Think tank debunks fear over rise of Muslims

Think tank debunks fear over rise of Muslims

At a time when right-wing organisations are crying hoarse about a “rapid increase” in Muslim population, a private think tank on population issues sought to debunk such an analysis, saying fertility rates among all major religions are declining, with Muslims showing the highest fall.

Citing Census and other government data, the Population Foundation of India has said the population growth rates have declined for all religions in India over the past decade and the decadal growth rate among Muslims has been the lowest ever.

The PFI said it is important to note that fertility for a religion varies substantially across states. “Fertility among Hindus of UP is higher than that of Hindus of Tamil Nadu and the same holds true for Muslims. Census data shows that growth rate varies among states. Southern states, especially Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have low population growth rates, whereas the north central states have been growing at a high rate,” it said.

“Also, the process of fertility decline in both Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh is not confined to any specific social group. This suggests that there is no ‘Hindu fertility’ or ‘Muslim fertility’ or ‘Christian fertility’ as such,” the non-profit organisation, founded by J R D Tata among others, said.  

The figures released earlier this week showed that the proportion of Muslims has risen marginally from 13.43 per cent to 14.22 per cent while that of Hindus declined to 79.79 per cent from 80.45 per cent. BJP MP Yogi Adiyanath and the VHP had termed the increase in Muslim’s share a “dangerous trend”, and claimed the higher fertility rate in the minority community will cause a “dangerous demographic imbalance”. 

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