Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Hindus in the net of innumerable problems

By Prof. Vijay Kumar Malhotra

The religion-based Census 2001 statistics for entire India were published in the month of September 2004. Different forms of agitations took place on publication of the Census figures. The percentage fall in the Hindu population from 1951-2001 in independent India and the subsequent percentage increase in the Muslim population was not only natural but a necessary cause for concern among the Hindus and nationalists. However, of greater concern and more shocking was the concern expressed by the secularists. For one, they raised a furore over why the Census Commissioner had presented the religion-based Census figures and revealed them at a press conference because of which Hindu leaders and nationalists had got the opportunity to show that there has been a percentage fall in Hindus and a percentage increase in Muslims in the country.

The other issue over which they created a turmoil was that in 1991-2001, the increase in the Muslim population was shown at 36 per cent while in 1991, no population Census was undertaken in Jammu & Kashmir. Even if the figures for the Muslim population in Jammu & Kashmir in the year 2001 are deducted, the increase amounts to 29.3 per cent. As a result, an uproar was raised over this, a ruckus was created, an enquiry committee was constituted and action was initiated against the concerned innocent officers. In this agitation, reality was strangled and effort was made to camouflage this issue of serious concern to the nation.

If, from the population Census for 2001, the complete population figures of Jammu & Kashmir are removed, then in the entire country (with the exception of Jammu & Kashmir), for the period 1991-2001, the Hindu population increased by 19.9 per cent while the Muslim increased by 29.3 cent. In other words, the figures for Muslims increased by 20 per cent in comparison to those for the Hindus. None can deny this fact.

During 1981, no population Census was conducted in Assam and in 1991, none was carried out in Jammu & Kashmir. In the whole country the population Census was conducted only in the years 1961, 1971 and 2001. Hence, a comparative study of these statistics would be more enlightening.

In 1971, the total population of Hindus in the entire country was 45,32,92,086 and in 2001, it reached 82,75,78,868. In these 30 years, the increase in the Hindu population was 82.57 per cent.

Similarly in 1971, the total population of Muslims in the country was 6,14,17,934 and in 2001 it rose to 13,81,88,240. During these 30 years, the Muslim population increased by 125 per cent.

In 1961, the Hindus numbered 36,65,26,866 and in 2001, they were 82,75,78,868. In these 40 years, the Hindu population increased by 125 per cent.

In 1961, the Muslim population stood at 4,69,40,799 to reach 13,81,88,240 in 2001, i.e. it was a 194.4 per cent increase.

In 1951, the population of Hindus was 83.4 pert cent and it fell to 80.5 per cent in 2001. On the other hand, during this same period, the Muslim population increased from 10.7 per cent to reach 13.4 per cent.

In 1951, the Muslim population was 9.93 per cent while the Hindus constituted 84.99 per cent. In other words, the population of Hindus during the last 50 years fell by 4.5 per cent, while the Muslim population rose by 3.5 per cent.

To understand this fully, it is necessary to take a look at the increase in the population of Hindus and Muslims during the period 1991-2001 and which was as follows:

Their argument is that Israel’s population is 60 lakh, but it continues to dominate the neighbouring Arab nations with their population of seven to eight crores.

In practically all the districts of the country, the percentage increase in the population of the Muslims was 1.5 times higher than that of the Hindus.

In 1981, no population Census was undertaken in Assam but in 1951, 1961, 1971, 1991 and 2001 the Census was conducted.

In the past 40 years, the population of Muslims in Assam rose by 7.61 per cent and the Hindu population in comparison decreased to reach 64.9 per cent.

These statistics reveal the calumny of the so-called secularists that the Muslim population in India is not increasing and that it is a scare being spread by Hindu organisations. Since the day these statistics were published, many Opposition and corrupt secular writers and leaders have given the advice not to get unduly perturbed over the continuous fall in the percentage of Hindu population.

There are many other sections giving such advice. One group includes those who have some connection with Muslim or Christian persons or organisations. For them proselytisation is a religious duty. According to their religion, conversion of Hindus into Muslims or Christians is a pious act. Their religious books, their centres of pilgrimage, their religious schools, their religious organisations——all aim at converting followers of other religions to their own. For this purpose, crores of rupees are pumped into India by various Christian and Muslim nations every year to spend on religious conversions. The Muslim rulers for 800 years and Christian rulers for 200 years, based on their power or through cruelty or enticements of cash and privileges, have worked concertedly to convert Hindus to their religion. Even after Independence, this practice continues. It is but natural for these forces to be happy at the fall in the percentage population of Hindus and increase in their own population.

On the other side are those people who have no faith in any religion and who have supporters among the communists. Communism can spread only if the hold of religion slackens and religious beliefs are completely shattered. With this belief, they consider Hindutva as their enemy and if the percentage of Hindus decreases, they consider it foolish to get worried about it.

