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Politics in Demographics
04/22/2005
By Ram Puniyani

The current social common sense rides on many misconceptions. These myths form the base of Hate other ideology and has started creating the emotional and physical walls amongst the communities in big measure in recent years. One of these myths, which make merry rounds, with lots of spices added to it, is that Muslims marry four numbers of times and produce twenty children. This is also expressed as the ‘sigh’ of a ‘poor’ Hindu male, Ham Do Hamare Do- Wo Panch Unke pachis (We two, husband and a wife, our two children, they five, one husband-four wives and have twenty children). This might have been one of the most powerful constructs of the myth making machinery installed by the RSS. In this prevailing scenario the Census Commission ‘observation that the rate of rise of Hindu population has declined from 25.1% in the decades of 81 to 91 to 20.3% during 91-2001 and the rate of Muslim growth has gone up from 34.5% during 81-91% to 36% during 91-2001, came as the God’s gift to the myth manufacturing machinery.

Without wasting a minute various functionaries of this
machine started pouring their venom out in the open. Mr.Venkaiah Naidu stated that it is a matter of deep concern for the unity and integrity of the nation, Mr. Jaitly went on to demand a National debate on the population growth as per religions, while Mr. Ram Madhav the spokesperson of RSS asserted that this has been the RSS fear all through and the first report on religion by census commission has confirmed the same, and this adoption of two child norm by Hindu middle class is the culprit of this demographic danger looming over the country. Not to be left behind Shiv Sena branch of Dharampur in Bijnor, UP went on to declare Jagrook (Aware person) award to few Hindu women who have more than five children. The idea simply put is that these are the persons who are aware to the Hindu cause, and by producing more Hindu children they are trying to offset the evil designs of Muslims in converting this Hindu Rashtra into an Islamic state. VHP votaries like Chinubhai Patel saw it as the conspiracy of Muslims.

Right next day a National newspaper came out with the news that Census commission has goofed and goofed badly. In he first ever Report on religions, it forgot that the previous data, data of 91 did not have Muslim majority Jammu and Kashmir in the data. So the comparison and the supposed rate of rise sounded bigger. In real fact there is a decline in the Muslim rate of growth to 29.3 i.e. a decline of 3.7%. The total population of Muslims remains 13.4% while the Hindu population is 80.5%.

At the time of Partition the Muslim population was 11.6%. Even in the current data there are some holes. To begin with many an Adiviasis have now got them registered in the category, other religions, rather than the previous Hindu, which was automatically put in front of them. This time Jains have also been put as a separate category so this decline in the rate of rise of Hindu population. The National Census commission did not highlight these intricacies of the data analysis. It changes the interpretation in a very serious manner. Was it deliberate? Is it that the people in charge cannot handle this simple analysis? It is also understood that this data was ready before the elections but BJP preferred not to publish it that time, as at that time it was operating in the Shinning India mode and this might have disturbed their applecart. It is also understood that as per the communalization of other bodies census commission was also the victim of trishul diksha and motives were there in the analysis of the data. It is very difficult to believe that