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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Indian Army's Muslim headcount: It is 3% or just 29,000 Muslims but a glorious tradition of service and sacrifice

IH Latif was head of Indian Air force
Quite a lot of hue and cry was raised over the proposal for a so-called 'census' of Muslims in Indian Army.

After the Sachar panel had hinted that the number of Muslims in the armed forces could be sought, there was opposition from several sections against the proposed headcount on basis of religion.

There is no official report. However, the strength of Muslims is roughly around 3 % and the figure comes around 29,000 in the million-strong Indian army, according to news channel CNN IBN's programme titled Minority Report.

If the number of Muslims serving in Jammu and Kashmir [J&K] infantry that has over 50% Muslims and those in other wings not directly dealing with warfare are excluded, the proportion is definitely too low.

So out of a Muslim population of nearly 150 million [15 crore] in India, barely 29,000 Muslims were found suitable for recruitment in the Indian Army.
Martyr Md Usman

There has been a lot of controversy but these figures neither surprise nor sadden me. The fact remains that if competent, a Muslim can rise in India to the highest position in any services including army, and has more chances than any other country.

This is my belief despite all the charges of discrimination, communal riots and experiences of bias. There are Muslim officers serving in Indian army at senior levels.

Idris Hassan Latif, more commonly known as IH Latif, rose to the position of Air Chief Marshal. Latif, who later served as Governor of Maharashtra and Ambassador to France, was head of Indian Air Force from 1978 to 1981.

Martyr late Abdul Hamid 
The role and bravery of Muslim officers and army in fauj has been second to none. Brigadier Usman gave his life fighting in Kashmir and it was the effort at Uri, that the invaders couldn't get advantage in the turbulent period, soon after partition.

The gallantry of Havildar Abdul Hamid is known to all and sundry. His valour in the Khemkaran sector during 1965 war is now part of Indian army's folklore.

Hamid was posthumously given the highest gallantry award--the Paramvir Chakra. In the Kargil war, Captain Hanifuddin was amongst the first of officials to lay their lives for the motherland.

The legacy of these war heroes--their bravery and sacrifice for the nation, must be carried forward. Muslims surely need to be given more opportunities during the army induction exams and the recruitment drives. It should not be limited to political speeches eulogising Muslim jawans' service for the country.

In communal riots, army has always been welcomed by Hindus and Muslims alike, as the local police force is often charged of communal biases. But army's neutrality remains undisputed. Lately there have been efforts to increase the strength of Muslims and other minorities in army, paramilitary forces and police.

Perhaps, there is need for specials camps and recruitment drives in different regions of the country, for Muslims, so that they can also get a fair chance for entry into the army and it serve it. These steps will hopefully change the situation.

[Photo of Brigadier Mohammad Usman, courtesy the website of Indian Parachute Regiment]


Sue said...

When these guys are going to learn?


Anonymous said...

What Sue?

babita said...

very rarely one can identify a christain,parsee,buddhist or maharashtran,south indian in a crowd of boys and girls.

but its easy to identify a muslim boy or girl in the crowd.

dont u find this problematic.

indscribe said...

Oh no. All the time since my childhood I have heard this 'You don't look like a Muslim'. I didn't know whethere to take it as a compliment or a cruel joke. And even if there are many Muslims who are distinguishable then I don't find it too odd---the beauty of our country...such diverse people. In a decade or so, the difference will not remain pereceptible. Metros like Delhi had very less percent of Muslims compared to their popualation in the country (Delhi had just 5% Muslims until mid-eighties) and seeing the socio-economic backwardness even fewer came to the institutions, colleges so they probably looked different.

Rohit said...

I never knew you could casually tell a Muslim guy among non-Muslims (unless of course, the Muslims guy was wearing the long 'kurta').

I have never found it possible, and I have seen other people make wrong guesses too.

Anyway, what difference does it make?

How do we know said...

yep.. maybe this is a problem.. and why do you think this is??

babita said...

i have problem when certain communities force their people to follow certain dress code.

When someone tells me that i dont look like a south indian i feel proud.the reason being i dont want to be identified by my religion,caste,colour etc.

because it does not make any difference to u or me if i was a muslim,christian or sikh.

sHOULDn't then there be an effort to blurr such identification by one and all.

