BBC Tamil radio to showcase series on Tamil Nadu's Muslim community
MUMBAI: BBC Tamil radio will showcase nine-part weekly series on the life of the Muslim community living in Tamil Nadu. The series will launch on 5 August on BBC radio and its online website.
Along with the programme’s audio and text, the website will feature picture galleries depicting the lives of the muslims of Tamil Nadu.
BBC Tamil editor Thirumalai Manivannan said, “The series is an attempt at investigating how Muslims have fared in Tamil Nadu in socio-economic spheres in the context of the nationwide debate following the Indian government study - the Sachar Committee Report - on the Muslims in India. It also looks at how the community which has been relatively free from radical religious influences has responded to the changing political situation in the wake of the Babri Masjid demolition and the 11 September attacks.”
The feature series is an attempt to understand the complex dynamics of the factors that are at play in shaping up the Tamil Nadu Muslim society and politics. The series explores if the particular social context of the state, with its social reform political history, has also contributed to the comparatively better Hindu-Muslim relations in the state. The show has been produced and presented by BBC Tamil correspondent, T N Gopalan who travelled the length and breadth of the state. His research stated that there is a dichotomy in the way the community is dealing with the challenges of the modern times.
Gopalan said, “While almost everyone I spoke to readily acknowledge that they live very amicably with the majority Hindus, they also complain that they are being treated as second-class citizens by the official machinery at all levels. For example, while there is a growth in secular education, a section of the community also seems reluctant to encourage women’s education beyond a point.”
Muslims account for around six per cent of the total population of about 62 million, according to the census in 2001. Muslim leaders from Tamil Nadu claim that the community fares better than their counterparts in the rest of India in terms of education and employment. However, they believe that Tamil Nadu Muslims still lags behind the majority communities in these areas. There are also fears of social discrimination in matters such as housing amongst the community.