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Citation Information

Type Working Paper - Journal of Exclusion Studies
Title Social Exclusion of Indian Muslims and Constitutional Provisions for their Inclusion
Volume 4
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 83-102
URL http://www.indianjournals.com/ijor.aspx?target=ijor:jes&volume=4&issue=1&article=007
India is home to the world's second largest Muslim community after Indonesia. Ironically, a significant percentage of this largest minority community of the nation is trapped in the vicious circle of poverty. The Census Report (2001), the Sachar Committee's Report (2006) and the India Human Development Report (2011) reveal that Muslims are a socially, economically and educationally backward community of the country. In order to remove the multidimensional exclusion of the excluded Indian Muslims, it is now necessary to provide ‘access to’ and ‘provision of’ opportunities to the community in all spheres of life. Hence, adequate safeguards need to be built for their inclusion in the form of affirmative action policies. The duty of providing adequate safeguards to the excluded communities rests on the shoulders of the supreme law of the land. This duty was first mentioned in the historic Objectives Resolutions adopted by the Constituent Assembly in 1947 and was later incorporated in the preamble of the Constitution of India. Since then, ‘equality’ and ‘justice’ have been held to be the twin concerns of the state. Article 15(1) forbids discrimination only on the grounds of race, religion, caste, sex or place of birth. Articles 15(4) and 16(4) empower the state to make special provisions including reservations for the advancement of socially and educationally backward classes in addition to the schedule castes and schedule tribes.
In this context, this paper attempts to argue that Muslims are poor, excluded, deprived of socioeconomic resources and are underrepresented both in education and in employment as a ‘community’ and therefore they, legally, are entitled for inclusionary measures in the form of reservations as per the provisions given to the ‘communities’ by the supreme law of the land.

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