The third type of persons are those who in this modern era of science and technology do not consider population to be of any significance. Their argument is that Israel’s population is 60 lakh, but it continues to dominate the neighbouring Arab nations with their population of seven to eight crores. China, which earlier used to consider population as of supreme importance, is today seriously engaged in controlling its population. People do not comprehend the difference between the decrease in population and the fall in the population percentage.

But the greatest offenders than them all are the Congress leaders and rulers. Their worry is not that the population of Hindus is declining; what they are concerned about is that the Hindu society should not get disturbed over this issue. Any reaction in the Hindu society can put their secularism in danger and their agenda of Muslim appeasement in peril. They feel that the more the Muslim population increases, the larger will be their vote bank. Why don’t these people with the mentality of Jaichand understand that in India secularism, pluralism, liberalism, equality of religions is possible so far as the Hindu nation is strong? Does any other nation among more than the 60 Muslim-majority nations of the world profess equality of all religions or secularism? All have pronounced themselves as Islamic nations and Islam is their State religion. The rights of the minorities are as good as nil and in some Islamic nations, there are general restrictions on following any other religion other than Islam. We ought to remember that in most Muslim-majority nations, the minorities are getting widely annihilated. The Hindu-majority Afghanistan has largely become Hindu-less. At the time of Partition, the Hindu population in West Pakistan was 23 per cent and today it is less than one per cent. The Kashmir Valley, despite being a part of India, is now virtually Hindu-less. In 1951, the Hindu population in Bangladesh was 30 per cent and now it is 7-8 per cent only.

Both Pakistan and Bangladesh are Muslim nations. The reasons for the decline of the Hindu population over there can be easily gauged and the reasons for that are plausible too. But that in independent India since the last 50 years the percentage of Hindu population is declining is not only surprising, but more shocking than this is that there is no sense of worry or sorrow among the Hindus or the Hindu leaders.

The argument often put forth is that even if the population of Hindus has fallen by 4.5 per cent, it would take at least 300-400 years for the Hindus to become a minority in India. But, we should at first realise that the increase in population occurs in a geometrical progression. Secondly, due to planned conspiracy of Bangladesh and Pakistan, uncontrolled infiltration is proving destructive for us. Thirdly, after all in the life of any nation, what is a period of 300-400 years?

What should remain in our hearts and minds is that prior to the Partition of India, the Muslim population was 22-23 per cent and after getting the nation divided, not one but two Muslim nations were created. In remaining India, the Muslim population will automatically reach 23 per cent in the next 30-40 years. Even now, the demand for creating separate districts for Muslims is being constantly raised.

There are many reasons for the percentage decrease in the Hindu population and the percentage increase in the Muslim population:

* The conspiracy of sustained infiltration from Bangladesh and Pakistan.
* Adoption of population control measures by Hindus and rejection by the Muslims.
* Due to the absence of uniform civil rights, conversion of lakhs of Hindus to Muslims to be able to marry again.
* The practice of conversion of Vanvasis and Dalits through the crores of rupees received from Christian missionaries and international Muslim organisations.

First of all, impose restrictions on the entry of infiltrators into India through strict measures. India is not a dharamshala (home for destitutes) where anyone from the world can come and settle.

India’s every national ought to be registered. Just as it is done in a passport, there should be an identity card with a photograph of every national and the identity cards should be numbered serially. In the event of the national’s death or change of residence or town or state, the relevant information must be duly incorporated. There are such provisions in many nations of the world. In this manner, infiltrators from Pakistan, Bangladesh and other nations of the world will be easily identified, thus facilitating their deportation from the country.

Population control is a national necessity. The ever-increasing population is a severe danger for the economic and social situation in the country. In a country where more that 50 per cent of the people live below the poverty line, where more that 10 crore people are unemployed, where more that 50 per cent are illiterate, where crores of children die on becoming victims of malnutrition, there it becomes necessary to curb the increase in population as a national duty. Thus, it would not be wrong to demand that when the Muslims do not subscribe to population control then why should the Hindus adopt population control measures? Contrary to this, it must be made mandatory for both the Hindus and Muslims to adopt population control measures as practiced today in China. It would be more feasible to impose all kinds of deterrents on having more than two children and lawful restrictions on having more than three children.

Similarly, it is absolutely essential to enforce a uniform civil code on all the citizens in the country, where marrying for the second time when the first wife is alive is unlawful and an offence. At present, under the Hindu law, such a marriage is a legal offence but if the same person declares himself to be a Muslim, he can marry four times.

The government should take up in its hands widespread programmes for providing education, medical treatment and basic living facilities in areas inhabited by Scheduled Castes and Vanvasis. Special efforts should be made to provide employment in these areas. At the same time, the Hindu society too should give an equal position to its underprivileged brothers. The situation where despite being Hindus they are treated as untouchables and as soon as they convert to Islam or Christianity, they become equal to us socially, cannot continue any longer. All religionists should unitedly reject distinctions between higher and lower castes or untouchables on account of their birth and raise their voice against social inequality.

(The author is deputy leader of BJP in Lok Sabha.)

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