Terror link of Love Jihad victim unearthed by Kerala police?

July 24, 2012 by  
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Kerala, July 21, 2012: Kerala cops get evidence of Shahina’s terror links.

The police have unearthed evidence pointing at possible terror links of the girl who has been accused in supplying SIM cards to a terror accused lodged at the Ernakulam Sub-Jail.

The police suspect that V Naushad and his girlfriend Deepa Cheriyan alias Shahina who has been accused in supplying SIM cards to terror accused at the Ernakulam Sub-Jail were indulged in terror activities during their stay at Solapuram and Murshidabad near the Bangladesh border. Noushad, the third accused in the case has been taken to Murshidabad for collecting evidence.

“One of the SIM cards supplied to the accused was active for 13 days. It was purchased in April and handed over to Thadiyantevida Nazir on the same day,” investigating officer V Gopakumar said.

According to the case, first accused Deepa Cheriyan purchased two SIM cards from a retail store of Vodafone at Palarivattom without providing valid ID proofs.

The second accused Arun Paul of Kothamangalam was the sales executive at the shop who was responsible to de-activate the SIM cards since no ID proofs were produced within the stipulated time. Shahina handed over the SIM cards to Noushad who was in prison with Thadiyentavida Nazir and his gang of 16 others persons involved in several terror activities.

The police said that calls were made from these SIM cards to the UAE, the UK, Kazkhasthan and to Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh.

“SIM cards might have been gravely misused. The police are also inquiring whether any anti-national forces influenced Shahina and Noushad during their stay at different parts of the country. Shahina was arrested on July 11 and on questioning she confessed that these SIM cards were purchased by her as per the direction of Noushad while he was detained in judicial custody in a Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act case.

– persecution.in

Ban on fishing escalates complaints of discrimination, says Indian Christians

July 24, 2012 by  
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India, July 23, 2012: Hindu leaders in a village in Southern India have banned Christians from fishing (their sole source of income), further leading to complaints of discrimination and harassment based on religious beliefs. This only adds to the long list of complaints by Christians in the village of Vanagiri Menavar, who have also reported that in the last two months, members of the Bharathia Janatha Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have banned them from gathering for corporate worship and refused their children access to school.

In a community that traditionally shares boats to collectively make a living by fishing, Hindus have denied Christians access to the boats. An ICC source says, “The Christians in this village depend on these boats for fishing. They say that, due to this ban, they face many problems and are unable to earn money to feed their families.”

Mr. KA Jayapal, Minister of Fisheries, along with local authorities, attempted to bring the Hindus and Christians together to reconcile their differences and “avoid clashes.” Jayapal, however said he “failed to convince the [Hindu] extremists to leave the village.”

The night of the attempted reconciliation a mob of Hindus bombarded a Christian prayer meeting, attacking the attendees, beating them and demanding they recant their faith in writing. The Christians refused, saying, “We will not [recant our faith] in writing like that; we will remain faithful to our God until death.” Twenty-two families were affected in this attack, which included the looting of six homes and multiple injuries requiring immediate hospitalization.  An ICC source reported that the “twenty-two families fled to the nearest villages and forest in fear, hiding for two days before returning home.”

Last week, when the Christians returned and the injured were discharged from the hospital, village elders conducted another reconciliation meeting in an attempt to bring peace. ICC sources report that “all the Christians and Hindus were present” and that this time everyone present “decided that Hindus will not attack the believers, as everybody has the right to choose their own religion.”  The extremists have allowed the Christian children to go to school without interference; their parents, however, are still banned from fishing, causing continued friction in the village.
– icc

Layman’s 10 Commandments

July 21, 2012 by  
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1] Prayer is not a “spare wheel” that you pull out when in trouble, but it is a “steering wheel”  that directs the right path throughout.

2] So a Car’s Wind Shield is so large & the Rear view Mirror is so small ? Because our PAST is not as important as our FUTURE. So, Look Ahead and Move on.

3] Friendship is like a BOOK. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes years to write.

4] All things in life are temporary.  If going well, enjoy it, they will not last forever. If going wrong, don’t worry, they can’t last long either.

5] Old Friends are Gold! New Friends are Diamond! If you get a Diamond, don’t forget the Gold! Because to hold a Diamond, you always need a Base of Gold!

