Hindus Are Already a Minority

India is the country home to maximum number of Hindus, but a closer look a the rate of growth of Hindus vs other religions, its implications, reasons and requirement is much needed. It is worthwhile to revisit the statistics and do some mathematics.

It is popularly believed that Hindus are in majority in India. While that is true, what is often ignored is that Hindus are fast becoming a minority in several states, without being given the status or rights of a minority.

As per the Census 2011, Hindus are already a minority in 8 states in India, but they are denied any rights of minorities – Meghalaya, Nagaland, Lakshadweep, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Manipur, and Jammu & Kashmir. In these states, all the benefits meant for minorities are siphoned off to the religions which are actually in majority.

The National Commission for Minority Act 1992 came into force on May 17, 1993. It extends to the whole of India except J&K. The Central Government through a notification dated October 23, 1993, notified five communities viz. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis as ‘minority’ community.

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A public interest litigation was filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, asking for Hindus to be notified as minority community in eight states and given their legitimate benefits.

“The Union Government offered 20,000 scholarships in field of technical education for minority students. In J&K, Muslims are 68.30% and government allotted 717 out of 753 scholarships to Muslim students, but none to Hindu students citing Notification on Minority Communities dated 23.10.1993 which declares Muslim’s as minority, but not the Hindus.”

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This petition was denied by the Supreme Court, stating that the issue needs to be resolved by the National Commission for Minority. Thus, the issue was mothballed.

Percentage of Hindus in India
Percentage of Hindus in India. Source: Wikimedia Commons
PS: This map omits to include Kashmir, which is constitutionally incorrect and points at the very problem discussed; but we have added it as representative.

It can no longer be ignored that Hindus are fast becoming a minority due to forced conversions, Jihad and other means, legal and illegal, which are progressing unchecked. These phenomena remain hidden from mainstream media and reportage by design. The logic & reason behind the changing numbers is as important as the numbers themselves!

Declining numbers and growth rate of Hindus
Declining numbers and growth rate of Hindus. Source: Wikipedia

The given numbers are from 2001 census (on the map) and up to 2011 census in the table. What is important to note is that even the most recent data available is 9 yrs old. Much has changed in 9 yrs. Unless we have this data, it is impossible to even determine fairly how many states are clocking low number of Hindus already.

Many massacres and genocides of Hindus have altered the demography of the country irreparably, and current phenomenon like love jihad, terrorism from Islamic extremists, mass conversions continue to affect the demography silently. This is a growing concern because it points to the fact that India is no longer a safe haven for Hindus, unlike what it is believed to be, unless political and legal reforms check the pace of progress of methods altering the religious demography urgently.

By 2050, India will be Home to Maximum Number of Muslims

Comparative study of growth of religions in India. Source: Pew Research Center
Comparative study of growth of religions in India. Source: Pew Research Center

While it is encouraging that the projections by the Pew Research Center state that Hindus will continue to remain in highest percentage – 94% of the world – in India, what is alarming is the fact that India is also projected to be home to the largest number of Muslims in the world by 2050.

India is expected to have 311 million Muslims, 11% of the global total, by 2050.

The Muslim community is projected to expand faster than Hindus. While India might be home to the largest number of Hindus, it is discouraging to note that the growth in number of Hindus is merely due to an overall increase in the population of the country as a whole, and the trend of percentage of Hindus vis-a-vis other religions is not expected to show much change. The percentage of Hindus in India is expected to remain at 76.7%.

“Muslims are expected to grow faster than Hindus because they have the youngest median age and the highest fertility rates among major religious groups in India. In 2010, the median age of Indian Muslims was 22, compared with 26 for Hindus and 28 for Christians. Likewise, Muslim women have an average of 3.2 children per woman, compared with 2.5 for Hindus and 2.3 for Christians.”

Pew Research Center
Percentage change in population of different religions in India. Source: Pew Research Center
Percentage change in population of different religions in India. Source: Pew Research Center

Not much guess work is needed to understand how Islam will be growing so speedily in the coming years – Jihad.

“Muslims are projected to be the world’s fastest-growing major religious group in the decades ahead, as Pew Research Center has explained, and signs of this rapid growth already are visible. In the period between 2010 and 2015, births to Muslims made up an estimated 31% of all babies born around the world – far exceeding the Muslim share of people of all ages in 2015 (24%).”

Pew Research Center

What is even more interesting is, that this growth rate of Muslims is consistent with the statistics and projections on a global level. So, it would be fair to say that the means and methods by which the population of Muslims is increasing is consistent on a global level. That extremism is a part of the fundamental ideology of Islam is already established incontrovertibly. But that high reproduction rate is a part of this religious fundamentalism, is unknown to many. In many countries, including India, Muslims are allowed to marry more than one women, and have several children!

“Worldwide, the Hindu population is projected to rise by 34%, from a little over 1 billion to nearly 1.4 billion, roughly keeping pace with overall population growth.”

Pew Research Center

Hindus Worldwide Show Growth

While Hindus continue to move away from Hinduism in India, there is a growing trend of embracing Hinduism on a global scale. USA makes up for the 8th largest home to Hindus worldwide, with Hindus making up for 5.8% of the population.

But these numbers can be deceptive, as a growing number of Americans have started to believe in the core concepts of Hinduism – namely, the theory of karma and reincarnation, unique to all religions growing from Hinduism – a startling 24%

According to data released by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2009 survey), not only do a quarter of Americans believe in reincarnation, but 24 percent of American Christians expressed a belief in reincarnation. This represents a significant deviation from the traditional Judaeo-Christian narrative with which most Americans in the baby-boomer generation grew up. You were born. You lived. You died. And after a judgment you went to heaven or hell forever.

America: The Jesuit Review
Sentiment towards Hinduism grows warmer in Americans
Sentiment towards Hinduism grows warmer in Americans

Currently, Hindu-Americans hold the highest education levels among all religious communities in the United States. This trend is consistent with statistics for the rest of the world.

Does India Need Reforms?

The question crops up – does India need reforms to sustain the growth and safe residence of Hindus in its borders? The answer is an unequivocal “Yes,” if we go by the statistics and projections. The percentage of growth of Hindus in India is slowing; Hindus are becoming a religious minority in several states – but have no minority rights in those states; global interest in Hinduism is growing.

If there was ever a time to reform the Constitution and legal framework to allow religious freedom and safety to Hindus, that time was yesterday. The second best time is now.

References:

Census Data 2001

Wikipedia – Hinduism in United States

Wikipedia – Hinduism in India

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

By 2050, India to have world’s largest populations of Hindus and Muslims | Pew Research Center

The Changing Global Religious Landscape | Pew Research Center

The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050 | Pew Research Center

World Population Review

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SC declines plea to declare Hindus as minority in eight states

25 percent of US Christians believe in reincarnation. What’s wrong with this picture? | America: The Jesuit Review

Educational Attainment of Religious Groups by Country | Pew Research Center

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