Writing On The Wall
For the first time in the history, Hindu population has come down below 80 per cent, which is the sharpest decline since Independence. Here it is worthwhile mentioning that the data was compiled and readied by early 2014, but reportedly not released because of the national election
What is a fish without a river? What is a bird without a tree to nest in? Many mountains and water sources went extinct over the ages. Natural calamities, evolution are responsible for it. But here a more sombre extinction seems to be on the anvil. Imagine Bharat, Hindustan, India without Hindus! Whenever Hindus raises this question pseudo secular call them “communal”!
See this in the perspective of India’s Muslim population growing faster than Hindu population, as new Census data revealed. For the first time in the history, Hindu population has come down below 80 per cent, which is the sharpest decline since Independence, whereas Muslims make up 14. 23 per cent. The population in 2011 was at 121 crore—Hindus make up 79.8 per cent of the population at 96.63 crore. Muslims, with 17.22 crore people, are 14.23 per cent of the population. The proportion of Muslims in the population has increased by 0.8 per cent between 2001 and 2011. Muslims are the only community to register a growth in their share of the population. The growth rate of Muslims is the highest at 24.6 per cent, the census reveals. Hindus follow with a 16.8 per cent growth rate; Christians come next with 15.5 per cent. The government says the proportion of Hindus in the population has declined by 0.7 per cent. Here it is worthwhile mentioning that the data was compiled and readied by early 2014, but reportedly not released because of the national election. Sources say the Congress-led UPA government did not favour releasing the data at the time because it pointed at a significant growth in the Muslim population in districts along the eastern border. But the Modi government decided to release the data soon after coming to power in May, say sources. And its release comes ahead of assembly elections in Bihar later this year and in Assam and West Bengal next year. So what does this Census data suggests? It only substantiates what a study from the Pew Research Centre said. It showed that India will have 1.3 billion Hindus and 311 million Muslims by 2050. This will make India the “largest” Muslim country. Today, our country has the third largest population of Muslims in the world, at 172 million, behind Pakistan, at 178 million, and Indonesia, at 204 million.
The study further says that Muslims are expected to grow faster than Hindus because they have the youngest median age and the highest fertility rates among major religious groups in India. Fertility being higher among Muslims since independence, demographers say, is a completely natural phenomenon since their rates are closely linked to socio-economic factors. Higher fertility will ensure the upward trend continues. In 2010, the median age of Indian Muslims was 22, compared with 26 for Hindus and 28 for Christians. Likewise, Muslim women have an average of 3.2 children per woman, compared with 2.5 for Hindus and 2.3 for Christians. Due to these factors, though population of Hindus will increase but their percentage in overall population will go down. India’s Muslim community will expand faster than its Hindu population, rising from 14.4 per cent in 2010 to 18.4 per cent in 2050, while Hindus will make up more than three-in-four Indians (76.7 per cent) in 2050 which will be 3 per cent lesser in comparison. Overall, India’s fertility rate is falling, but among Muslims it is dropping most slowly. In this background, one should not forget that much has been said about secularism in Islamic states. Any Indian knows instantly that secularism written on a piece of paper and secularism practiced in reality are two very different things. This secularism, if based on Islam or Sharia, becomes all the more removed from the idea behind the word. In short it is pointless to hope that any time if Human values conflict with the Sharia, the Human values will be respected and this is substantiated by minority persecution in Islamic countries other than Pakistan and Bangladesh.
In Pakistan Hindus that survived partition, constituted above 20 per cent of the population, now they’re below 1 per cent. In East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) the Hindus who survived the direct action day were 31 per cent of the population, now less than 7 per cent. Today the census data, despite suspected of being heavily fudged, shows Hindus below 80 per cent. Some realistic estimates, however, put them below 70 per cent. And truth appears not on papers and graphs but in our daily lives. As Swami Ramdev said the population of Hindus and Sikhs has declined and of a particular community increased. This imbalance could creates social, economic and political conflicts and challenges in society. If not checked the country will be facing the challenges like malnutrition, hunger and illiteracy. The population is growing unevenly. There is a need to adopt a strict policy to balance it.
No harm even if we follow China’s one child norm. What happened in Pakistan/Bangladesh was not an exception, it’s a rule. And if we can’t learn our lessons unless we pay a heavy price ourselves, then we rightfully deserve it. Throughout the history, the simpleton and unprepared have consistently diminished and faded away.
Gilles Kepel, a French scholar on radical Islam, recently observed on Pew Research Center study’s data on religion statistics: “The most important battle in the war for Muslim minds during the next decade will be fought not in Palestine or Iraq, but on the outskirts of Indian and European cities, where Islam is already a growing part.”
The law of natural selection ensures that. We must come up with means and ways to control this rapidly changing demographics, while it’s still just a statistic and not an existential crisis on our faces. One should endeavoure to lay emphasis on the point that in the Indian subcontinent, religious tensions between the Hindus and the Muslims have been ubiquitous and have been the driving force for much of the politics, rioting and loss of life and property. Even in a supposed secular country incidents of Love Jihad and Forced Conversions keep coming up regularly. To suggest that if Muslims come in majority the Hindus will be able to live and survive honorably or at all is just trying too hard to display secular credentials. Jihad is a real and persistent threat. In this perspective, the Indonesian Muslims trend of having fewer children may be seen in India too as awareness, and to achieve this information and education must be spread in the community. Interestingly, this may come at a time when some Hindu leaders call on Hindus to produce more babies to arrest this dip in population. Against this backdrop, the government should ensure the end of left leaning academia’s Hindu-phobic view about RSS and VHP by juxtaposing it with the depth of Vedic thought with its emphasis on the sanctity of all life, in contrast to the homo-centric dogma that Man is the master and legitimate consumer of all non-human. This message must reach every Indians. It cannot be gainsaid Hindus struggled to preserve and protect themselves in the face of grievous assaults on their civilisation, gods, temples, people, especially women, and their land. ‘God is One, a Unity and not a Number, a divine intelligence that pervades all creation and whose best gift to humanity is intelligence, comprehension and perception’ this is the essence of Gayatri Mantra, which shows our spiritual quest now-a-days. It is this intelligence that will help Hindus rise again, for, as Sri Aurobindo said, “…the Sanatana Dharma is life itself; it is a thing that has not so much to be believed as lived… India has always existed for humanity and not for herself and it is for humanity and not for herself that she must be great… Sanatana Hindu dharma is ever new and will never cease to exist. It is like a vast and deep ocean. Only one drop of it is sufficient for us.”
By Sanjay K Bissoyi