Mosilager said...

Well then you would get into things like the banning of headscarves (and turbans) in French schools. I think it's ok to advertise which groups you belong to, that's part of who you are as a person. I think we have to get to a point where people are not treated differently based on what they look like or which group they belong to.

Anonymous said...

Urdu Media War and the Wakf properties tussle in Hyd ; MiM Leader Akbaruddin Owaisi
(Friday, Dec 09, 2005 - 09:00 pm) TeamMedia war among Urdu dailies was taken to Assembly in Hyderabad, when MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi accused Siasat and Munsif Urdu daily owners of grabbing Wakf properties and demanded stern action against them.Mr Owaisi armed with statistics and details of all Waqf Lands which are being encroached upon said govt is going soft on these editors as they are trying to threaten the govt through there newspapers .In the same breath, He also alleged that no action was taken against grabbers of Wakf properties in city and outside including Viceroy Hotel, Shaam and Sensation theatres, local reports inform. Turning his ire on owners of rival Urdu dailies, Siasat and Musif, he said, "Mr Zahid Ali Khan has illegally encroached Wakf property. He is a white collar land grabber. Why is the government keeping quite? You should put them behind bars." Shifting his heat on another Urdu daily Munsif owner, he remarked, "Mr Khan Lateef Khan...the double Khan.. too has encroached Wakf properties housing Santosh and Sapna theatres, yet no action has been taken. The government should take stringent action against encroachers of Wakf properties," he alleged. Reacting to Mr Owaisi's demand, minister for minorities welfare Mohd Fareeduddin assured that the government would enquire into the matter and would not "spare anyone however big he might be." Referring to allotment of land to one Tajuddin, he said the land was given on a lease for three years for agricultural purposes and the renewal would depend on the government He also accused them of trying to cover there illegal grabbing of land by bribing some high officals in the govt .


Anonymous said...

A Hyderabad based urdu newspaper siasat editor mr amir ali khan and mr mazhar and mr alamdar were involved in a sex racket today as exposed by MIM floor leader in the state assembly in which a young girl was sold to alleged sex racket after being brought in a trap by offering her a scholarship and then taking her to a farmhouse and raping her which are seirous offenses and even forcing her parents not to file a police complaint and threating them with dire consequences.

Nadeem Kasmani said...

Muslims are easily identified in a crowd because they are viewed negatively. If not all but majority of the people do. I dont want to generalise but atleast this is the case in india. I dont know there is this mistrust amongst muslims and the rest in india. I am gujrat in india and have seen the riots. A muslim and a hindu who had been best friends since 10 years ended up fighting wih each other and raping each others wife and daughter. How can this hatered just come up.

Majority of muslims in india are poor. every riot that occurs, puts the muslim community 10 years back. so technically if all the riots are calculated, muslims are living in the year 1967. Now due to this the standard of living is very low.

Anoter thing is that indian muslims are not considered as indian. They are taken as pakistanis. This is one major thing that fuels problems.

In all this muslims are to be blamed as well. Clapping is done eight two hands.

Anonymous said...

i can never find that person is muslim or not well i came to know this site from diggindianews .com

Vikram said...

Muslims in India are Indians they are our people. You paki get the your fucking eye out of our country.. We have fights in between and we know hoe to settle,, no one from outside need to come for that..

Anonymous said...

headcount should be reduced to 0%.

Anonymous said...

i am from kerala,india, where the 3 religions christianity hinduism and islam have almost the same percentage of population. There is a unity and love among all. i don't think this is because of the balancing of the percentages. i think it is because there is 99% literacy in kerala. people are educated and cannot be misused by politicians for religious matters. Everybody celebrates evrybodys festivals whether it is diwali, x-mas or bakrid. it is something encouraged from school level.i believe that is what is lacking in the rest of the country. Education helps!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my god….so 29,000 “could be” problem makers in the Indian Army…??? Well, “”ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT TERRORISTS; BUT TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIMS””. Just take any national or regional Newspaper and read the crime news……. 99% percent of the culprits will be an Ali, Ahmed, Muhamed, Riyaz, Siad…..and so on. This is not just a proclamation, try yourself.

Moreover, I wish all the Muslims in the world go through the website “”” www.apostatesofislam.com “”””.

