Friday, November 28, 2014

Beware of New Year's Greetings


          I am quite sure that prime minister Narendra Modi will greet the nation on this new year with the release of religious data of 2011 census which is still to be made public because it is another weapon for the forces who want to polarize the society by adopting different tricks to get political mileage in their favour. Modi is not one of them who think twice to use a weapon to achieve a goal even through sinful methods.

          Let the polls of Jammu-Kashmir and Jharkhand assembly elections be over, Modi-Government will come out with the population figures based on religion for the whole country and in different states. Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh and all its sister organizations have already prepared themselves to launch a ‘social campaign’ from early next year ‘to create awareness with a new assertiveness about the continuous decrease in Hindu population in the country'.

          RSS is sure of the fact that census 2011 data will prove beyond any doubt that ‘for the first time in over a century the proportion of the Hindu population in the country has fallen below the 80 percent mark'. RSS ideologues think that the revelation of this data will greatly help in subtly change the core psyche of liberal Hindus. The decrease in Hindu population is psychologically important figure on India's religious demographics and what could be a cause for three cheers to RSS and Bhartiya Janta party if they can (mis)use this fact to prove their 'appeasement theory'.

          RSS top brass are keeping an eye over ‘the unique trend that the proportion of Hindus has shown a secular decline since 1961, matched by a corresponding increase in the proportion of Muslims’. BJP has a government in centre with clear majority. Therefore,  RSS is planning to address this issue in all its seriousness and feels that ‘the fact that proportion of Hindus has in the population shrunk from 83.4 percent in 1961 to below 80 percent in 2011 must get a focused attention’. RSS ideologues are of the opinion that Hindu population had come down to 80.5 percent according to the 2001 census and this trend matches with an almost equivalent proportional rise among the Muslims who had reached to 13.4 percent in 2001 from 10.7 in 1961 to 2001. RSS has also analyzed that decadal of Hindu population was 23.8 percent in 1961 which has now fallen to around 19 percent and in comparison, the growth in Muslim population has accelerated from 30.6 percent in 1961 to more than 35 percent now.

          RSS and BJP think tanks are working overtime to collect the data which can prove that even the crude birth rates—CBR—that show the number of births per thousand persons for Muslims is much higher than the Hindus. These think tanks think that whereas all India CBR average is 25.9 percent, for Hindus it is only 24.9 percent and for Muslims it is 30.8 percent—6 percent more than the Hindus. The comparison for total fertility rate for Hindu ad Muslim women has also been analyzed by BJP-RSS teams to prove their point.

          So, be ready to answer their questions first and don’t dare to ask that why it is for the first time that the country’s ruling party—BJP—does not have a single Muslim member in Loksabha? Why BJP had fielded only 7 Muslim candidates for 540-members’ Loksabha? Why for full 15 years when Narendra Modi was heading Gujarat, not a single Muslim was given a BJP ticket to contest in any of five Loksabha or assembly elections held during that period? How many Muslim candidates BJP is fielding in Jammu & Kashmir where out of one crore population around 70 lacs are Muslims? And, how many Muslim candidates are there from BJP in Jharkhand where Muslim population is around 38 lacs?

          One should also not ask the prime minister or BJP or RSS that why it is so that in spite of ruling more than one third of India’s population through BJP plus allies’ governments in nine states they have only one Muslim minister? These nine states have 151 ministers and the only fortunate Muslim minister is Yunus Khan in Rajsthan. One should also not ask that why in the assembly election for Maharashtra, BJP fielded only one Muslim candidate and in Haryana only two? Are both these states do not have sizable Muslim population?

          In a country where according to 2001 census the religious breakup between Hindus and Muslims is 80.5 and 13.4 percent and other minorities like Christians (2.3), Sikhs (1.9), Budhists (0.8) and Jains (0.4) practically have no polling booth level role in politics, the release of religious data of 2011 census with a specific purpose in mind is bound to make polarization process much deeper and faster. And, it will be both ways. One can also expect greater Muslim assertiveness immediately after census 2011 data is officially out.

Religious headcount is being undertaken since the first Census of India 1871-72. Colonel U.N. Mukherji had written a pamphlet in 1909—Hindus: A Dying Race. His projections were based on the study of three consecutive censuses 1881, 1891 and 1901. Mukherji met Swami Shraddhanand of Arya Samaj at Calcutta in 1911. His statistical and analytical study and the current data will provide ammunition to RSS and BJP and I can only pray, with my fingers crossed, that all the political outfits following the principals of inclusive politics are properly prepared to fight this battle from the beginning of 2015. It is high time when all the well meaning individuals and organisations with positive and liberal minds take a call to save the social fabric of India from these attacks.

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