6]  Often when we lose hope and think this is the end, GOD smiles from above and says, “Relax, sweetheart, it’s just a bend, not the end!

7]  When GOD solves your problems, you have faith in HIS abilities; when GOD doesn’t solve your problems HE has faith in your abilities.

8]  A blind person asked God : “Can there be anything worse than losing eye sight?” He replied: “Yes, losing your vision!”
9] When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them, and sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that someone has prayed for you.

10] WORRYING does not take away tomorrow’s TROUBLES, it takes away today’s PEACE.

– fwd: vc mathews

Melinda Gates challenges Vatican by vowing to improve contraception

July 21, 2012 by  
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UK, July 11, 2012: Catholic philanthropist predicts women in Africa and Asia will soon ignore church teaching on birth control.

The billionaire philanthropist Melinda Gates, a practising Catholic, has thrown down the gauntlet to the Vatican and vowed to dedicate the rest of her life to improving access to contraception across the globe.

Gates, who with her husband, Bill, the founder of Microsoft, is one of the world’s biggest players on development issues, predicted that women in Africa and Asia would soon be “voting with their feet”, as women in the west have done, and would ignore the church’s ban on artificial birth control.

Gates, who was a speaker at the London Summit on Family Planning organised by her foundation in conjunction with the UK government and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), said that since she announced her new direction a few weeks ago she had been inundated with messages of support from Catholic women, including nuns.

“A church is made up of its members, and one of the things this campaign might do is help women speak out. I’ve had thousands of women come on to websites and say” ‘I’m a Catholic, but I believe in contraception.’ It’s going to be women voting with their feet.”

Gates said that in the west the bishops said one thing, but ordinary Catholics did another. “In my country 82% of Catholics say contraception is morally acceptable. So let the women in Africa decide. The choice is up to them.”

She admitted, though, that she had agonised over whether to speak out in defiance of the church hierarchy. “Of course I wrestled with this. As a Catholic I believe in this religion, there are amazing things about this religion, amazing moral teachings that I do believe in, but I also have to think about how we keep women alive. I believe in not letting women die, I believe in not letting babies die, and to me that’s more important than arguing about what method of contraception [is right].”

Being a woman and a mother were at the heart of her decision to focus on family planning, said Gates, who has three children aged 16, 13 and 10. “It would have been nice to stay as a private citizen but part of the reason why I’m so public is that it does take a woman to speak out about these issues.

“Why have women not been at the heart of the global health agenda? It’s because we’ve not had enough women speaking out. We need to give a voice to women all over the planet.

“This will be my life’s work.”

Wednesday’s conference, which brings together 250 delegates from around the world including Jakaya Kikwete, the president of Tanzania, Chantal Compaoré, first lady of Burkina Faso, and the Bangladeshi minister of health, AFM Ruhal Haque, is the launch of what the Gates Foundation is billing “a groundbreaking effort to make affordable, lifesaving contraceptive, information, services and supplies available to an additional 120 million girls and women in the world’s poorest countries by 2020”. Gates announced on Wednesday that her foundation was pouring $560m over the next eight years into improving access to birth control. The UK government is pledging to double its efforts on family planning, up from its current £90m a year to £180m a year.

In her interview with the Guardian, Gates said the moment had now come to push contraception back to the top of the development agenda. “The reason it fell off the agenda was because we made it controversial – people backed away because of fear. But today there are 200 million women who want to have access to contraception, and if we’re not serving them that’s not right.”

She said that when she and her husband first set up their foundation 18 years ago, they had originally focused on family planning but had then shifted their agenda to providing vaccines after realising that childhood mortality was the top issue, and that women would not choose to have fewer children until they were sure their children would survive childhood. “But once we saw that was happening, we could take family planning back on,” she said.

It was meeting women in Africa and Asia on her travels through the developing world, said Gates, that made her determined to push contraception back on to the agenda. “Over and over again women have told me that all they want is to be able to put time between one child and another child. It’s a universal thing to want to feed your children and to educate your children, and women know that the only way they can do that is not have so many. And this campaign could give them the tools to make sure they can do that.”

The campaign would include research to look at developing better methods of contraception, said Gates – and these methods could, in time, benefit women in the west as well as women in Africa and Asia.

