The Alarm Bells Are Ringing
The long-awaited religion data for the Census of 2011 has finally been released. A not-so-surprising aspect of the data is the sharp decline in the share of Hindus in the total population; it has declined by 2.1 percentage points, from 80.45 per cent in 2001 to 78.35 per cent in 2011. On the flipside, Muslim population grew by 24.4 per cent against the national average of 17.7 per cent.
Since the share of Muslims has increased by only 0.8 percentage points, what accounts for the larger decline in the share of Hindus? It is most likely that many persons counted themselves under “Other Religions and Persuasions”. In every Census of the last three decades, different communities, particularly the Scheduled Tribes, preferred to get counted outside the Hindu fold. In the 1991 census, 3.3 million were counted in the ORP category, which catapulted to 6.6million in the 2001 census. It is estimated that in the 2011 Census, the number of ORPs may have spurted threefold. There were knee jerk reaction in the media, several articles reassured Hindus that the share of Muslims has not really changed by too much and there is no serious demographic imbalance. The figures speak of Muslim population growth of 24.4 per cent between 2001 and 2011. This, seen against the average total population growth of 17.7 per cent; and the much lower Hindu growth at only 14.5 per cent gives the correct picture.
The Muslim rate of growth is nearly 38 per cent above the national average; in 2001, the gap between the growth of Muslims and the national average was somewhat lower at 36.8 per cent. The rate of growth of Hindus, on the other hand, has declined about 20 per cent below the national average. This is a matter of concern, as maintaining the demographic balance between is not the absolute rate of growth but the gap between their respective growth rates.
These experts also suggest that the imbalance in the growth rate is a temporary phenomenon, it will not last long. But the history of the census speaks otherwise. If the Muslim incremental figure of 0.8 percentage point rise is indeed correct, then it would be the third time in a row that they have registered such a gain. The share of Muslims had risen by almost exactly the same 0.8 percentage points between 1981-1991 and 1991-2001; their share was 11.8 per cent in 1981, 12.6 per cent in 1991 and 13.4 per cent in 2001; it is 14.2 per cent now in 2011. This clearly proves that the 0.8 percent points is a continuation of an established long-term trend that has continued since Independence. In the sixty years between 1951 and 2011, the share of Muslims has increased from 10.5 to 14.2 per cent; two-thirds of this increase has happened in the last three decades alone.
What is more alarming is the sectoral growth of Muslim population in some of the States. The share of Muslims has increased sharply in Assam, West Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi and Haryana. Muslims now form 34.2 per cent of the population of Assam, which is 3.2 percentage points higher than their share of 30.9 per cent in 2001. What has not been declared is that there are now many districts and talukas in the country where Hindus have been reduced to an absolute minority. This impact of the rapid rise in the Muslim population can be assessed only after the detailed disaggregated data are released. Unreleased reports suggest that there are some areas where the increase is as high as 600 per cent. This is both due to the influx of Bangladeshi Muslims and the consequential exodus of Hindus from the areas. Given these trends, the need for the formal release of the complete area wise Census data on religion has become even more urgent.
The partisan application of family planning, non-imposition of the uniform civil code, rampant illegal migration and induced religious conversion are all responsible for the danger to the Hindu character of our nation. The Muslim concept divides the world as Darul Islam where Muslims are in a majority, and Darul Harab in which they are a minority.India is viewed as Darul Harab, and Islam entitles every Muslim, to transform India into Muslim ruled or Muslim majority nation where the Koran and the Shariat will reign supreme. The Census data is a wakeup call for Hindus, they have to take stock of the situation and hang together or ultimately they will be hanged separately. The RSS mouthpiece, Organiser, had earlier this year offered some very interesting statistics in support of this argument. It has said, “There was a 5.2 per cent decadal (1991-2001) growth in Hindu population of Manipur. However, at the same time, Christians grew by 36.6 per cent and Muslims by 43.1 per cent.” It further adds, “North-eastern states, excluding Assam, recorded 50.6 per cent growth in Christians and 42.4 per cent growth in Muslims (in the same period).” If this does not ring the alarm bells, than what will?