India: Rising Incomes Lead to Surge in Haj Applicants

BeritaDEKHO - The Haj Committee of India has sought an increase in travel permits following a surge in number of applicants from India keen to make the pilgrimage. Officials on the Haj panel said rising incomes among urban Muslims appears to be a factor driving the numbers.

"This year we received nearly four lakh applications against a quota of one lakh," said Haj panel CEO Ataur Rahman.Saudi Arabia takes in Haj pilgrims in proportion to a country's Muslim population: one pilgrim for every 1,000 Muslims. But in 2013 it enforced a 20% cut in intake of pilgrims from around the world due to expansion work in Mecca. Thus, India's total Haj quota fell from 1.7 lakh pilgrims to around 1.3 lakh, reported by The Times of India.

The panel raised this issue with minorities affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi while discussing allocations at Haj House near Crawford Market recently. Currently , of the 1.36 lakh given permission from India, about one lakh pilgrims get aid from the Haj panel while 36,000 pilgrims travel on their own using private tour operators (PTOs).

"The demand to travel thro ugh PTOs is five times more than the quota granted to us.But a huge number of affluent Muslims are denied opportunity to perform Haj as they choose PTOs," said Khalid Kherada of Al Khalid Tours and Travels.

But till now our Chaddi Gang did not start jumping up n down with their HAJJ SUBSIDY Formula. Seems our Khaki Bikini Troops, Dhoti Gang and bhaktmandlee are busy with UP Election Duty...

The key reason for rise in applications is improving economic conditions in the community , especially in urban areas, said Haj officials.

According to 2011 Census, Muslim population in India is 17.2 crore (14.2% of total population). State Haj committee chairman Ibrahim Bhaijan said: "There seems to be increasing religious consciousness among Muslims. A significant number of them seem to be prospering.Otherwise why would there be such a great rush to go for Haj which is obligatory only on those who can afford it?". (adm)

Nb. Yuk gabung IICH dan IMECH 
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