I find the Holy Koran is more like “Indian Penal Code” than a religious book.
Finally I must say that some of my best trusted friends are Muslims.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
crusader said...


Anonymous said...

Muslims in India are the "most cunning lots" who enjoys all the benefits of being minority(though they are over millions!), enjoy Political support and yet do all sort of crimes(its in records). Muslims in India exist millions times better than Muslims in Pakistan. I can just ask one simple query to the Indian Muslims, DO YOU PEOPLES ever think of HINDU Minority in Pakistan?? How are they kept? they cant even worship in Public, and you guys Block roads and shout your NAMAZ in Fridays! what the hell more freedom you want. If India is so bitter, why dont you leave it and get lost ? and if you really has talent?? why dont you get what you want , why keep begging like beggars for reservations? Dont have any shame ?oops am sorry ! am talking to some Muslim ! where shame doest exists.

Anonymous said...

i am a retired indian army officer.
in 1971 thirty three men died under my command. thirty of them were muslims. all my life i have found both discrimination and no-discrimination by ALL communities. views depend on what you see, like a frog sees in his own well. figures are misleading. minimum qualification for recruitment now is MATRIC.how many qualify?
Lastly when i die i'm condemned to hell. wether a muslim/xian/hindu/sikh/jain/buddhist
which one PLEASE.

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Anonymous said...

Believe me despite being a Muslim, and despite having the personal; experience of discrimination & bias and all, I believe that had Muslims been in Majority in India, they would ahve made the life of a Hindu minority hell.Only a cerain microscopic & political percentage of Hindus are diehard communalists. You see muslim young guys...discussing at every corner of their arae, politics of Pakistan, Iraq, & Palestine with whom we hardly have to do anything or they hardly count us. Unemployment, Illiteracy and the crookedness of the muslim political & commercial leaders, also of the Muslim elites..are the main causes.Not Hindus. Mohammad Azam Khan from Bihar : azamdream@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

This is just because of your illletracy and not working on gound realities.I have been born abd brought up in allahabad muslim majority place where most of my friends were muslim.Because of of family I am MBA and working with international Bank in dubai however except Hamza (who got through IIT )none of my other muslim friends are in good status. Either they are working in local shops or roaming here and there after increasing population of India.

asma said...

six generations of my family(mslims) have served in the indian army (since late 1800s), and continue to the present day. anyway, the first victoria cross awardee was a muslim. i am not sure of the reasons for this low headcount, but i hope something is done about it. and i don't see why anyone should have hangups about why its easy to identify muslims. what's the beauty of culture or dress if everyone looks like factory clones of each other. and anyway, since so many non-muslims are so against muslims they have additional reasons to cheer - they can easily identify muslims if they ever want to beat them up :P

Anonymous said...

Any reason why you think there should be more Muslims in army. Does the army should go to each and every Muslim house and plead Muslims to join army so that there can be 20% Muslims in army as per %age of their population, do you mean there should be 20% Muslims in every organization in this country...this is sick mentality, carrying victim mentality and consuming conspiracy theories and blaming others for their woes..

A B Quadri said...

Thanks to Gen Cariappa, read this

Anonymous said...

sikhs are just 1.89% of population but they have given many great worriers to indian armed forces.then why a community of over 13% did not contribute in indian armed forces.
i have not listen any muslim general,soldier who got any famous galantry award.

ISM said...

Anonymous said: ""DO YOU PEOPLE ever think of HINDU Minority in Pakistan?? How are they kept? they cant even worship in Public, and you guys Block roads and shout your NAMAZ in Fridays!""

Excuse me??!! Hindus in Pakistan cannot worship in public?? Check this link -

hindblogger said...

Hindus and Muslims were living with peace since 1857 but this is when British realizes that if they want to rule- they have to do something and after 1857, they managed to create a vacuum between two communities.

Jinnah and Nehru were tools only- Mahatma Gandhi was not a threat at all...so they managed with ease with their famous policy of DIVIDE AND RULE.

