Saturday, March 14, 2009

Demographic Changes in Bengal - Hindu Genocide and Another partition

1951 – Bengal population – 66743 (in 000s) (West Bengal and Bangladesh)

Hindu – 43% - 28701

Muslim – 37052 – 55.51%

2001 – Bengal Population – 204027 (in 000s) (West Bengal and Bangladesh)

Hindu – 69484 – 34.56%

Muslim – 64.36%

This is the state of Bengal. The demography of the Bengal region of South Asia is drastically changing. In 5 decades, the Hindu population has come down from 43% to 34.56%. In Bangladesh, the Hindu community has dwindled from 22% in 1951 to 9.2 % in 2001. If all these Hindus had come to India, then we would expect an increase in the proportion of Hindu population of West Bengal. But the opposite has occurred here. The Hindu population of West Bengal has fallen from 78.45% to 72.47%. How could this happen?

We may assume that the Hindu growth rate is very low. But even that cannot explain the fall of Hindu population in West Bengal if we assume that all the ‘missing’ Hindus of Bangladesh did come to West Bengal. 10% of East Bengal population is more than enough to make up for any lower growth rate among the Hindus.

Yes, the 0-6 year population data shows that Muslims do have higher fertility rates. The proportion of children (0-6 years) among the Hindu population is 12.69% while that among the Muslims is 18.7%. But can it completely account for the fall in the proportion of Hindu population in West Bengal if we add the Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants? The answer is ‘NO’.

A simple calculation shows it all. The Hindu population in West Bengal was 78% in 1951 while in Bangladesh it was 22% (9239000). If we assume a conservative 22% average growth rate per decade for the entire Hindu population, it comes to 77,570,000 for the entire Bengal. But we lack about 8 million Hindus who are unaccounted for. The Bangladeshi Hindus must number around 24,970,000. They currently number around 11,379,000. If all the other Hindus had migrated to India, the Hindu population of West Bengal should have gone up by at least 11 million (assuming that 2 million could have gone to other states like Assam and Tripura). Add with it the growth of the Hindu population of West Bengal which must have reached 52,600,000. The Hindu Population in West Bengal should be around 63 – 64 millions. But it is only 58 millions. So we find that some 6 million Hindus are definitely missing. Where did they go? Please remember that this number is a very conservative estimate. The actual growth rate could have been more than 22% per decade. Therefore, the actual number of missing Hindus could be far high. This definitely portrays the silent and continuing persecution of Hindus that is going on in Bangladesh. The Hindu population of Bangladesh shows less than 2% growth in a decade (1991 – 2001). This is not possible in a South Asian country especially in a place like Bangladesh where literacy levels low. The only explanation is that the Hindus are either emigrating out of Bangladesh or they are being killed in a ‘long and silent’ genocide.

The comparison of Hindu and Muslim populations of Bengal during 1991 – 2001 proves that the persecution of Hindus is a continuing phenomenon in Bangladesh. The Hindu population of W. Bengal grew by 14% while that of Bangladesh grew by 1.79%. We saw that the proportion of Hindu population in 0-6 year age is 12%. Hence, the 14% growth rate of Hindu population in West Bengal appears completely internal. If so, what happened to the Hindus of Bangladesh? Their growth rate must have been at least 12% even if we consider their growth rate to be as low as that of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Their population should have increased by 1.2 millions in terms of absolute figures. But the actual increase is 0.2 million. What happened to the rest 1 million? If they emigrated out of their homeland, why did they do so? We are not speaking about internal migration within a country. A million people have emigrated out of their nation to the neighbouring nation. That this emigration was that of a particular community and that proportionate emigration of the majority community has not occurred shows clear evidence of persecution. We saw earlier that several million Hindus must have been killed in Bangladesh. How many of them were killed in the past decade? How many of these 1 million Hindus were killed by the Muslim extremists. Even 1% of them amounts to 10,000 individuals. 1 million Hindus means about 10% of the Hindu minority population in Bangladesh – about 1 % of the country’s population. If some 10 million Muslims had emigrated out of the country in a decade due to persecution, what would be the world’s reaction?

Why, even in India, there will be a huge political outcry over such issue. But no such thing has happened in the case of the Bangladeshi Hindus. No huge emigration of Muslims out of Gujarat occurred after the 2002 riots. We are still 'debating' about the riots in the media. Why is it that we are not seeing any such importance attached to the Hindu genocide in our neighbourhood. Is it that our media and politicians do not consider Hindu lives to be important? Whatever happened to the United Nations or the human rights guardian of the world, the USA, who intervened in Kosovo? Either they do not know about the issue due to lack of publicity or they do not care about the 'brown-skinned' people. I fervently hope that it is the former. For if the latter exists in the 21st century, it shows a bleak future for the humanity as a whole.

