“National integration is born in the hearts of the citizens. When it dies there, no army, no government, no constitution, can save it”. – Nani A Palkhivala
We ought to reflect sincerely on the immortal words of Palkhivala better known for his razor-sharp mind and candid observations. I have debated about Islamophobia in Assam – perhaps largely due to influx of Bangladeshi immigrants, earlier. The issue is turning serious there in Assam owing to ensuing assembly elections next year. But more vital, if not dangerous phenomenon, about Muslim-Hindu population is happening in next door state – West Bengal; where too elections are due in April-May 2016.
West Bengal, under Muslim appeasers Leftists and then Ms Mamata Banerjee, has seen a rise in Muslim population from 25.2 per cent in 2001 to 27 per cent in 2011. It is a growth of 1.8 percentage points, more than double the national average growth for Muslim population (0.8 per cent). If Anatanag district in Jammu & Kashmir shows highest in number of Muslims by percentage; Murshidabad district in Bengal is the highest by headcount.
Three districts which the Muslims have outnumbered Hindus in Bengal are Murshidabad (47 lakh Muslims; 23 lakh Hindus), Malda (20 lakh Muslims; 19 lakh Hindus) and North Dinajpur (15 lakh Muslims; 14 lakh Hindus).
There is also the issue of higher fertility rate. It is mainly due to higher fertility rate among poor and Muslims who are low in socio-economic and educational status.
These findings are not without good reasons.
In March 2005, the Congress-led UPA regime trying to reach out to Muslims appointed a High Level Committee headed by Retired Justice Rajinder Sachar. The panel reported “Muslims are at a double disadvantage with low level of education combined with low quality education their deprivation increases manifold as the level of education rises”.
Now, it goes without saying, very high rural poverty and high concentration of Muslims in rural areas are the important factors in the low educational status of Muslims and enhanced population growth.
These factors can be understood better in the context of states like West Bengal.
In 1951 Muslim population in Bengal accounted for 19.85 percent. There was dominating position of the share of Hindu population but this share declined from 78.45 per cent in 1951 to 72.47 per cent in 2001.
If the Muslim population nationwide has increased by 0.8 per cent, in Bengal the decline of Hindu growth has a higher rate - 1.77 per cent. If this growth continues, studies suggest the share of Muslim population in West Bengalby 2041 is estimated to be 29.36 per cent and share of Hindu population is estimated to be 69.28 per cent.
With 2011 recording - 26.86 Muslim population in Bengal, the projected population of Muslims read ominous - 2021- 27.89; 2031- 28.70 and 2041- 29.36. So there’s definitely decline in Hindu population.
Those who follow West Bengal affairs know that, the issue has become more complex with the support of the state governments (both Left and Mamata Banerjee regime) to the “illegal Bangladeshi Muslim infiltrators”.
Ground reality and even census figures both 2001 and 2011 suggest the Muslim population share has gone up significantly and the number of districts where they are more than one third has also risen. The jihadi cells that made waves in Burdwan district is seen only as tip of iceberg.
Look at the more glaring fact, SICKULARISTS avoid looking at: across India nationwide the Hindu population has dipped by 0.7 per cent, in West Bengal it is much higher at 1.94 per cent. Bangladeshi influx is thus more a simple reality, it could be demographic threat and perhaps more than what has been discussed at length over so many years in Assam.
Meanwhile, another state smitten with Marxist brand of politics, Kerala too has interesting datas to offer. In Kerala, the Muslim population growth has led to polarization among Hindu pockets. Therefore, Marxists, once paradoxically considered pro-Hindu in Kerala as against pro-Congress tilt of Christians, are feeling the heat of BJP’s growth. This year, a nervous CPI-M organized Janmashtami celebrations in honour of Lord Krishna for the first time in the southern state.
The latest religion-based population data shows that between 2001 and 2011, population of Muslims in Kerala grew by 1.9%, from 24.7% to 26.6%. After Assam and Uttarakhand, the southern state Kerala ranks third in Muslim population growth.
And BJP certainly has not lost the big picture.(ends)