Increasing population and limited participation in higher education are mainly blamed for backwardness of Muslims, but a new report questions this argument, saying the community’s population in Kerala rose by 15 lakh between 2001-2011 despite being economically better and literate.
Though the economic status and the literacy level of Muslims in Kerala are better, still the rate of their population growth is higher that the national average, says the report by Centre for Policy Analysis, an independent and non-profit policy research body.
The centre, evaluating India’s minority policy and Muslim community’s social and economic status, said the Muslim population in Kerala rose to 3.34 crore in 2011 from 3.18 crore in 2001.
Giving a break-up of the increase in population in the state during the period, the report said the Muslim population grew by 10.10 lakh, Hindu population by 3.62 lakh and Christians by 84,000.
It said the economic status of Muslims in Kerala is sound and their literacy rate too is better than the national average.
Hindus constitute 54.9 per cent of the total population in Kerala, Muslims 26.6 per cent and Christians 18.4 per cent, it said. However in 2015, Hindus contributed 42.87 per cent to child births, Muslims 41.5 per cent and Christians 15.42 per cent.
On the contribution of Muslim women in education and workforce, the report suggests the government seriously look into this important issue related to the minorities in the country.
According to the report, several programmes are run by the government for minorities but the schemes are not yielding the desired results because of their “improper” execution.
The report citing the 2011 census said women participation in the workforce at the national level is 24.64 per cent but this rate is lowest in the Muslim community at 15.58 per cent.
It said the low literacy rate negatively affects the availability of economic opportunities, which in turn affects the participation in the workforce.
The report suggests the government bring changes in its programmes for minorities to achieve larger national goals and improve the condition of women.