“What I’m most excited about is thinking about tools that will have fewer side effects and could be longer-lasting,” she said. “Luckily for women in the west it’s not a life-and-death situation, but for women in the developing countries it is, which is why I believe in putting them at the heart of it.”

– guardian.co.uk

Pak: Punjab asks that an air force base be named after Cecil Chaudhry *Libyan election results buck trend of Post-Arab spring Islamist success

July 21, 2012 by  
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Pakistan, July 20, 2012: Punjab Pakistan People’s Party MPA Najmi Saleem introduces proposal in provincial assembly. Christians welcome the decision; however, they note it should have been done when the Catholic air force hero died.

Punjab’s provincial assembly has called on the Pakistani Air Force to name one of its bases after Cecil Chaudhry, an air force hero and a Catholic. The resolution was introduced by Najmi Saleem, a Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) for the Pakistan People’s Party, which is in power at the federal level but in the opposition in Punjab. The vote was unanimous (352 votes) but some MPAs chose not to vote.

Fr Bonnie Mendes is very happy for “the assembly vote. People have been were waiting for such a move. Ms Saleem became their voice.”

A great friend and aide to Shahbaz Bhatti, the federal minorities’ affairs minister slain on 2 March 2011, Cecil Chaudhry passed away on 13 April after a long battle with cancer.

A war hero who was decorated in the 1965 and 1971 wars, he retired from active duty in 1986 and became a major figure in the efforts to achieve Indo-Pakistani reconciliation.

Over the same period, he played an important role in defending human rights and promoting youth education.

His retirement, some believe, was due to his Catholic faith. Pakistan’s conservative military establishment could not consider a Christian commanding the air force.

In Pakistan, Christians are just 2 per cent out of a population of 180 million.

– asianews

Libyan election results buck trend of Post-Arab spring Islamist success


Libya, July 19, 2012: An alliance of parties considered broadly liberal and secular has stemmed the tide of success for Islamists in post-Arab Spring politics by winning the most seats in the Libyan election.

The National Forces Alliance (NFA), a coalition of more than 40 smaller parties headed by ex-interim prime minister Mahmoud Jibril, won 39 of the 80 seats reserved for political parties. The Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Justice and Construction Party (JCP) took 17 seats, while the Islamist National Party won none.

The surprise results of the first election in Libya since the overthrow of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi last August were officially announced on Tuesday (16 July). Islamist parties were expected to emerge triumphant following the success of their counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt in post-Arab Spring elections. It has been suggested, however, that Libyans, seeing the hard-line stance that Islamists in those countries have taken, were deterred from choosing similar candidates in their own country.

But the full make-up of the 200-member General National Assembly is yet to be determined: the remaining 120 seats will be filled by independent members, who are likely to hold the balance of power as they align themselves with the elected parties.

JCP leader Mohammed Sawan said that his party could therefore become the leading force once the results for independent seats, which will rely on connections and social standing, come in.

He accused Mr Jibril, who was a senior official and economist in the former regime before joining the uprising against Gaddafi, of “tricking” voters with disingenuous commitments to Islam:

Jibril did not present himself to the Libyan people as a liberal. He presented himself as having an Islamic reference… Libyans voted for Jibril as he was considered an Islamist too.

Mr Jibril has rejected characterisations of the NFA as secular and liberal, but there is clearly a gap between its stance and that of the JCP. While not “secular” by Western standards, the NFA is certainly more moderate, stating that sharia should be the main source of legislation in Libya, but adding that all religions and sects should be respected.

Mr Sawan said:

To them Islamic reference means to establish Islamic rituals, that some personal status laws are sharia-based, but other areas have nothing to do with Islam… Our view is that Islam is a complete way of life.

The assembly will have legislative powers and will choose the first elected government – to replace the National Transitional Council – since Gaddafi came to power in 1969. It remains to be seen to what extent Islam will shape the new body’s decisions, though the initial results are encouraging for the country’s very small Christian minority.

– barnabas team

Kerala: The (perceived) threat of “love jihad”

July 21, 2012 by  
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Kerala, July 21, 2012: The term refers to Muslims forced conversions of girls on the promise of a marriage. The Kochi police have arrested a woman who converted to Islam on charges of ties to terrorist activities. Christian and Hindu groups launch campaigns of hatred, but the chief minister Oomen Chandy (Christian) warns against using pretext of interfaith marriages to harass the Islamic community.

