Times of India compares NSSO (National Sample Survey Organization) collected between 2000 and 2005 to come up with the following:
… despite more and more persons [Indian Muslims] getting educated, they are not finding jobs at the same rate — a share of the educated are remaining out of the workforce. It also indicates discrimination — your religion can make all the difference in getting a job, even if you have the same educational qualification. This is starkly reflected in the shares of educated among those employed.
According to a study conducted by Paul Atwell of City University of New York and Katherine Newman of Princeton University:
… [We] found widespread discrimination against highly qualified low-caste individuals. We sent out 4,800 applications in response to advertisements for graduate jobs in Indian and multinational companies. These applicants bore distinctively upper-caste names, Muslim names and Dalit surnames, but were otherwise identical in educational qualifications and work experience.
The odds of a Dalit being invited for an interview were about two-thirds of the odds of a high-caste applicant with the same qualifications. The odds of a Muslim applicant being invited to an interview were even worse: only one-third as often as the high-caste Hindu counterpart.
The evidence is solid…
Most Indians don’t know how discrimination works. They think that only rebuking the other person with insults and treating them like shit in front of everyone is discrimination and everything else is just common civil protocol. When I asked hard questions on why there are only Hindus in a certain apartment complex, or why there are less than 1% Muslims in a very Bangalore-based software company, the answers were vague and most of them blamed Muslims themselves.
The most common excuse given by those who do not admit discrimination exists is to blame the victims. Most Germans and Europeans blamed Jews for their plight till the actual horrors of Holocaust came out. They continued to believe that Jews bought onto them the persecution and ostracism.
While Indians have been given enough dose of political correctness not to say the same thing about Indian scheduled castes and tribes, they are not so generous when it comes to Muslims of India. They are quick to point out that Muslims breed like rabbits, abhor regular education, not ready to take up employment, and stay in their slums not willing give up their neighborhoods.
Most often discrimination happens in very subtle ways. It happens to each of us in different ways. Women get discriminated against in many forms and ways on a daily basis. When I went to rent out office space in Bangalore, the first thing I was asked was my caste. Thankfully, my partner’s caste saved the day and we got the place to rent. People brush off such things. Most often, those who brush off such things are not at the receiving end but at the other end of the stick where they get preferential treatment. Very few people actually get offended when they get preferential treatment because they belonged to a certain caste or religion.
Back when we were in college, a friend of mine walked back from a viva-voce for an extremely tough subject. When asked how it went, he said he really hated it. We naturally assumed he had done very bad. Actually, that was not the case. He was given very good marks. The only reason he hated it was because the teacher did not talk about anything else other than his caste. The teacher was quite impressed with his upper caste and hence the good marks. Very few people actually admit and detest it when given preferential treatment. Most other just gleefully accepted the good marks and never talk about that preferential treatment.
Indians need to learn and understand how the discrimination happens. We never seem to notice it even when it is thrown at our face. An Indian Canadian friend visiting India visited an Indian bank and found out that more than 95% of the officers had the same last names. There were nearly 35 of them. They all belonged to the same caste, of his caste. He admitted he didn’t know what to make of it. Should I celebrate that my caste-fellows are doing really great, or should be ashamed that though it was a government office, nobody noticed the absolute and glaring discrimination that was being carried out.
I come back to the main topic. Muslims are being discriminated against, either overtly, subtly or covertly and we are not ready to admit it. One doesn’t need to wait for the statistics to come- though they are already coming. Just look around you and ask some tough questions and be ready to come to really tough conclusions – You will discover it on your own.