Now coming back to post in question- There is no doubt that Indian muslims , be it educated or uneducated class- always treated in India as second citizen. Some political color also helped in building this fire and what I am trying to say here is- that some muslim leader were also involved in this cheap and shameless politics of India.
Why i say so? Because no muslim leader after 1947 tried to work for his community and this was one big factor for muslim being backward and treated liked this in India.
I am sure my words will gather lot of venom from people having pre-conceived ideas and half baked truth but this is true that Muslims were never treated in India as Sikhs, Jain and Buddhist were treated. Even Christians are treated well- but Muslims ?
No way !!

So- my friends !
This was natural that a hypocrite society which says we are democratic and claims secular environment is nothing more than a por drama which I am sorry is well known to all likes of US/UK/UN but Muslims of India could not see it.

hindblogger said...

To Nadeem kasmani !

I can only imagine how you feel but what I concluded is that I am not a proud Indian at all.

From those who rape those wives and daughters- I feel shame and remorse...please accept helplessness of people like me because only way to stop such people is violence and I am sure this is not far away from us now.

I do not want to justify anything but one thing is sure- Delhi has always done the famous British formula of Divide and rule.

chetan said...

see guys....whatever it might be,whether u are a hindu or muslim...just forget everything whatever has happened....we all are indians finally....we are rather now educated to choose what is right....now let us all indians focus to develop our country..........that's it !!!!!!!!

Junaid said...

Hi Guys,

I'm an officer in the Indian Army for more than 2 years now.

When I cleared my CDS, my own family had their own ideas about the selection procedure in the SSB.

Firstly, I was from the state of Assam, linked to ULFA. Secondly, I was a muslim. Very few muslims are selected. But, I cleared in the very first attempt.

Throughout my training and sercive till date I never felt any kind of biasness towards me.

I'm serving with the Rajput Regiment, and the only muslim officer in the Battalion. But being only among 1 out of 800 soldiers, I never felt a thing. They are all my brothers and am treated like one. Brother at arms.

By all this what I meant to express is please have a open heart towards others. And kindly keeps your stupid reservations about the Indian Army out of your mind.

As to why there are so few muslims,

1) check the ratio of the religions in the country and definitely the history of the different regiments. Be a little practical.

2) There are many muslims who have recieved gallantry awards. You guys don't know your history well. Who was CQMH Abdul Hamid, 4 Grenadiers.

3) Most of the muslims even before trying feel they are not going to get selected (like my family), they even don't try, and they are more busy gossiping about others and spreading hatred.

4) Those who don't make it, give up instantly, and like the Fox, says the grapes were sour. Just be practical, don't blame your incapability on others.

For your facts, about over 1,00,000 candidates appear for the written exam, only about 8000 clear it and then the best 550 are selected for 4 military academys, viz. IMA, OTA, NA, AFA. And for your info, I was over all 65 out of 550. Yet I am a muslim.

One final thing, the Quran says, it is the final and only book for the Muslim, then why do we need so many hadiths. We are betraying the Quran and the direct order from God.

And guy, for the preservation of reading it in arabic only. Come on be practical, who has the time to master the language and then read it. Rather, pick up a translated copy of the language you can actually read. It's a very beautiful religion, just that we all have failed to understand it.

And yes, all those who die during riots, be muslims, hindus or any religion, are just those poor low class people. Mostly day labourers, rickshaw puller, slum dwellers, they the all just the weak oppressed lot. Very few of the middle class people die. And what about all those leader who agitate the crowd, they have never died.

It's all politics. The britishers had used it, Nehru and Jinnah had used it. And now the present politicians are using it. And the general mass is just a fool.

Anonymous said...

If you read between the lines here in the comments, can't you recognise the very general hatred against the muslims, presumably by non-muslim commenters?

Water Engineer said...

Amidosh! 3% is a big number. Non muslims in Pak army? Exactly 2, one Sikh and one Hindu.

Tariq jameel said...

it is really a shocking news.

latest news said...

MashAllah a cool blog. keep it up my brother.

islam nasheed said...

its a proof that making of Pakistan was right but partiton was not done right and many muslim states where also given to india.

indscribe said...

@ Islam Nasheed:

That's your view. But it seems we are in a much better position in India. Nobody can change history but look what is happening in Pakistan--the daily blasts and bloodshed. We are happy and much more safe in India.

Ali said...

its happening in pakistan from last 2,3 years my brother. but muslims of kashmir facing indian torcher from 62 years. Gujrat, ahmedabad, babri masjid. everyweek several things happens but media hides it in india with muslims.

