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Monday, May 23, 2022

Letters to the Editor: Plural India

The census data underscores the fact that the only community to grow at more than the usual rate was the Muslim community.


Updated: August 28, 2015 12:00:27 am

After the religion-based Census 2011 data showed that Muslims are the fastest growing minority in India, most English-language editorials were panicky, fearing that there could be mischief-makers misinterpreting the data (‘Hindus dip below 80% of population; Muslim share up, slows down’, August 26). They need not fear. The census data underscores the fact that the only community to grow at more than the usual rate was the Muslim community. The UPA had set up the Sachar Committee to study the socio-economic status of Muslims, which had confirmed the widely perceived impression that the community was relatively poor and neglected. Now, public data reflects that fact. The positive interpretation is that Muslims are flourishing in India, and at 17.2 crore, the community is bigger than in other countries, except in Pakistan and Indonesia. The census data is an eloquent testimony to the multi-religious society India is.

– J.S. Acharya, Hyderabad

The Census data on religion is proving unpopular. But one has to look at the positive side. That the rate of population growth has declined by 4 per cent in 2001-11 is heartening. There can be no better news than the possible stabilisation of India’s burgeoning population. The usual doubting Thomases have questioned the timing of the report, with the Bihar elections looming large. However, the data had to be released at some point. After all, in a democracy, polls and bypolls are the rule rather than an aberration. If the timing is indeed questionable, then the government should stop releasing religious population data.

– Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

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