Also, one of the major threats facing West Bengal is the illegal immigration of Bangladeshi Muslims into West Bengal. This phenomenon is proved by the considerable high growth rates of Muslim population in West Bengal to interior districts of India. While the difference in growth rates of Hindu and Muslim population of India shows about 50% higher growth among the Muslims, in many districts of West Bengal, it is as high as or more than 100% (Malda, Darjeeling, Bankura, Purulia, Howrah, Kolkatta and South 24 Parganas). The argument that such an increase is completely explained by lack of family planning among Muslims is utter nonsense. Family planning is not practiced by the majority Muslims throughout India. But at the national level, Muslim population grows at a rate which is 50% higher than that of the Hindu population. In Darjeeling, the Muslim population has increased by more than 1200% in the 5 decades compared to 240% for the Hindus. These numbers clearly indicate the infiltration of Bangladeshi Muslims into India.

The Bengali demography, as a whole, is changing significantly. The Hindus in the eastern part of South Asia are losing out in the population race due to high fertility among the Muslims and the various genocides orchestrated against the Hindus in Bangladesh. This is a dangerous situation for the Hindus. Not only are the Hindus losing their ground in Bangladesh but they are losing out in West Bengal as well. Already the border areas have become Muslim majority and as such, an ‘extension’ of Bangladesh. The Hindu minority is forced to live in constant fear in these areas. Can we be sure that the same ‘pogroms’ which have occurred in Bangladesh will not occur in West Bengal as well? Won’t the Muslim orthodoxy ‘love’ to treat the Hindus of West Bengal in the same way they ‘treat’ the Hindus of Bangladesh?

We must remember that India was formed as a ‘Hindu nation’. The Congress party which announced the country as a ‘secular nation’ did lobby for Junagadh as it was a Hindu majority region. Similar was the case with Hyderabad. Thus, even though we may have a ‘secular’ government, the character of the nation is entirely ‘Hindu’. For that is how this nation was formed. Those people who call for separatism from India are basically anti-Hindu or minorities (anti-Hindu Dravidian activists of Tamil Nadu before the 1960s, NSCN supported by the Baptist Church of Nagaland, Muslim organisations of Kashmir, erstwhile Christian Mizo separatists etc). The only exception is ULFA in Assam but the ULFA has ‘Assamese identity’ as its character. It lost support among the Assamese once it targeted the migrant Hindus in Assam. The reason for the Assamese uprising was the rising threat of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants who are changing the demographic structure of the state.

Whether we accept it or not, the one thread that is binding this huge nation of diverse languages and culture. It is the thread running through the pearls of the necklace. The weakening of this thread is not good for the nation. I feel a second partition clouding the nation. The border districts surrounding Bangladesh are particularly vulnerable. The changing demography in these areas is creating a ‘greater Bangladesh’. If this is not a threat to the country’s security, I wonder what else could be.

The best way to safeguard India’s interests will be to seal the Indo-Bangladesh borders. Also, ensure that family planning is made compulsory through direct and indirect interventions. The government could propose a tax on the families which give birth to more than 2 children. All necessary steps have to be taken to curtail this dangerous time-bomb. The population of West Bengal must not be seen alone. One must include the population of Bangladesh as well to determine the actual situation. There is an across the board fall in the proportion of Hindu population as it was shown earlier. That the situation is very bad for the Hindus in Bangladesh is proved by the very low decadal growth rates of the Hindu population in Bangladesh. The Indian government will do well to provide a safe haven for the Hindu refugees from Bangladesh.

We have already lost more than 5 million Bengali Hindu lives at the hands of Islamic fundamentalism and intolerance. If we do not wake up and take care of our brothers and sisters, we will be unfit call ourselves ‘humans’ any longer.

2 comments:

Tapas kr majumder said...

Dearsir,
your artical help me to know the present situation of hindu community in West Bengal
T.K Majumder

hell said...

hindus have suffered a lot, so let us vow to kill the throat of the person who stare to us in the eye, even if it means becoming barbaric.

lets save hindus
from central asia, afghanistan pak,kashmir bangla
where will hindus go
in the sea
lets do what muslim want
sword for sword

vande matram
jai hind