Muslims, nearly 13.43 per cent of the country’s population, count for 20 per cent or more in 86 of its 675 districts, according to a statement in the Rajya Sabha by the Ministry of HRD during the recent budget session. The question by TDP MP C M Ramesh had been on adult education in districts with a high Muslim concentration.
BJP MP Yogi Adityanath recently stoked a controversy by drawing a parallel between large Muslim populations and communal clashes.
Twelve of these 86 districts are listed among the country’s most backward, while others include districts in urbanised centres. The 86 include 19 with a Muslim population over 50 per cent, 10 of these in Jammu and Kashmir and six in Assam. The 12 backward districts are Kupwara, Doda and Poonch in J&K; Balrampur in UP; Sitamarhi in Bihar; Kokrajhar in Assam; Maldah and Birbhum in West Bengal; Giridih and Lohardaga in Jharkhand; and Wayanad and Palakkad in Kerala.