'Concentration of minorities a cause for concern'

Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary B L Santosh interacts with the audience on the second day of Mangaluru Lit Fest organised at Dr T M A Pai International Convention Centre in Mangaluru on Saturday.

Bharatiya Janata Party National General Secretary B L Santosh said concentration and not the numbers of the minority population in certain parts of the country was a cause for concern.

“The government and society have to take the issue seriously and address the same,” he said while interacting with journalist Ajith Hanumakkanavar on “Demography-dividend or danger” during the second day of Mangaluru Lit Fest organised at Dr T M A Pai International Convention Centre on Saturday.

Santosh was responding to a query on religious demography in the coming decades. While South India forms less than 30% of India’s total geographic area, more than 50% of the Christian population is concentrated in four states: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Another 37% was concentrated in the North East.

Similarly, the Muslim population in Karnataka and Kerala, if considered, the concentration from Mangaluru to North Kerala is totally different from the rest of the areas of these states. He said 81% of Tamil Nadu’s Christian population is concentrated in Kanyakumari, Nagapattinam and Cadallore districts.

“It is not the number that is worrying, it is the concentration and the spread that worries. Any aspect in society, if more concentrated, would be a cause for worry,” he asserted.

If there is a demand for a separate North Malabar state in Kerala by Muslim Youth League with a map and flag, that is because of Muslim concentration. They got a separate Mallapuram district but cannot get a new state. Across the country, the numbers are neither alarming nor dangerous.

There is nothing radical or communalistic while raising this issue, Santosh said adding forces branding people communal are still sizable in the country.

On the differences between indigenous religions and non-indigenous religions, he said indigenous religions, including Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism among others never said “Only I’m right,” but said, “I’m also right.”

They also did not resort to violence to spread religion; indigenous religions are based on logic and thought process. Violence was not employed to further logic. But when violence or inducement is employed to further any religion, one has to worry because religion in India is based on faith, he said.

Santosh also blamed commercialisation of health and education as root-cause of all problems in society.

“The government is addressing the problem of commercialisation of education and health in a phased manner,” he stressed.

To another query, he said that population explosion and lack of skilled people were contributing to increasing unemployment.

“Reduction in population and getting more people to undergo skill training will reduce unemployment,” he added.

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