This paper examines Bengali Muslims’ educational opportunities, issues and concerns. It focuses mainly on the consequences caused by Muslims for being divergent from the flow of education.
India has been recognised as an enriched multicultural country. The state classification based on culture was a vain attempt somehow. Bengal has been the soil of invasions, refugee shelters and cultural integration. The settlement of Muslims in the region, whether it was via invasion, catapulted Bengal to further dominions of development.
The amalgamation of different knowledge was a crucial crystal. As a periodical ambiguity, the power exchange was possible, but the methodology of “doing for people” was not incredible. Concerning foreigners, they were detoured from the stature of education through a crypto-conspiracy. As an ensuing result, their social forums were distorted from the past shape.
Muslim educational status is going down rapidly in Bengal. Their exaggeration in secondary education makes a false belief that Muslims are coming forward. The Muslim minority question arises here. Where are Muslims in the higher educational hub? Has the Madrassa Board benefited them with quality education?
Whether Bangladesh or West Bengal, i.e. Bengali Muslims, despite being fed with several scholarships and constitutional provisions, can’t contribute something to their community, to their state, as though they are stuck in an inherent impasse. The politics of ignorance prevailing in Muslims has affected the integration of different knowledge.
For the completion of this paper, I will use several bibliographic resources as my prime reference.
Muslims of Bengal have been generally recognised as a civilisation for the inerasable footprints they have drawn in the sand of past times. Their identity is rolled with uniqueness over heritage, cultural integration and political prosperity and is currently at a stage of impasse. These factors have crucially attracted worldwide attention for deep research.
According to the great Bengali Historian Dr R C Majumdar, the history of medieval Bengal has been remarked as the “Muslim Period” which ranged from Muhammad Bahktiyar Khilji to the Rule of the Nawabs.
Ironically, it is astonishing that Muslims declined to the brink of loss of identity being termed a “deprived community” in the country and the “slowest…worst performing” community in the state.
This periodical paradox seeks exact reasons. Among all that ambiguous factors, Muslims starving from lack of education comes with a big question. Political motives have appeased them not to come out from this dark abyss of ignorance. Aided madrassa education bore nothing for their progress.
Private Institutions have come forward. But somehow, it didn’t become comfortable, for the economic crisis has bigoted their atmosphere of higher education. Thus, they have been circled by the wall of illusive quarantine. As a result, they can’t help contribute something more to update their historical identity.
The history of Bengal is the core segment of the Indian history of communal harmony. The collaboration of religions has helped the transmission of knowledge.
For instance, the architecture of the time, above some contradictory discussions, depiction of both religions can be seen. Several such pilgrim destinations still can be found in the state. However, some political motives and mischievous thoughts diverted national motion from this viewpoint. As a consequence, both groups kept an unhygienic feeling towards each other.
The depiction of some historians in reverse verses has brought light to this context. Majumdar stated in his preface of History of Medieval Bengal and put forward the discussion, quoting “respect readers”. However, historians’ destructive actions of distorting history have split the traditions of Hindu-Muslim unity in the region, wider than the actual shape.
The question arises about how this communal divergence ensued with the Muslim educational deadlock when a divergence makes a more competitive situation. Muslims could have availed this contest of evaluating their status, but it didn’t happen.
Indeed, Hindus were not their competitors. A new power was emerging on the occasion of their indigenous adversity. The true rival opponent of both parties exploited them like a monkey meddling in the quarrel of two cats.
Amid these situational complexities, the education of Muslims went through an impasse. The traditional way of “only education” was deteriorated and came under conservative religious and material education. As a result, Muslims couldn’t come out with their own resources or Islamisation, but embraced westernisation when they had no door.
If it had been by Muslims’ discovery and motives, the ending would not be stuck in the entanglement. At last, the British Monkey returned a turnout of humiliation. More to mention, the quoted text is enough.
The population of Bengal’s Muslims is increasing rapidly, but their ways and means of lifestyle didn’t get any dimensional development. Muslims in Bengal covered 25.25 % of the population in India, while they accounted for 27% of the state’s population.
Unexpectedly, such a huge population is suffering from the deprivation of proper quality education, which threw them to stagnation whether of economy, politics, organisation, social standard and dignity.
The literacy rate of Muslims in West Bengal is at the stake of below average, with a rough of 68%. This indicates the extremely poor condition of Muslims in the state. The further report of dropout is (22%) extremely appalling.
The process of being “half baked chicken” is vividly explicit in gender base statistics. In this low per cent of Muslim Education, there is a huge difference between males and females. It’s an indispensable factor to be elaborated on in this review.
The Muslim male and female enrollment in primary and secondary education is not low. This gives a misconception that their new generation is coming forward. It would be so if they get a quality education at their Primary and Secondary level. Unfortunately, most Bengali students generally cannot go through the basic knowledge in these two levels.
Muslim higher education in the state is going probably vacant from recent history. At present, Muslim men and women don’t step up for higher education for family and maintenance and child marriage, respectively.
Muslim male students grow up to maturity to fathom the instability of their family and break down the educational tie as it doesn’t help to support them. Then they start searching for proper livelihood, shouldering the responsibility of family maintenance. At last, they feel sufficed with cheap but hardworking jobs of labouring in other states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
Metro cities are their prime destination. Even Muslim women are forcibly adjoined with several household works and house maintenance like Biri making. This has bigot the Muslim society so badly.
The deprivation of Muslim women from higher education seeks some possible reasons. The main hurdle is poverty, as it is interconnected with the male education countdown. When a Muslim girl reaches her teens, the fear of marriage looms before her family, for there is a bad system of high dowry prevalent in the Bengal Society.
That’s why when a father finds a comfortable and easy marriage, he forgets the future planning and accepts it as he survived a mountain of burden.
Another reason for the slowdown of Muslim women’s education in contrast with non-Muslim women is a societal hindrance. When the state accepts a large population share of Muslims in the country, it also bears populated Muslim districts like Malda, Murshidabad, Uttar Dinajpur and North 24 Parganas.
In these concentrated Muslim areas, infrastructural facilities for higher education are rare. Still, most colleges in these areas are running with low management and administration consideration.
The study exposes some admirable reasons and hurdles in the education of Bengali Muslims in reverse with other communities in the state. Without tackling these obstacles, the attempt to uplift their status will go in vain.
The swampy situation they live in will not be elevated with a wish. It needs some formulated measures and correct implementation without delay. The following measure can be figured out with a glance into the study explained above.
From this analysis, in a nutshell, it can be said that Bengal’s Muslims have slipped down in the status of development from the late history of the great intelligentsia. They are now amid an impasse in the educational sector. It is quite a paradoxical state for them.
This is the consequence of the many interior and exterior hindrances they are stuck in. The poor socio-economic condition of West Bengal’s Muslims has left them behind in all fields of progress. Their education is the severe victim of the deadlock. The lack of a quality education system has caused this, that they neither try to get and no power sincerely proceeded to give.
They have been hunted by exploitation, discrimination and false appeasement. Still, some private powers attempt to uplift their status, but that has not gained any momentum. They are entangled in many issues.
They have opportunities, but they need correct implementation. Muslims need a rapid change in steps following quality education.