Pasmanda Muslims, the most neglected and underprivileged section of India have suffered developmental, political marginalisation and social stigmatization since independence. The deteriorating socio-economic condition of Pasmand Muslims came to light in the 1980s and 1990s. Even before independence, the question of caste and caste-based reservation was highlighted in the Government of India Act 1935. For the first time, the Census of India, 1901, recognised such stratification among Muslims, listing 133 social groups that were entirely or partially Muslim. In Uttar Pradesh, the 1911 Census listed 102 caste groups among Muslims, with at least 97 of them belonging to the non-Ashraf category.The 1936 list of scheduled castes listed the Muslim deprived castes. Indian Muslims since ages were erreneously categorised as a homogeneous whole owing to upper-class Muslim leaders interventions. It is they (the Ashrafs) who are widely held responsible for the deteriorating conditions of Pasmanda Muslims.
Several of the studies have further pointed out that partition has significantly obstructed the social progression of Pasmanda Muslims. Given the fact that the mobilisation within the muslim community was spearheaded by Ashrafs. In the CID report from 1941, hundreds of Muslim weavers from Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh gathered in Delhi under the name of the Momin Conference to protest the planned two-nation theory. It also explicated that a meeting of more than 50,000 individuals from an unorganised sector was organised which was kind of uncommon, therefore its significance should be emphasized. The majority of Indian non-Ashraf Muslims were opposed to partition, but their voices were not heard. They were devout Muslims who disagreed with the creation of Pakistan. What draws further sttention are the provincial elections of 1946 in which Only 16 per cent of Indian Muslims (mostly from the upper class) were eligible to vote. Common Indian Muslims, on the other hand, were opposed to India’s partition, feeling that a Muslim state would benefit primarily upper-class Muslims.
Infact the constituent Assembly did not debate the Pasmanda muslim reservation. Leaving them out of the clout of reservation and neglecting their social conditions. It was these muslims that had no political means and adequate representation in the subsequent years. The affluent Ashraf Muslims complicated the social positioning of these deprived muslims,who could not progress along with other marginalised sections as once partition happened these underprivileged had no political option but to suffer until country stabilised its economic progress and matured politicaly and provided Pasmanda Muslims ground to assert social position and air their socio-economic and political aspiration. Pasmanda Muslim population has suffered prejudice in the employment and in education, as well as impediments in acquiring wealth and political influence.
The aspiration of Ashraf muslims to remain politically revelant and hold on to political privilages materialised initiallty through campaigning for creating Pakistan and those who remained in India sidelined these marginalised people (Pasmandas) by neglecting the caste practices invoking segregation and ostracism. Their sins can not be overlooked as the Pasmanda Muslims are still paying for the deeds of Ashrafs.