Fear is mounting in Kerala over the so-called “Love Jihad”, or alleged forced conversions of Christian and Hindu girls by Muslims, with the offer of marriage, the young would then be forced to embrace Islam. Adding fuel to the fire, is the arrest of a woman in Kochi, accused of being involved in terrorist activities. According to Kochi police, Shahina provided phone sim cards to Thadiyantavide Nazir, a member of Lashkar-e-Taiba (the group responsible for the attacks in Mumbai in 2008), while in jail. The woman’s original name was Deepa Cheriyan, which she changed after marrying Naushad, a Muslim friend of Nazir, and her conversion to Islam.

The epsiode has reignited the issue of the “love jihad”  and countless hate campaigns of Hindu and Christian communities, in spite of several Islamic associations always denying the existence of this practice. Oomen Chandy, Christian and chief minister of Kerala, has tried to quell the controversy by declaring that, “there are no forced conversions in enlightened Kerala Society “.

The statement made on 16 July, was in reply to a question asked by KK Lathika, a member of the Legislative Assembly of the State, who noted that expressions like “love jihad” or “moral police” had appeared on the front pages of newspapers. For the chief minister instead, forced conversions are not yet a threat or danger, and the fact that marriage is one of the first reasons for conversion gives no-one any right to harass the Islamic community.

These statements have not, however,  convinced public opinion, and the tension that has arisen in Kerala is also apparent in a file published by Wikileaks from the U.S. Consulate in Chennai (Tamil Nadu). In it, the “love jihad” is defined as an “alleged conspiracy of ‘attractive’ Muslims, financed by foreigners, trying to seduce, marry and convert Hindus and Christians to use for terrorist purposes”. The document also points out that “the controversial phenomenon” is exacerbated by the “religious tensions” in southern India.

According to Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), not all young Muslims are involved in this practice, and for that “all Indians, irrespective of creed, must speak out and condemn this tragic results, in the interests of peace and harmony within the community, their country and the world. ”

A report by the central government alleges that from 2006 to date 2,687 women have converted to Islam in Kerala. Of these, 2,195 were Hindus and 492 Christians.

– asianews

Palestinians seek support to end suffering

July 21, 2012 by  
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India, July 20, 2012: They say a a renewed Palestinian-Indian friendship would help find a just solution to their problems.

A two-member delegation from Palestine met with various groups in India to seek solidarity to end their people’s suffering under Israeli occupation.

“We want India to renew its friendship with Palestinians that seems to drift toward Israel,” said Fr. Jamal Khader, a professor at Bethlehem University.

Accompanied by Amjad Alqasis, an international human rights law expert, the Catholic priest has met with civil society, Churches and government to explain the Palestinian issue.

They addressed a July 17-18 consultation in New Delhi organized by the Indian Ecumenical Solidarity Network for Palestine (ISEN), a network of ecumenical organizations in India concerned about and involved in working for a just peace.

Last week, they attended a three-day consultation of Christian theologians at Chennai, that asked people visiting the Holy Land to include in their itinerary a meeting with Palestinian Christians to witness their plight.

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi Wednesday, Fr. Khader said a renewed Palestinian-Indian friendship would help find a just solution to their problems.

Fr. Khader said this against the backdrop of India’s increasing relations with Israel.

“I have learned that Israel is a supplier of arms to India,” the priest said, adding that the money earned by selling arms would be used to support Israeli military industry which in turn would increase their occupation of Palestinians.

The delegates also noted that the occupation of Palestine by the Israelis was accompanied by brutal measures designed to humiliate and oppress the former.

Expressing concern over the situation of the Palestinians, the ISEN members said that India’s support to the Israeli regime is “unethical and must end immediately.”

They planned a nation-wide campaign for boycott-disvestments-sanctions (BDS) against Israel.

BDS is a campaign started on July 9, 2005 by 171 Palestinian non-governmental organizations in support of the Palestinian cause for boycott, divestment and international sanctions against Israel.

In addition to the campaign, the ISEN will also engage in building public awareness about the Palestinians’ cause through meetings, seminars, media and youth initiatives.

Father Khader said two percent of the five million Palestinians are Christians.

He said that they have till now visited Europe, United States, South Africa, the Arab countries and Hong Kong to mobilize public support for the cause.

