India’s international migrant population than they do among the nation’s domestic population, according to 2010 Pew Research Center estimates. For example, about 19% of the Indian international migrant population was Christian, compared with only 3% of the population in India. Similarly, an estimated 27% of the Indian international migrant population was Muslim, compared with 14% of the population in India. The reverse is true for Hindus: Only 45% of India’s international migrant population was Hindu, compared with 80% of the population in India.

Riaz Haq said...

I Am A Practicing Muslim. My Concerns Right Now For India Are... by Indian Journalist Rana Ayub

My family was forced to move from the cosmopolitan Sahar village to the rather lower middle class Deonar which was considered safer. My brother and my father applied for a credit card thrice while we lived in that area and were which was rejected on all occasions.

We were told later that these companies have specific instructions to not issue cards to Muslims living in 'such' areas. The building in which we stayed was next to the famous Deonar dumping ground and the abattoir from where the stench would fill the neighbourhood. But we and many like us continued to stay there because it was "safe".

Despite maintaining the best of hygiene, we had to live with the stink and airborne diseases. BMC workers who would mark their presence every morning in the swanky neighbourhoods of Mumbai like Peddar Road didn't mind taking days off in our neighbourhood with the garbage piling up because we (the Muslims and our many lower middle classes companions) could live with it.

Another problematic assertion in Naseer's column is that Muslims must stop feeling victimized. I have and continue to believe as a Muslim who has had to bear two communal riots that the community, like most communities in India, has been resilient and has chosen to put its dreaded past behind it, voting in every election for a change. But when every day you have videos emerging asking Muslims to chant "Bharat Mata ki Jai" before they are thrashed and cattle traders are lynched in public, the Muslim of the country does not feel a healing touch on the scars of the past.

If indeed we are so concerned about the plight of Muslims, their education, hygiene, then the topic of discussion should be to ensure that Muslim-dominated areas, government schools for Muslims have the same level of cleanliness and attention paid to them as other areas of Swachh Bharat. Muslims in this country have moved beyond the pain of the Babri demolition, but if the well-being of Muslims is indeed the criteria, those in power move on from Ayodhya and lets discuss corruption in the Waqf Board whose proceeds could help get Muslims access to higher education and a better status in society.

The alleged participation of Indian Muslims in ISIS is 0.0002 percent of the total number across the globe. To fault them for this and use it as an excuse to deny the 99.99 percent Muslims a dignified life is the worst one can offer to one of the largest minority in the country which has a glorious past in the country's freedom struggle. And which is now, as I keep hearing from many around me, leaving me feeling like a "second-class citizen".

(Rana Ayyub is an award-winning investigative journalist and political writer. She is the author of 'Gujarat Files', a book on the politics of Narendra Modi and Amit Shah in Gujarat.)

Riaz Haq said...

A study in contrasts: Muslims in India vs Pakistan by Dr. Ata ur Rahman ... The per capita income of Muslims in Pakistan is about $1,460 while the per capita income of Muslims in India is only about $400 – less than one-fourth of the country’s national Indian GDP. About 52.3 percent of Muslims in India live below the poverty line, with an average monthly income of $5 or less. Muslims constitute about 14.5 percent of the total Indian population. However, only between two percent and three percent of them pass the civil services examinations.
The literacy level of Muslims in India is also much lower than the national average. Only about four percent (one in 25) of Indians who receive education up to the high school level are Muslims, while only 1.7 percent (one in 60) of college graduates in India are Muslims. When we consider that one in seven people in India is a Muslim, these figures bring out the stark disparities that exist in India between Hindus and Muslims. In his book, ‘India’s Muslim Problem’, V T Rajshekar states that Muslims “are in many ways worse than untouchables and in recent years they are facing dangers of mass annihilation”.

The mass killings of Muslims in Indian towns and cities also add strength to the Two-Nation Theory. About 630 Muslims lost their lives during the 1969 Gujarat riots. This was followed by anti-Muslim violence in the Indian towns of Bhiwandi, Jalgaon and Mahad in 1970 when a large number of properties of Muslims were burnt and many Muslims killed. During anti-Muslim violence in Moradabad in 1980, about 2,500 Muslims were killed by extremist Hindu elements. Another 1,800 Muslims were slaughtered in the state of Assam in 1983 in a village called Nellie. The official 600-page Tiwari Commission Report on the Nellie massacre has remained a closely guarded secret since 1984.

The destruction of Babri Masjid in December 1992 by Hindu nationalists led to the Bombay Riots. BBC correspondent Toral Varia concluded that the riots were “a pre-planned pogrom” that had been in the making since 1990. According to many independent scholars, extremist Hindu rioters had been given access to information about the locations of Muslim homes and businesses through confidential government sources. This violence was planned and executed by Shiv Sena, a Hindu nationalist group led by Bal Thackeray.

The anti-Muslim riots that occurred in Bombay in January 1993 following the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, were reported in the following manner by international and Indian newspapers:

“Bombay: Day after day after day, for nine days and nights beginning on January 6, mobs of Hindus rampaged through this city, killing and burning people only because they were Muslims. No Muslim was safe – not in the slums, not in high-rise apartments, not in the city’s bustling offices – in an orgy of violence that left 600 people dead and 2,000 injured...Interviews have suggested, moreover, that the killing, arson and looting were far from random. In fact, they were organized by Hindu gangs, abetted by the Bombay police, and directed at Muslim families and businesses. The extent of police cooperation with the Hindu mobs appears to have spread through the entire police force, excluding only the most senior officers...neither the Maharashtra authorities nor the central government in New Delhi made any effort to stanch the flow of blood.” (The New York Times, February 4, 1993)

“Tragedy has struck Surat (Muslim) women… for them, it was hell let loose... While men were thrown into bonfires, torched alive or had burning tyres put around their necks, women were stripped of all their clothes and ordered to ‘run till they can’t… run”. (The Times of India, December 22, 1992).