Minority Issues – SC, ST, Dalits, OBC, Reservations, etc.

Who are the Pasmanda?


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.


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