– ucan

Karnataka govt asks temples to hold prayers for rains

July 21, 2012 by  
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Karnataka, July 20, 2012: The prayers would be conducted on July 27 and August 7.

The Karnataka government has asked the 34,000 temples in the state to conduct special prayers seeking rain.

With the state expected to experience the worst drought in 42 years, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party government also asked churches and mosques to conduct prayers to please rain God.

The prayers would be conducted on July 27 and August 7.

State Endowment Minister K S Poojari said the rituals would cost 170 million rupees.

He clarified that the tax-payers’ money would not be used for the ritual but funded by the temple trusts.

The state government is yet to calculate the extent of crop loss during this monsoon season.

Large parts of north and central Karnataka have recorded almost 27 percent deficient rainfall.

– ndtv

Hope transforms the brothels of India

July 21, 2012 by  
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Payal, enjoying her time in a safe house. (Photo courtesy India Partners)

India, July 20, 2012: India is a sending, receiving, and transit nation for the sex trade. The reality for the children of the brothels is that they’re likely to be sold as a sex slaves.

Kaytie Fielder, field representative for India Partners, says the statistics are sobering. “There are over 250,000 commercial sex workers just in Mumbai alone. It’s believed that over a third of that number are children under the age of 12.” They’re the definition of “at-risk” children. “90% of the children that are born and are living in the brothels will also become commercial sex workers as they get older.”

India Partners discovered that one way to help was to reach the kids first. A safe home called Anandalay was therefore established. Anandalay is a home for daughters of trafficked women where they receive quality education, wholesome food, and excellent accommodation under the committed care of a houseparent couple.

“They can come and have a great meal,” says Fielder. “They will get love and attention. They’ll get an education. More importantly, children are going to grow up knowing that there is an alternative for them and they don’t have to choose this lifestyle that [they’re] so trapped in.”

By injecting hope, they could show these women and children that there is an alternative to the brothels. They began providing safe houses for kids like 7-year-old Payal.  The ministry’s partners set up schools in the heart of the red light areas and began reaching out to brothel moms, offering their children a haven six days a week outside the red light areas.

Speaking through an interpreter, Payal* expresses both her relief at being rescued and her concern for her mother, who still works in the brothel. “I feel safe over here. They love me, they provide for me. They give me whatever I need. I know the place where my mother stays. She’s not safe there, and I wish that she would also be safe as I am safe here.”

Payal’s reaction is common. “The child is now growing up in a regular family, a loving environment, where that stress of being used in the trade is being taken away.”

What about mom? “She is the ultimate goal,” explains Fielder. “Because they are so full of mistrust, they hate themselves, they hate what they do, and it’s a longer process to reach her. That’s why working through the children can be such a motivation for them. When they see what’s happening with their child and the transformation that’s happened, they start to ask, ‘What is there for me?'”

The ministry teams talk about alternatives, safe houses and, most importantly, a future of hope. And moms are welcomed with open arms. They’re told, “‘We’d love to have you come in and rest for a while, talk with our counselors, find some healing for your mind and your body. Then, let us introduce you to a new trade…something that you want to be doing!'”

Most need help getting out of the sex trade. India Partners can help with that, too. India Partners also provides literacy training as well as vocational training. “We really look at an individualized program, based on what the women themselves see themselves doing and encourage them in those areas of their gifting.”

The Gospel plays an integral role in these rescues. As a result, lives are being restored in the Red Light Districts of Mumbai. On more than one occasion, former brothel workers are eager to share their new-found freedom in Christ with others who are still in the trade. One former worker writes, “I want to let them know that the life that they live and that I lived at one point has no value. Transformation can come if you take a step of faith.”

$3.62 a night removes a child from the red-light districts and relocates him or her to a safe home. Children are given house parents, a private tutor, enrolled in private school, and given a loving environment where they can thrive.

Sponsors help, too. For $1 a day, a sponsor insures that a child will be given food, shelter, medical care, clothing, education and/or vocational training.

