India: Lies, Half Truths and Statistics:
The Fine Art of Demonisation as Political Demography

by John Dayal

[4 July 2003]

AP Joshi, MD Srinivas and JK Bajaj are gentlemen of great honesty. They are
at least as honest as Lal Krishna Advani, the Deputy Prime Minister of India
who writes a rare preface for their book "Religious Demography of India,"
published by a rarely heard of Centre for Policy Studies, Chennai, but
generously funded by the very well known Indian Council for Social Science
Research, of the Ministry of Human Resource Development, New Delhi. I hold
it of little consequence - but of passing humour - that the massive book,
all of 380 pages, has been typeset by Ram's Creative Chambers, also in

They are all honest, and honourable, men for they keep no one in any doubt
as to what they have set about to do. The book, written in the alien and
colonial English language is dated Vasanth Panchami, Kali (yug) 5104,
corresponding to Anno Domini 6 February 2003. Artlessly, they dedicate their
tome to Shri Ram Swarupji, doyen of Christian-baiters and path finder of
re-interpreting other people's holy books, a course of study which later
would find such scholars as Arun Shourie (Worshipping False Gods, among
others), and the more recent Balbir Punj. Advani, former journalist and
savant leader of the Corps of Vigilantes against Aliens, appropriately
writes the Foreword, quoting (see accompanying box) Nineteenth century
Frenchman Augustus Comte, but his foreboding against alien takeover rooted
firmly in the rich tradition of Twentieth century philosopher-king Adolph of
Bavaria-Deutschland (Germany, in English).

There is a strong move in the United Kingdom of Great Brit ain and North
Ireland that Charles Windsor, currently prince of Wales, give up the
Christian title of Defender of the Faith as and when - and if - he succeeds
Queen Elizabeth II as Rex, because the British isles of today is such a
cosmopolitan and healthy mixture of races and religions, languages, accents,
customs and hair styles as to make that title not only redundant but
positively out of touch with reality. Charles, aesthete, rule breaker and
outspoken, has apparently agreed enthusiastically, and is quite toying with
the idea of taking this to its logical conclusion. Even the most royalist of
the gutter press see it as inevitable after one of the biggest Hindu temples
came up in the Island some decades ago, and chicken-tikka curry became the
national solid food.

England shares much with our very own Gujarat. Both have strong sailing
traditions - they can be said to have mutually 'discovered' each other.
Ocean crossing Gujaratis who went to Africa to get rich quick thought it
proper to come not to Gujarat but to the UK when the Idi Amins of the world
made Africa unpleasant for them and their businesses. The Desais are present
today in the House of Lords, and take up a serious proportion of the
telephone book. Gujarat and England also share other history - Mohandas
Karamchand Gandhi, for instance, and the manufacture of fine cotton cloth on
powered looms in large mills.

That is where the resemblance ends. In Gujarat, or for some of its leaders
and policy makers, aliens are those who are not our identical twins, not
just to be ignored and shunned, but to be demonized as the ultimate 'them',
hated and targeted as fit for the knife, the mallet, the bullet and the
torch. The first casualty in the great sacrifice of truth is the exactitude
and veracity of mathematics, as applied to human geography, demography and,
in political terms, the fine art of electoral arithmetic.

Narendra Modi, then still fresh out of his Swayamsevak Sanchalak mode,
ensured his continuance and canonization as Chief Minister by repeating a
gutter phrase Hum Paanch Hamare Pachees (we are five - husband and four
wives, and we have twenty-five children, five per wife), perpetuating a M
myth that defies both logic and time. If this data were fed into a modern
laptop, and extrapolated, it would be natural to expect that India's Muslim
population is made up of 20 per cent males and Eighty per cent female - how
else would they produce the four girls required to be brides of the
neighbour's son. Even in his worst nightmare, or dream, neither Modi nor
Praveen Togadia, his accompanist, would say that such a male utopia or
bahisht, exists in India or even in Pakistan, the homeland, according to
them, of all Indian Muslims.

The slogan however caught on. Civil society watched in horror as god
fearing, and sensible Hindus, made a beeline to the polling booths to vote
for Modi. It was a landslide, riding on the greased substrata of hate, and
fear, paranoia and Freudian complexes rooted deep in psyches that had been
made receptive by hearsay and mythology, fact, half truths and fiction all
the way from pre history to the Partition.

No one can possible hold against such forces unleashed with the precision of
a WMD, weapon of mass destruction. Not, certainly, people such as Prof KS
Singh, who in his mammoth and epochal Peoples of India Project for the
Anthropological Survey of India had conclusively exploded many such myths.
Who consumes the most alcohol? Where does bigamy, or polygamy exist, and who
all are non vegetarians. Stereotypes vanished under the force of data. It
was not Christians who consumed the most alcohol. And no, it was not just
Muslims who married the most women.

