The timing of the release of this data is linked to impending Bihar Assembly elections by some observers. The political pundits apprehend that this announcement would further polarise the voters on communal and religious lines in Bihar, where nearly 50 out of 243 Assembly constituencies account for domination of Muslim voters.
Bihar elections apart, the fall in Hindu percentage should be a cause of concern for the social scientists, planners and demographers. Bharat is the only country in the world that is home to Hindus. The population of Hindus is below 80 per cent. This is for the first time that this figure has gone below that figure. And this is the real cause of worry.
History holds ample proof to substantiate the claim of some historians that those parts of this great country called Hindustan ceded from her where the population of Hindus dwindled and finally reduced to minority. Thus, what was known as Gandhar once is now Afghanistan, Pakistan was created out of the Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and East Bengal. They even eyed the fertile land of the Brahmaputra Valley but did not succeed. Based on this historical reality, apprehensions were voiced by several social and religious leaders about the possible ill-effects of decline in Hindu population. They were ridiculed as usual by the so-called progressives, seculars and their likes.
The State of Punjab, which had no Muslim population for almost a decade after Partition in 1947 today boasts of 5,35,489 Muslims accounting for 1.9 per cent of the total population of 27,743,338. Arunachal Pradesh in the north-east which had almost negligible Christian population till 1980s, today has 30.26 per cent Christians of the total population of 13,83,272. In Manipur the Christians have equalled the Hindus with their over 41 per cent population.
This rise in non-Hindu population is not a natural growth phenomenon. It is an open secret that the Christian Missionaries have been working tirelessly under the garb of service providers amongst the poor, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with an ulterior motive to convert them to their religion and thus expand the Kingdom of Christ. Thus, the figures of Christian population in Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh speak for themselves.
The politics of Muslim appeasement had cost dear to our nation. We lost a sizeable chunk of our motherland paying a very heavy price in terms of human lives and material property. The situation after Independence was no different with the successive governments and so-called secular parties stooping to any low to placate the Muslim vote-banks. The 2014 elections proved to be the one that busted this myth of Muslim vote-bank for the first time. But growing incidents of terrorism, their local supporting sleeper cells, and continued influx from neighbouring Bangladesh have posed serious threat to our country.
The rise in Muslim population in Assam districts of Dhubri, Bongai-gaon, Goalpara, Barpeta, Darrang, Nagaon, Morigaon, Hailakandi, and Karimganj is due to this unabated infiltration of Muslims from Bangladesh is crystal clear fact. This influx is not out of economic compulsions or some other reasons but it is carried out under a specific design to convert Assam into a Muslim majority area and prepare ground for its cessation from Bharat. That was the original plan of founder of Pakistan MA Jinah, who could not succeed then but nevertheless promised his Secretary Moinul Haq Chaudhary to handover Assam to him on a silver platter. We must understand the basic design behind this mathematics of Muslim population growing in these sensitive border areas.
Other reason for decline in Hindu population is marginal increase in the number of Other Religions and Persuasions (ORP). There has been a continuous campaign appealing to various smaller religious groups and especially the Scheduled Tribes that profess ‘animist’ faith, to enroll them as ORPs. The third Sarsanghachalak of RSS the late Balasaheb Deoras used to stress that Bharat is democratic, secular and plural in character because it is a Hindu majority country. The moment it loses its Hindu majority all these traits will vanish.
Virag Pachpore (The writer is a Nagpur based senior journalist)