The New Delhi edition of the Times of India of 22 January 2015 had published a news report of highly doubtful veracity proclaiming that according to the 2011 Census, the Muslim population in India had grown by merely 24 per cent. It was further highlighted that the growth rate of Muslim population was lower than the decadal Muslim growth rate of census 2001, though it was higher than the average national growth rate of 18 per cent for all communities.
This wonky story, apparently planted and published in Times of India had the trappings of a contrived politico-religious narrative. Interestingly, the selectively leaked news gave no indication whether or not the figures were arrived at by excluding the census data pertaining to the two States of Assam and Jammu and Kashmir as was mischievously done in respect of census 2001 data.
According to the then Registrar of Census, the actual per cent ages of decadal growth rates of Hindus and Muslims revealed by the Census 2001 were as follows:
Decadal Growth Rates
|Hindus|| 23% ||20%|
These authentic figures of 2001 census were maliciously manipulated by the UPA government led by Sonia Gandhi and Dr Manmohan Singh in the year 2004 on the eve of Maharashtra Assembly elections. The intention was to bluff the gullible Hindu voters by showing that the per cent age increase in growth of Muslim population was only marginal and not at the galloping higher growth rate of 36%. The decadal growth rate of Muslims was brought down from 36 per cent to 29 per cent by excluding the population headcount of 3.6 crore Indians living in the two sensitive States, namely, Assam and Jammu Kashmir, both of which have a very high per cent age of Muslims.
Interestingly, this unparalleled demographic fraud was achieved by deleting with retrospective effect all census data in respect of Assam and Jammu & Kashmir with retrospective effect from 1961 onwards. The clumsy fudging was allegedly done at the instance of the political conscience-keeper of Sonia Gandhi with the explicit approval of the then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.
The deletion of the big chunk of population in Assam and Jammu and Kashmir was done with retrospective effect from 1961 onwards, although the authentic headcount of census operations carried in the years 1961, 1971, 198i had already been published and was available in the public domain.
As regards the fast-paced demographic changes in most parts of India, attention may be drawn to a data-packed article written by two eminent demographers, the late Prof. Mari Bhat and A.J. Francis Zavier. The article titled Role of Religion in Fertility Decline – The case of Indian Muslims, was published in the Economic & Political Weekly, Mumbai dated January, 29, 2005.
At the very beginning of the article on the mast of the column, the following summary had appeared :
“The fertility of Muslims, which was about 10 per cent higher than that of Hindus before independence, is now 25 to 30 per cent higher than the Hindu rate, and the difference according to religion is larger than the difference between the forward and depressed Hindu castes and tribes.”
Frankly, the present Registrar General of Census, appointed by the Sonia Gandhi-controlled the United Progressive Alliance regime, has led the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh successfully up the garden path. The master mystery of the continuing fudged Census 2011 narrative is that even after four years, the Union Home Ministry has not been able to publish the Census 2011 data despite repetitive attempts made by an RTI activist to elicit the religion-wise growth rates of different communities at the all India level as well as in various States.
The bottom line is that had the religion-wise data of Census 2011 been released before the elections to the 2015 Delhi Assembly, the Bharatiya Janta Party would not have suffered the most ignominious defeat at the hands of AAP. According to an informed source in the office of the Registrar General of Census, Delhi has witnessed a sharp upward increase in the percentage of Muslim population vis a vis the Hindus. At the same time, the sharp increase in the percentage of Muslims at all-India level and in certain states like Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra etc., would have awakened the Hindus to the reality of the looming threat of the serious demographic disaster confronting them.
Grim Possibility of BJP Losing Bihar Assembly Elections
Unfortunately it appears to be beyond the comprehension of the BJP that Census data is a key component of the strategy of winning elections. The UPA government had strategically forestalled the publication of religion-wise headcount of Census 2011 before the 2014 general elections.
If only the BJP was able to understand the import of this simple ploy of the Sonia-Manmohan Singh regime it would not have sat on the religion-wise data of Census 2011 for the last 10 months.
It is time that someone awakened the BJP to the well-known adage that ‘demography is the key to every democracy’. The BJP should be bluntly told that like the National Capital Region of Delhi, Bihar too is a State where the growth rate of Muslims has been rising fast since 1951. Any further delay in the release of religion-wise Census 2011 data is bound to adversely affect the voting percentage of Hindus in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.
In any case, the inability to publish the four years old Census 2011 data is a serious aspersion on the BJP Government.
Ram Ohri is a former IPS officer and writes regularly on security issues, demographics, and occasionally, on policy.