Asif Zardari said...

you are right brother Ali. and all this in Pakistan is due to American presence in Afganistan.

Anonymous said...

This is all foolish things, we guys are discussing here. The main thing is that we need to learn the politics that these

politicians are playing on we people.
And believe me we muslims and hindus, ourselves are fools in from of them and they are taking benifit of all this

foolish ness and illetracy.
Do you ever think that any business men ever thought of religion.... no never because he has to earn.
Lets us suppose if we start a business then do we ever think that our product should go to a certain religion ... no never

... because our main aim is money not religion... Money to fill up my pockets and my labours' pockets with out thinking

if he is a hindu or muslim.

China is growing at very high rate WHY do you ever thought of it ... Lemme tell you :-
In China they have made a rule that no body can disclose his religion via dressing or jewelery or via any other sorts. If

anybody found showing his religion by any means then he would be thrown behind the bars, what ever you do do it with

in your home limits, so no show offs at all means to say that people living in china are chineese, but we people living in

India are not Indians but are hindus, muslims , shikhs, christians, Jains and so on

Britishers make use of this thing, how could we forgot ? we fought together for our freedom, BUT here we again started

fighing WHY?..... because we do want some body to rule over. We cannot led this Nation because we do not have mind,

to understand , to lead , and to put India in to the list of Development Countries.

Instead of taking revange from our family members, from our brothers, lets unite and take revange from the British who

ruled over India for 200 years.
Lets take India ahead of every Nation, Lets the bring India to the Golden age again.

Instead of fighting into such use less and issues lets unite and show this world that we are not known as muslims or

hindus or sikhs or christians.
We are Indians.


(Unity is strength)

azimul said...

how does that matter if we say we are muslim, and pray five times a day? are our contributions for the greater development of indian economy, scientific development and greater good tarnished simply because of our faith? i really feel pity. if this is the attitude we have, then who will think of taking this country to become a super power? if we the youth do not stop or at least condemn state sponsored anti christian riots, anti sikh riots, anti muslim riots or anti dalit riots, who will do that? i do not think these selfish and crooked politicians are going to do anything for us or our country or for us. so if i work in an organization, and try to benefit them by my knowledge and skill sets, help the earn profit or in cost saving, would you still say i am a terrorist just because i pray five times a day? although i do not have a long beard, and i do not wear kurta? no matter how much people term me terrorist for that, they can't change my mind and make me a fanatic or a terrorist. as i know what Islam is, not by hearing from others but by reading and understanding it from the holy Quran and sayings of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.s.) which forbids us to turn to violence and harm innocents. Love For All Hatred For None.

Anonymous said...

First get rid of your Arabic names. It is quite awkward to call an Indian who is named in some foreign language.

indscribe said...

Mr Anon....how silly it is for you to call yourself INDIAN when India the name given by English. Hindustani is also Persian. Why dind't you call yourself Bharatiya only. By the way you don't have a name and you are an 'Anonymous'.

Anonymous said...

Hi All ,
I seek little suggestion from all of you .
I am in love with a Muslim girl and she is from Kashmir . After having many discussion with her she asked me to go ahead with a marriage . By putting lots of effort I made my parents join the table . But suddenly she changed her mind and she said she can't marry me .
I have many muslim friends who are from Hyd , Tamilnadu , Kolkata . When I seek their suggestion they said not to go ahead with the girl as they can't see any commitment from her. After having a relationship for almost a year , she opted out . When I asked her the reason she told she can't go against her parents . All I want to know if she is really thinking about her parents and wants to move on , then I respect her and will try to move on as well . But I am kind of confused as the same person who used to say that she will leave everything behind for me,now she has changed completely .

I need all our valuable suggestion to move on and live a life .

