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Friday, May 24, 2024

Minorities not in danger: Muslim, Christian population rising in India


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In recent years, there has been a growing narrative suggesting that minorities in India are under threat. This narrative, propagated by various voices both within and outside the country, paints a picture of marginalized communities facing persecution and discrimination. However, upon closer examination, it becomes clear that this portrayal is often exaggerated and does not accurately reflect the reality on the ground.

The notion that minorities are in danger in India is, in many ways, a cry wolf—a sensationalized claim that lacks substantive evidence to support it. While it is undeniable that challenges exist, it is important to distinguish between legitimate concerns and alarmist rhetoric.

A recent study conducted by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has brought to light significant changes in India’s demographic landscape over the past 65 years. This comprehensive analysis, which examined trends in 167 countries globally, provides valuable insights into the evolving population dynamics, particularly concerning religious communities in India and its immediate neighborhood.

One of the most striking findings of the study is the decline in the population share of Hindus in India by 7.8% between 1950 and 2015. This decline, the second most significant in the immediate neighborhood after Myanmar’s 10% decrease, highlights a notable shift in the religious composition of India’s population.

In contrast to the shrinking Hindu population, the share of minority communities in India has witnessed an increase during the same period. Muslims saw the most significant surge with a 43.15% increase, followed by Christians (5.38%), Sikhs (6.58%), and Buddhists (a slight increase). This trend underscores the growing diversity within India’s population and the changing religious dynamics across the country.

The study also examined demographic trends in India’s neighboring countries, providing insights into the regional context of population dynamics. Bangladesh experienced the steepest increase in the share of its majority community (18.5%), followed by Pakistan (3.75%) and Afghanistan (0.29%). However, Nepal saw a decline of 3.6% in its majority Hindu population, highlighting variations in demographic trends across the region.

India is a secular democracy with a robust legal framework that guarantees equal rights and protections for all its citizens, regardless of their religious or cultural background. The Indian Constitution enshrines principles of equality, liberty, and religious freedom, providing a strong foundation for the protection of minority rights. While isolated incidents of violence or discrimination against minorities may occur, they are not indicative of widespread persecution. India’s legal system provides avenues for recourse and justice in cases of human rights violations, and efforts are continuously being made to strengthen mechanisms for safeguarding minority rights.

Moreover, it is essential to recognize the progress that has been made in advancing the socio-economic status of minority communities in India. Various government initiatives and policies aim to promote inclusive development and address historical inequalities. These efforts have led to improvements in areas such as education, healthcare, and economic empowerment for minority populations.

it is important to exercise caution against the politicization of minority issues for narrow political gain or external agendas. Sensationalizing the plight of minorities can fuel divisions and undermine efforts toward building a more inclusive and cohesive society.

Minorities are not in danger in India. The simple truth is that Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists have seen a steep rise in the population indexes in the last 65 years. In fact, on the contrary, it is the Hindu population that has declined by 7.8 percent.

One significant factor contributing to the declining Hindu population is the fertility rate differential between Hindus and other religious communities. Studies have shown that the fertility rate among Hindus is gradually decreasing, while that of certain minority communities, such as Muslims and Christians, remains higher. This demographic imbalance can result in a relative decline in the proportion of Hindus within the overall population over time.

The cry-wolf narrative of ‘minorities in danger’ has been amplified from rooftops for the last decade. But in reality, it is the Hindus who should be crying hoarse as their population has been in danger since 1965.


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