SECULAR TREND OF MUSLIM EDUCATION IN INDIA

Md. Mohidul Islam, Dipak K. Midya

Abstract


The Muslims are lagging behind the Hindus in their educational achievement in India. Their educational backwardness is commonly attributed to the ‘religious fanaticism’ or sometimes to the ‘minority complex’. This conception became more forceful in the backdrop of hundreds of Madrasahs being established during the mid-1970s particularly across the northern part of India. Though there was historical cause behind reluctance among the Muslims toward modern education that was initiated by the British in India, some scholars highlighted various socio-economic shortcomings behind such backwardness. Dealing with a Muslim and a Hindu group living in the same village of West Bengal in India, we have tried to examine empirically whether religious identity affects the educational performance of the Muslims compared to the Hindus and, if not, to find out the root cause of their educational under-achievement. The study shows that religious or minority identity does not have any bearing upon the educational backwardness of the Muslims under study. It further shows that the poor economic condition of the Muslims, coupled with larger family size and early marriage of children, is behind the high rate of dropouts resulting in their educational backwardness. Settled within the same socio-economic context and having apparently similar access to the infrastructural facilities in educational institutions in and around the study area, the Muslim group is lagging behind their Hindu neighborhood in educational achievement mainly because of their poor economy. There is no religious inclination towards education is traced. Rather, the study reveals a secular trend of education among Muslims. 

Keywords


Literacy, Muslim education, measure of youngness, drop-out

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