A Man is not only a social animal, he is also economic being. He/ she is incessantly engaged in what are known as economic pursuits or activities. These economic activities are so multifaceted varied and complex that they constitute what is known as an economy. The main focus of the present study is to know the social and economic position of Muslim labours of Bhopal city. The Bhopal city is Muslim dominated area where the Muslims living in the average standard are mostly engaged in labour works like motor mechanic, working in motor garages, running tea shops, and also labouring in other small scale manufacturer units. The study is conducted in 2012 using both primary and secondary data.
Key words: Sociological study, Muslim labour, wages, Bhopal.
Madhya Pradesh is largely agricultural with nearly 90% of the rural population employed in primary sector activities such as agriculture, mining and related fields. Majority of the farmers are small cultivators whose income over the years has been declining. Almost one-third of the state’s population lives below poverty line. The urban poverty is much higher when compared with that in rural areas.The survey data from Bhopal district suggest a much higher proportion of the population that could be declared as living in impoverished conditions as 96% of the urban dwellers of Madhya Pradesh live on less than Rs. 38.50 per day. In Bhopal 75% households have annual income below Rs. 25,000 and another 10 % having yearly income in the range of Rs. 25000-50,000. 85 % per cent of the population manages its living with annual earnings below Rs. 50, 000
Khan (1975) said that the working hours must be according to the climate, working conditions and energy state of the worker. The worker should work till he is able to do the job without taxing himself unduly. The workload should be evenly distributed. Islam presents a just approach towards the training and education of workers
Qurushi (1959) it is the duty of the entrepreneur to train his labour force and arrange the basic education for them, which is necessary for work. Qureshi (1960) considered a skilled, trained and educated labor force as similar to new efficient machinery. Khan’s point of view is different and considered training and education as the basic needs of the working class.
Mudassir (2012) is in favor of calculating the depreciation of workers like physical capital. Depreciation of workers should be calculated and at the end of his working life (assumed 55 years) paid to him as gratuity. Thus, the working condition should be dignified environment
Tabakoglu, (1983). A Muslim employer cannot be ‘righteous’ until and unless he has the desire to protect his employee from the unnecessary burden of labor. The core of the relationship is brotherhood between the worker and employer.
Bhopal: A Sketch of the field area
In terms of its area, Bhopal, the city of lakes, is second largest one in Madhya Pradesh after Indore. The city is divided into two major areas, the old and the new city. Muslim population of the city is largely concentrated in old city most of whom find work opportunities from certain small scale industries such as electrical goods, cotton, chemicals, jewellery, flour mills, cloth weaving and fabric painting, manufacture of transformers, switchgears, traction motors, and other heavy electrical equipment, as well as matches, sealing wax, and sporting goods. Zardozi is the traditional embroidery that employs large number of home-based workers, many of them women. There are a large number of garages in the old city in which young Muslim boys work as motor mechanics. The new city houses offices of state and central government, national banks and insurance companies and residential quarters of middle and high ranking government officials. Bhopal's major commercial area is Maharana Pratap Nagar, which accommodates many business houses such as offices of major hardware and software firms, daily newspaper offices and press, hotels and restaurants, coaching and tuition centres and entertainment.
For the present study primary data has been collected though interview schedule from 200 Muslim labour respondents of Bhopal from April 2012 –July 2012. The 200 respondents were chosen by purposive method and the analysis of data done by using M.S. Excel.
1. This data was collected through a interview schedule devised by keeping in view the type of data required, which will be appropriate enough in analysing the occupational aspect of Muslim labour..
2. The secondary data was also collected from few prominent persons, belonging to Muslim culture and welfare organizations, in order to know their views and compare or substantiate them with the findings under the study. Also the data was collected from Census and Government reports, reports by NGO’s research and research cells as the background material to develop the context for the study.
The table 1.1 shows that the maximum numbers of respondents i.e. 68% receive daily wages between Rs 100-250 per day, 25% labours receive Rs 250-400, 6% of labours receive in between Rs 400-550, and only 1% of labours receive about Rs 550-700 as daily wages. So here it is evident that more and more people are working on lesser amount of daily wages which is the actually result of unemployment because when unemployment rises labours are going to work on lesser amount of wages and the another thing which is necessary to express here that besides people are working but still remaining poor due to low rate of daily wages.
Table 1.1, Daily wages of working labours
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In the present study it was also revealed that 59% respondents are working by their own choice and 41% of respondents were forced by parents to work because of their backward family economic condition. While in the field work it was observed among Muslims of Bhopal that after the child reaches the college level education they start looking for the work to earn their pocket money and some working labours also reveal that their parent insist them to start earning for the family and himself, which results in to educational dropouts and the society is lacking the good educational quality which is considered today’s most powerful weapon to compete the growing technological world..
Table 1.2, Distribution of labours and their choice of doing labour work
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When the society is remaining educationally backward the labour class gets exploited by the upper class who hires them for their work as it was found in the study that 58% of total respondents reveal that they don’t receive the amount of wages in proportion to their work they are doing.
In study area 62% of respondents were found unskilled labours and 38% are skilled who are utilizing their personal skill to earn moiré money. Among the Muslim labour class of Bhopal 78% are working throughout year because they don’t have any other source of income.
To conclude the study finds out that very less amount of wages are provided to a large number of working labours which shows that labours were getting exploited. In Bhopal city a large proportion of working labours were forced by parents to do manual labour to earn money to support the family of which the most victims are young boys who either want to study or to learn some skill but they have to scarify their good future. In general the condition of Muslim labour class in Bhopal is very worse and very few labours were found to have saved some money from their earned wages. Maximum labours are working throughout the year to earn more and more money.
- Govt should make some kind of insurance and welfare schemes for these people.
- Society should give proper wages to them.
- There should be proper punishment for those who exploits the labours.
- Necessary steps by both central and state govt are necessary to uplift the poor muslim labour class people.
-Andrew Rawnsley Servants of the people; the inside story of new labour July2001
-Mushirul Hasan, Azra Razzack, Tanweer Fazal, Kulwinder Kaur, Saima Saeed ., Baseline Survey of Bhopal District, Madhya Pradesh. Minority Concentrated Districts Project, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India; Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 2;
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 Baseline Survey of Bhopal District, Madhya Pradesh. Minority Concentrated Districts Project, Ministry of Minority Affairs, Government of India; Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi 2; Research Team, Mushirul Hasan, Azra Razzack, Tanweer Fazal, Kulwinder Kaur, Saima Saeed. (http://icssr.org/Baseline%20Survey%20of%20Bhopal%20District.pdf)