This is Payal’s story:

Seven year old Payal’s mother was a victim of the sex trade and worked in Turbhe red light area in Mumbai. Sahaara staff knew Payal’s mother since 2008. Payal was a student in the Sahaara balwadi as well. [Sahaara is a ministry which seeks to draw out the dream embedded in the hearts and lives of the underprivileged and create avenues for the fulfillment of their dreams. India Partners has been collaborating with Sahaara since 2007l]

Sahaara has worked with trafficked women and children in and around the red-light areas With counsel, Payal’s mother decided to admit her to Anandalay for a better and safer future. Anandalay (Home of Joy) is a shelter home run by Sahaara for daughters of trafficked women. Anandalay houses these children who are brought up by house-parents in a loving and conducive family environment. Payal was welcomed into Anandalay on 1st April 2009.

Initially when she came in, Payal hailing from an environment of violence and abuse in the red light and unfamiliar with a family environment was very aggressive in her language and did not show respect to others. The houseparents engaged with her, assured her with love, and instructed her in good behaviour. Observing the other children and heeding the guidance, Payal began to mature in her social skills. Payal is now respectful and loving in speech and conduct with the other children in the home and her houseparents.

Currently she is enrolled in Sr. K.G. in one of the top schools in the locality (St. Xaviers’ School, Airoli, a branch of Ryan Schools). Ryan Schools has strength of students of nearly 200,000 children with a nationwide spread, guided by 8,000 d educators focusing on child-centered qualitative learning. The syllabus covers English (alphabet recognition, reading, writing, and sentence formation), numeracy, activities, extracurricular activities such as sports, craft, and drawing.

Payal is academically strong and scores above 90% in her subjects. She is confident in skills like writing and communication. She particularly enjoys football and athletics. She was selected for the school hockey, football, and the school march past team as well!

She feels at home in Anandalay and loves to help the other children in catching up on their studies. She is very sharing in nature and is proactive in helping the houseparents.

– mnn

For a Muslim it’s easier to become President than Panchayat member

July 20, 2012 by  
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New Delhi, July 16, 2012: This is the hard reality of 65-year-old Independent India. Every fourth President of India has been Muslim – there were three Muslims among 12 Presidents since Independence i.e. 25% of the total number of Presidents. The representation of Muslims at Rashtrapati Bhawan is far more than their population percentage in the country. But from Parliament to Assemblies to downside Panchayat, the community is far less represented than its population.

Muslims have not been getting their due share in both Houses of Parliament – Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. They are under-represented in state legislatures – Assemblies and Councils. Their presence is pathetic in the local bodies – panchayats and municipalities.

The under-representation of Muslims in Parliament and state assemblies is evident from the voters’ lists for the Presidential election released by the Election Commission of India.

The electoral college for the Presidential polls due on 19th July consists of 4,896 voters that include 776 MPs (233 from Rajya Sabha and 543 from Lok Sabha) and 4,120 MLAs from the state Assemblies of 28 states and two Union Territories (Delhi and Puducherry). There are only 410 Muslim voters in the college (8.37% of the total) while according to government figures of 2001 census, Muslims constitute 13.5% of the country population.

Out of 776 MPs, only 53 are Muslims — 24 Rajya Sabha members and 29 Lok Sabha members and out of . Muslim members constitute 10.30% of the Rajya Sabha electoral college and only 5.34% of the Lok Sabha electoral college. Out of a total of 4,120 MLAs in all the states, only 357 hail from Muslim community.

Muslims in the presidential electoral college

Important Figures

Only 13 out of 28 states and 1 Union Territory out of 7 have sent Muslims to Rajya Sabha

Only 8 out of 28 states and one UT out of 7 have sent Muslims to Lok Sabha

15 states have no Muslim representation in Rajya Sabha

20 states and 6 UTs have no Muslim representation in Lok Sabha

Not a single Muslim member in Lok Sabha from Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Orissa, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab and Rajasthan

Out of a total of 4,120 MLAs in all the states, only 357 are Muslims.

Not a single Muslim member in the 147-member Odisha Assembly

Only one Muslim MLA in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly

Compared to their population, Muslims less represented in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Delhi

State-wise Members of Lok Sabha

State-wise Members of Rajya Sabha

Why low representation in Parliament and Assemblies?

One big reason is that the political parties which make a race to nominate a Muslim for president or vice president – the figurehead posts — give few tickets to members of the minority community when it comes to elections to Parliament or Assemblies. Besides, it has been seen that the community vote for a candidate — whether he is Muslim or not – of the party of their choice, but the community candidates do not get votes from other sections of the party’s vote bank. And this is the context in which many Muslim political parties have been formed in last 15 years.

– tcn

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