Are you interested in learning about the Hajj pilgrims of India? Do you want to learn about the Indian Government’s attempts to earn a higher quota for Hajj pilgrims? Read our guide for more facts and information...
Hajj is a pilgrimage that is important to the religion of Islam. In fact Hajj is considered one of the five tenants of Islam. It is understood in the Islamic faith that every Muslim is obliged to perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. The pilgrimage is considered obligatory to every sane and financially able adult Muslim. Every year about two million Muslims make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca which is found in the country of Saudi Arabia.
The Hajj pilgrimage is considered to be a supreme religious experience; however, the travel and experience is neither simple nor easy. When pilgrims undertake the trek to Mecca it is expected to be a physically and emotionally taxing journey and experience. Before undertaking the pilgrimage preparation must be taken such as entering a purified spiritual state. It is also of note that pilgrims typically travel to Mecca in the 12th month of the Muslim calendar.
The Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca is desired by many people around the world and as such there is competition for space in the region which creates the necessity for quotas. Many Indian pilgrims travel through the Hajj committee of India which helps subsidise and organize the pilgrimage. It is also of note that private travels are possible; however, they are often more expensive and still count towards the country’s allotted quota. It is also a difficultly in regards to the quotas with Indian citizens living abroad who travel to Mecca and fill the allotted quota. There have also been difficulties for many Indian pilgrims after the pilgrimage in returning to India from the site. It is also of note that all Indian citizens looking to make the pilgrimage must have successful applications to be considered to participate in Hajj.
Fighting for Quotas
Every year the Indian government is flooded with applications of citizens hoping to experience Hajj meaning that the government must then correspondingly lobby with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for an increased quota of pilgrims. The current quota for pilgrims from India allotted to the Indian government is 171 000. India continues to lobby how a higher quota; however, Saudi Arabia is hesitant to grant the request as there are limited accommodations available near the site of the pilgrimage. It is also of note that requests to complete Hajj continue to rise, the costs of the pilgrimage are also climbing with the rising price of accommodations and air fare. The Indian government claims to receive more than 200 00 applications per year to complete the Hajj pilgrimage. The last quota increase that the Indian government requested was 15 000 and they received only a 4000 increase. The quota of pilgrims is not the only concern of the Indian government as India also sought 60 000 dwelling units and received only half of the requested amount.