At altmuslim, Parvez Ahmed examines the distressingly low socio-economic status of India’s minority Muslim community and addresses what must be done to empower and integrate Indian Muslims:

Persistent religious discrimination and recurring communal violence have marred India’s ideals and values. It has diminished India’s narrative of a secular state where multi-ethnic and multi-religious communities can safely and freely reside. The erosion of the constitutionally protected fundamental rights has been especially disillusioning for India’s Muslim youth. The repeated failure of governments, both local and national, to take appropriate measures to protect the rights of minority citizens has prompted the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to put India on its 2009 Watch List.

Despite the obvious need to correct the problem, religious fanatics and fundamentalists have espoused the notion that Muslim empowerment is a zero-sum game. In particular the Hinduvta movement has cultivated a mistaken notion that any gain to the Muslim community is a loss for the Hindus. But in today’s globalized society, power resides not so much in unilateralism (shown to be glaringly ineffective by George W. Bush) but rather in effective mutuality and sharing between all who have a stake in a nation’s future. Thus, the issue of Muslim empowerment should be as much a Hindu concern as it is a Muslim aspiration.

Read the full post here.