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why it matters how many Muslims or Christians or Hindus or Sikhs are in the Indian Army? I do not understand why in the first place should such an estimate be even made. When we talk about equality and secularism it is essential not to chalk out estimates on basis of religion, caste and creed, because this census leads us nowhere! One's religion doesn't get one through an SSB, what matters here is that there exits a shortage of officers in the Indian Army and efforts are necessary to fill the vacancies. Everyone should be inspired to join not just a particular sect!

riyasat said...

yea sare galte Indian govt ka ha. Maye khud bahut bar exm diya magar muje nahi mila.

dANAv said...

hi friends,
i have been reading the above comments for about half an hour and I am feeling really nice that 20% of the Muslim community is speaking something.
You are 20% of India and you have power to speak for your rights. What i have really discovered that Muslim community is not coming up in politics.When i stress my mind I can't think of any politition from Muslim community. Come on man Ur too many,u can take places not only in the millitary but also in other fields. there are quatas for Muslims in every institution(atleast in my state, haryana).

so people,
raise your voice but peacefully.

Anonymous said...

Durng the prtitn the wealthy nd mdle clz muslims left for pak.only weak remaind.that is d case of nortindia.i am a muslim frm south indian state of kerala.here mor than 25 prcnt r muslim.her our cndtn r betr than not only othr muslims but also all other indians our litrcy is 95.life xpctany,human dvlpmnt index is best in the country

Anonymous said...

someone might find this link informative..it is written by colonel so definately unbiased..

Azeemuddin Md said...

U can never Universally differentiate good people and bad people based upon their religion, sex, region, generation, age, Portfolio, etc because there are good people in all religions and even bad people, its similar regarding men and women, people from different religion, different age, different generation, various portfolio's.....
A GOOD PERSON IS A GOOD PERSON, AND A BAD PERSON IS A BAD PERSOn, let them be of any religion, sex, region, generation, age and portfolio....
So respect good people and encourage them...
and try to change bad people to good or atleast dont support them. this is the best way of living and the right way...

i am too against reservation, not just muslim reservation but all reservations, except for those who are economically very backward because of natural calamities or others selfishness like bhopal gas tragedy victims but never based upon religion or caste.
govt should start free education to all people including tribal areas and declare to remove reservations in next ten years... thats the best way India can come up...

last thing `i too accept that there is discrimination towards muslims but still i consider India is the best' but i want it to be much more secular and greater.

Sarthak Ganguly said...

As long as Islam(or any religion) is not at the top of the mind, apolitical, "secular" soldiers like Hasan are not going to exist. I will be honest, after partition if an Indian Muslim in the Indian Army feels more attached to his estranged relatives in Pakistan, I may feel angry but in the end I will only feel sympathy for him. It's like painting a horse like a zebra and expecting it act like one!

Anonymous said...

well, the examples are well mentioned. i believe the reason why muslims are targeted or stereotyped today, is only because of their own actions.Lack of education reflects clearly in their actions. this is the major reason why a lot of muslim youth gets wasted or misguided.

The first Ayat( Verse) of the holy quran is "Iqra" ( Read/ Learn). The Prophet PBUH himself had always emphasised on education and learning.

Coming to the Topic of Military. The oldest roots of Indian Military date back to Tipu Sultan, who was the first to revolt against the british. he was then an exemplary scholar and a learned man. He Was not only a brave leader but also believed in updation of his army and social reforms.

I am sure, a majority of muslims wouldn't even be aware of this.

Nobody can stop an individual if he displays the quality of mettle that lies in himself.

I am a muslim. and Proud to be one. My father served the Indian Airforce for 20 years. I have myself given up my corporate career and am all ready to wear up my Army boots.

so i feel that its high time that the muslim youth should think about this nation as their own, educate themselves and actively be a part of the forces. Its a wonderful career option with bright prospects.

Jai hind. Ikram Ahmed

Anonymous said...

Pam Bharat yudh kub hai

irshi asjad said...

i want 2 join indian navy ... india is my country. I love India. jaihind..

shailesh said...

I love Indian army

Shiva said...

Yes. Indeed Muslim ratio is much less in current Army. We need more and more Muslim Youths to come and contribute to Army, Air and Naval Forces..

Interestingly this issue is not specific to Muslim. In fact regardless of any religion, only few communities are highly participate in Army. i.e., Especially Punjabi's, Kodava's (People from Coorg), Gorkha people, few districts of UP, Rajasthan, Maharstra and northern section of Telangana contriibute to lion share of Armed forced.

From rest of the 20+ states, we have almost negligible presence in armed forces !!!!

We need to have more uniformity in Armed forces...