From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Pasmanda community
Mains level : Upliftment of minorities
In a political conclave in Hyderabad, PM made a special mention for the Pasmanda muslim community and their social upliftment.
Who are the Pasmanda Muslims?
- The word Pasmanda is derived from the Persian language meaning ‘left behind’.
- The Pasmanda community comprise of Dalits and Backward Muslims who are fighting a different social battle inside the society.
- This community has its stronghold in Uttar Pradesh where the Pasmandas account for around 75% of the total Muslim population.
- In fact, 85% of the total population of Muslims in the country is known as Pasmanda.
- It is believed that the so-called untouchable Hindu converts are categorised as Pasmanda.
A caste system in minorities
- The caste system is applicable to Asian Muslims in the same way as it is applicable in the Indian society.
- Among the South Asian Muslims including those living in India, 15% are considered upper class or upper caste, called Ashraf.
- The remaining 85% Muslims known as Arzal and Ajlaf are considered to be Dalit and backward. Arzal means degraded.
Why political parties are focusing on them?
- If reports are to be believed then the creamy section of the Muslim society looks down upon them.
- They are backward and oppressed economically, socially and educationally. This oppressed section among Muslims is called Pasmanda in India.
A social movement in making
- Actually the Pasmanda movement in India is 100 years old. A Muslim Pasmanda movement had emerged in the second decade of the last century.
- After this, in the 90s in India, two big organisations were formed in favour of the Pasmanda Muslims.
- This was the All India United Muslim Front, whose leader was Ejaz Ali.
- Apart from this, Ali Anwar of Patna founded an organisation named All India Pasmanda Muslim Merej.
- However, both are termed as non-Islamic by Muslim religious leaders.
- All the small organisations of Pasmanda Muslims are mostly found in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.