Patna: Muslims in the country should shed their ''minority syndrome'' and look at themselves as the second biggest chunk of population in order to find solutions to their socio-economic problems, the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman K Rahman Khan on Sunday said.

The change of perspective would give them a sense of empowerment and of their being a collective unit to seek redressal of their socio-economic problems from within the community and the political system, he said at a conference hosted by the Bihar Pradesh Qaumi Tanzeem (BPQT).

The Muslims should understand that the solution to their problems did not lie with the government or other communities, but with themselves for which they should set out their priorities and look for a solution, the 73 year-old Congress MP from Karnataka said.

It was a matter of concern that the community have failed to unite their collective betterment 60 years since the Independence, he said and asked the community to introspect on the reasons for their deprivation.

The community stood divided on grounds of caste, sub-religious groups, besides politically.

Stating that there was a general disinclination in the community to educate its children, Khan said Muslims should change their views to bring about improvement in their quality of life, family, religious group and society at large, besides making them competitive as with other sections of the society.

Referring to the demand for reservation in government jobs and education for Muslims, Khan asked the community members to ponder over their socio-economic and political standing which has 'declined to a level where demand for reservation has to be made from within and outside'.

The community must take the blame on themselves for having to raise reservation demands despite its number being about 17 percent of the population, when similar benefits were extended to other communities without their seeking it, Khan said.

There were also talk within the community of lack of their numbers in Parliament and state legislatures; he said adding Muslims should ensure that there was no division of the minority votes to ensure their candidates win so that they could speak for constitutional empowerment of the community.

NCP general secretary Tariq Anwar, RJD MLC and leader of opposition in the legislative council Gulam Gaus, RJD MLA Akhtarul Imam and Jamia Milia University's Islamic Studies Head of Department Akhtarul Vase were among those who also spoke on the occasion.