Survey Report Revealing Decline in Hindu Population and Increase in Minorities Amidst General Elections Raises Validity Concerns

According to experts, such a survey is not authentic because this type of survey is conducted under the National Family Health Survey, which is under the Census Act. This has come to light when PM Modi himself is making various statements regarding minorities and the Muslim community.
According to the survey report of PM Economic Advisory Council, the population of minorities has increased in the last 65 years.
According to the survey report of PM Economic Advisory Council, the population of minorities has increased in the last 65 years.Graphic- The Mooknayak

New Delhi- The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister recently unveiled its survey report titled “Share of Religious Minorities: A Cross-Country Analysis (1950-2015),” revealing a significant increase in the population of minorities alongside a decline in the population of majority Hindus. This report emerged amidst the backdrop of ongoing Lok Sabha elections in the nation, with three phases of the seven-phase electoral process already completed.

Beyond the electoral context, the release of this survey report coincides with a period marked by the Prime Minister's statements concerning minorities and the Muslim community. Consequently, it has sparked discussions on religion-based reservations and related socio-political dynamics across the country.

According to the report, there has been a notable decline of 7.82 percent in the Hindu population since independence. In contrast, the population of minority communities such as Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and Buddhists has witnessed an increase between 1950 and 2015.

The report further highlights a significant decline in the share of Hindus over the 65-year period, from 1950 to 2015. Specifically, the Hindu population has decreased by 8 percent during this timeframe. In comparison, countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh have experienced a rapid increase in the share of majority Muslims in their populations over the same period.

Additionally, the report indicates a decrease in the share of Jains and Parsis within the country's population during this period.

To gain insights into the significance of the survey report released by the Economic Advisory Council (EAC), The Mooknayak consulted Professor Faizan Mustafa, Vice Chancellor of Chanakya National Law University, Patna.

Mustafa elucidated that such surveys are typically conducted under the Census Act, emphasizing the authenticity of the data collected. He noted that apart from the National Family Survey, few other surveys boast similar credibility in terms of census data, especially regarding caste demographics.

According to Mustafa, the National Family Health Survey conducts a robust and authentic census of castes under the Census Act. He suggested that while other survey reports exist, their credibility might not match that of the National Family Health Survey.

On the other hand, Aslam Saada, a representative of an Urdu newspaper in Uttar Pradesh, viewed the matter through a political lens. He dismissed the relevance of discussing such data at the present time, attributing demographic variations to factors like educational levels within communities.

Saada stressed that disparities in population growth do not necessarily indicate a decline in the Hindu population or an increase in minorities.

Saada further opined that raising these issues currently serves a political agenda, particularly aiming to provoke the majority community.

He expressed concerns about the statements made by the Prime Minister and suggested that amidst concerns about livelihoods, people prioritize peaceful coexistence over political and religious considerations. "Where there is an issue of minorities, people just want to earn their livelihood. They are neither worried about jobs nor about politics. They want to do their work peacefully and live respectfully," he added.

Population Increase as per Survey Report:

The survey report highlights significant shifts in population demographics. Between 1950 and 2015, the Muslim population surged from 9.84% to 14.09%. Conversely, the Hindu population witnessed a decline from 84.68% to 78.06% during the same period.

The report suggests that India has experienced one of the most substantial decreases in Hindu population, surpassed only by Myanmar. Notably, Myanmar also recorded a notable decline of 10% in its Hindu population, marking the highest decrease among the 167 countries surveyed.

Decrease in Jain and Parsi Population:

The report highlights a notable decline in the share of the Jain community in India, dropping from 0.45% to 0.36% over a span of 65 years. Similarly, the Parsi population witnessed a significant decrease, plummeting from 0.03% to 0.004% during the same period.

In contrast, the Christian population experienced a modest increase from 2.24% to 2.36% over six decades. Additionally, the Sikh population's share rose from 1.24% to 1.85%, while the Buddhist population saw a notable surge from 0.05% to 0.81%.

The Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Committee conducted its study across a total of 167 countries, shedding light on these demographic trends.

About the PM's Economic Advisory Council:

The Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) serves as an independent advisory body tasked with providing guidance to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister, on economic and related matters.

Presently, the EAC-PM comprises esteemed members such as Dr. Bibek Debroy (Chairman), Sanjeev Sanyal (Member), Dr. Shamika Ravi (Member), Rakesh Mohan (Part-Time Member), Dr. Sajid Chinoy (Part-Time Member), Dr. Neelkanth Mishra (Part-Time Member), Nilesh Shah (Part-Time Member), Professor T.T. Ram Mohan (Part-Time Member), and Dr. Poonam Gupta (Part-Time Member).

The council's terms of reference encompass the analysis and advice on any issue, economic or otherwise, referred by the Prime Minister. It addresses macroeconomic concerns and presents its views to the Prime Minister, either proactively or in response to requests. Additionally, the EAC-PM undertakes any other tasks assigned by the Prime Minister as necessary.

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