PSYCHO SOCIAL AND DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILES OF HINDU-MUSLIM SLUM DWELLERS IN DELHI
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This modest endeavour observes that socio-cultural backwardness of the Muslims in India, in comparative sense, is lamentably an unquestionable reality, fully evident from all available data. Backwardness is not inherent in their culture, which has had a glorious past. The present retardation is obviously a consequence of their recession and decisive weakness in the spheres of economy, education and insignificant participation in power structure. All these factors combine to render the community politically weak and subjected to exploitation in several ways. Besides a host of other factors, the tendency of recession or downward mobility has an inhibiting effect on change for the better. Among the underlying causes for the social stagnation or downward mobility of the Muslim minority is the distortion of the spirit of democratic egalitarianism under the influence of the ‘caste frame of mind’ of the dominant social environment, which provides ‘covert moral justification for the prevalent social inequality. Unfortunately the nature of inter community relationship has an aggravating effect on the situation. The disastrous effect of both these factors must be fully understood and brought home to all in the country. But this is not all. Muslim society, to achieve empowerment, needs an inward look as well. Besides gaining full consciousness of the environment, it has to struggle for the spread of education not only in their own society but also among their countrymen, bridge the gulf of inequality between its various segments, help elevate the lowly through material and intellectual help, not ignoring the gender issues in their society.
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