Mr Vikram Chandra Reg. The Big Fight Program aired on 25th Nov.

06 On the outset I congratulate on picking up a very apt and current topic of reservation for Muslims. Your choice of Panelists as usual was of people with strong lungs. I would not comment about their depth or clarity in perceptions. I would like to give following inputs to the debate. 1) The schedule of casts which is abbreviated as SC was of the so called ACHHOOT or UNTOUCHABLES. When amongst Christians/ Muslims there is no concept of untouchables, how a Muslim could claim the benefits of SC. If as Mr. Owassi quoted Gandhi that by conversion only the religion gets changed and not the cast, then it is a sad commentary on both Islam and Christianity. Hinduism has been long maligned (and rightly) as a casteist religion. Now we find Christianity and Islam too practicing the same curse. 2) Regarding backwardness of Muslims. The people principally responsible for it are the so called self proclaimed Muslim leaders. Even way back in 19th Century Muslims in India had opposed opening of English Medium schools in Muslim dominated areas, apprehending that this would dilute their culture and cause decadence in their society. Whereas Raja Ram Mohan Ray had opposed opening of Sanskrit Medium schools and advocated for English Medium Schools, as he perceived that Indians would assimilate all that was happening all over the world, by being exposed to the language that was most dynamic at that particular period of time. Even during a survey conducted in around 1884 it was observed that Muslims (25%) were way below their representational percentage in education and trade. This immediately after 800 years of Muslim rule was the status of Muslims in India. Muslim society in India was backward even after Islamic rule of eight centuries. Muslims were backward as education was not given importance in their society. In Kashmir till recently the teachers in Madarasas were Hindu Brahmins, as they were the only educated people available there. There was certainly something wrong in the substratum of the Muslim society. No one wants to face the facts. The Elite and Affluent Muslims left for Pakistan at the time of Partition. The weaker segment of the weaker society was left behind. Again Mr. Owaisi says that Muslim founded institutions have 50% non Muslim students and Christian Father commented that in Christian

Institutions 90% are from non Christian background. Any Institution founded by anyone should not give any preference to any community. Or else people would start making even finer distinctions viz., a Birla Institute would start giving priority to Marwari’s, Ambani Institute to Guajarati’s, Tata Institute to Parasis. I have seen with my own eyes a Christian founded College giving admission to a Christian student with 44% marks and refusing admission to a Hindu student with 87% marks. I am proud no Hindu Institute follows this precedent. Let me bring another fact to the notice of Mr. Owaisi that in the running of the some of the called muslim Institutes even non muslims like G D Birla have contributed financially. NO reservation but DEGHETTOISATION IS THE ANSWER. It is the primary responsibility of the so called emancipated Muslims to remove their veil and get a panoramic view to improve their perspective. Throw away all the Obscurantist Imams, discard the Fatwa world. Come out of the corner you have painted yourself in. Do not try to live on sympathy. Reservation does not speak of equality it speaks of mercy.

There is another aspect to it. There are 57 muslim countries in the World.Not one has a Democratically elected Government. Democracy can survive only in secular states. Originally democracy was successful in Protestant countries alone. Slowly after the World War the distinction between Catholics and Protestant diminished and Democracy spread to Catholic states too. India being a secular state has democracy from its inception. Muslims are backward all over the world. The 57 muslim countries have all sort of privileges for muslims. Let us take note of some of the economic and other indexes of muslim countries. The combined annual GDP of 57 Muslim countries remains under $2 trillion. America, just by herself, produces goods and services worth $10.4 trillion; China $5.7 trillion, Japan $3.5 trillion and Germany $2.1 trillion. Even India's GDP is estimated at over $3 trillion (purchasing power parity basis). Oil rich Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Kuwait and Qatar collectively produce goods and services (mostly oil) worth $430 billion; Netherlands alone has a higher annual GDP while Buddhist Thailand produces goods and services worth $429 billion. Muslims are 22 percent of the world population and produce less than five percent of global GDP. Even more worrying is that the Muslim

countries' GDP as a percent of the global GDP is going down over time. The Arabs, it seems, are particularly worse off. According to the United Nations' Arab Development Report: "Half of Arab women cannot read; One in five Arabs live on less than $2 per day; Only 1 percent of the Arab population has a personal computer, and only half of 1 percent use the Internet; Fifteen percent of the Arab workforce is unemployed, and this number could double by 2010; The average growth rate of the per capita income during the preceding 20 years in the Arab world was only one-half of 1 percent per annum, worse than anywhere but subSaharan Africa." The planet's poorest countries include Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Somalia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Mozambique. At least six of the poorest of the poor are countries with a Muslim majority. Conclusion: Muslims of the world are among the poorest of the poor. Fifty-seven Muslim majority countries have an average of ten universities each for a total of less than 600 universities for 1.4 billion people; India has 8,407 universities, the U.S. has 5,758. From within 1.4 billion Muslims Abdus Salam and Ahmed Zewail are the only two Muslim men who won a Nobel Prize in physics and chemistry (Salam pursued his scientific work in Italy and the UK, Zewail at California Institute of Technology). Dr Salam in his home country is not even considered a Muslim. Over the past 105 years, 1.4 billion Muslims have produced eight Nobel Laureates while a mere 14 million Jews have produced 167 Nobel Laureates. Of the 1.4 billion Muslims less than 300,000 qualify as 'scientists', and that converts to a ratio of 230 scientists per one million Muslims. The United States of America has 1.1 million scientists (4,099 per million); Japan has 700,000 (5,095 per million). Fact: Of the 1.4 billion Muslims 800 million are illiterate (6 out of 10 Muslims cannot read). In Christendom, adult literacy rate stands at 78 percent. Consider, for instance, that Muslims constitute 22 percent of world population with a 1 percent share of Nobel Prizes. Jews constitute 0.23 percent of world population with a 22 percent share of Nobel Prizes. What really went wrong? Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak. What went wrong? Arriving at the right diagnosis is extremely critical because the prescription depends on it. Consider this: Diagnosis 1: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because they have 'abandoned the divine heritage of Islam'. Prescription: Muslims must return to their real or imagined past. Diagnosis 2: Muslims are poor, illiterate and weak because they have refused to change with time. The correct diagnosis is to keep pace with time. Muslim countries have all privileges for muslims yet they remain at the lowest level of

success. The need of the hour is TAMASO MA JYOTIRGMAYAH and not reservation.

Kuldip Gupta