Religious Demography of India – India Inspires Talk – J K Bajaj
Dr.J.K.Bajaj shares religious demographic data of India of last one hundred years. He speaks about how religious demography plays a defining role in shaping destiny of country. He explains how growth rate of population belonging to various religious members have larger impact on culture of country.
He claimed that partition of India happened only because of religious conflicts. Riots across the country also happen due to conflicts of religion. He shares data of growth rate of Muslims, Christians and Hindus and how it will affect society, culture, and polity of India in coming times.
Talk in nutshell:-
In the speech, Dr J K Bajaj throw light on the subject of Religious demography in India. The speech is rooted on the quantitative data obtained from the census and the evaluation of these data helps us to understand both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the population. In India, the demography is mainly based on the distribution of a population among various religious groups. A change in religious demography has often resulted in some sort of disturbances like wars, partitions and so on. A prime example for the same is the partition of India which was solely based on religious demography. So, the continuous study of religious demography is very important. Mr Bajaj states that, ignoring the numbers of the population is dangerous and can lead to extinction. He hopes we respond to the alarming change in demography with resolution and not despondence.
Demography can be understood in the context of geography. It is in fact the determining factor of formation of a civilization. He mentions how India’s unique geography as a natural fortress contributed to its demography, making it difficult for outsiders to access. It is inside this geography, the Sanathana Dharma evolved, and spread across, irrespective of all differences, and emerged as a common culture. This religiously homogeneous civilization existed until the arrival of Islamic invaders, who resolved to remain separate from the existing religious Indian ethos.
The Muslims have chosen to remain in ghettos by themselves. The fact they were not separated but chose to remain separate marked the first source of heterogeneity in the Indian civilization. Later with the arrival of British, this heterogeneity was emphasized more. Instead of concentrating on the similarities, the differences were celebrated, which had adverse impact on the mentality of the people.
According to the Religious demography from 1881 to 2001, there has been a decline in the Hindu population of India by 12%, an increase in Muslim population by 10%, and 2% increase in Christian population. The alarming decline in the Hindu population is very much higher than the time when Muslims were ruling here and if this trend continues, in the next 50 years the Indian religionist population will be reduced to less than 50%.
The increase in Muslim population in various pockets of India drove out the Indian religionist population living there. The Hindus are being forced out of the regions where they have been living for years, for example, in the Kashmir region there are no Indian religionists left. Huge decline of 13% of Indian religionists have been marked in Kerala alone. The conversions in Northeast are largely carried out by means of violence by the church. The highest decline in the Indian religionist population has been noted in Jammu and Kashmir, north eastern India and Kerala.
The new data, to be released in 2011, will have more depressing figures on the decline in the Indian religionist population, which would lead to very serious threats for the Indian religionist communities.