My friend Prof Ram Puniyani wrote a fine piece exploring the political
psychology behind the Hum Panch Hamare Pachees slogan and its success. Said
Ram, "One of the major factors in perpetuation of communal violence is the
doctoring of the mass consciousness. The social common sense is manufactured
in such a way that the targeted community is made to appear as the culprit.
The classic case of' Victim as Culprit'. And that's how so many myths
percolate about the minorities. Apart from the Historical myths the one's
related to demographics are playing a dangerous role in the demonisation of
Muslims in particular.

"In a way what Modi said is nothing new as far as social common sense is
concerned. Modi's statement during his Gaurav Yatra about Muslims, "We are
five and we will have 25 offspring's.... For this, we have to teach a lesson
to those who are increasing the population at an alarming rate.", has been
resented even by the BJP top brass who at deeper level believe that what
Modi said is true, it is this propagation, which has been done by communal
outfits actively most of the time. And also these are the types of
propagations, which are actively spread by the members of the progeny of
RSS, the Sangh Parivar.

"The census surveys by religion totally negate this firmly held popular
belief. Religion is one of the markers used in these surveys. As per 1971
survey Hindus constituted 82.7% and Muslims 11.2% of the population. The
corresponding figures for 1991 census are Hindus 82.6% and Muslims 11.4%.
(Malayalam Manorama, 1992). The marginal difference in the growth pattern
has more to do with socio-economic factors rather than the religious ones.
Over all, this statistics shows a reasonably 'stable' (religion wise)
population. That apart, even if the current differentials persist, it is not
only unlikely, but also impossible for Muslim population to overtake the
Hindu population for the next century or so. On the contrary if the
prevailing growth rates are analyzed, it will be clear that between 1961-71
and 1971-81, Hindu population increase went up from 23.71 to 24.42, while
between the same periods Muslim population increase went down from 30.85 to
30.20. If these rate of growths are frozen at same level hundred years from
1981, Hindus and Muslims will record a decadal growth rate of 30.71 and
30.55 respectively i.e. growth rates of Hindus will be higher.

"Similarly what about four wives to the Muslim male. Is it possible at all?
On first count it is immaterial whether a man is having one or more wives as
the total number of children depends on the number of women, which does not
get influenced by polygamy. If at all, this number of women has more to do
with the prevalence of social practice of female infanticide and 'bride
burnings' in the areas where the practice of extortion by parents of 'grooms
' called dowry is prevalent. Secondly, the male/female ratio cannot permit
the 'luxury' of four wives to the Muslim males unless three-fourths (75%) of
them go without marriage. As per 1981 census the male/female ratio for
Muslims was 1.068 and for Hindus 1.072 i.e. for every 1000 Muslim females
there are 1068 Muslim males. One has to conceive of gigantic mental
acrobatics, in the light of these statistics, to believe that all Muslim
males can have four wives.

As such a slightly earlier but relevant statistics of polygamy (1961census
report) totally smashes the myth of Muslim polygamy; unless the social
trends have worsened drastically, which obviously have not. As per this the
incidence of polygamy is highest among the Adivasis (15.25) followed by
Buddhists (7.9), Jains (6.72) Hindus (5.80) and lo behold, followed by
Muslims (5.70). Research carried out by Mallika B. Mistry of Gokhle
Institute of Pune, concludes "there is no evidence that the percentage of
polygamous marriage (among Muslims) is larger than for Hindus". A comparison
of nuptiality patterns for Hindus and Muslims shows great similarity, the
incidence of polygamy has been declining among both Hindus and Muslims.

"It will be interesting to draw the religion based fertility patterns. These
patterns differ within Muslim community itself, they vary from region to
region as per the socio-economic and educational levels of the community
concerned. Those in the better socio-economic and educational ladder have
lesser population increase, while those on the lower rungs of socio-economic
educational ladder have higher rate of population growth. This conforms to
regional, urban and rural distribution as well. Birth rate in Malabar region
of Kerala, whose Muslim population is 40%, is significantly lower than those
in Uttar Pradesh with a Muslim population of 15%. The contrasting case is
that of Kashmir, a Muslim majority state. Here the Fertility rate of Hindus
is almost twice that of Muslims. Here again the birth rate was lower
31.4(per thousand) than in U.P (36.5), MP 36.4, Bihar 34.8 and Rajasthan

"We have to realize that the overall rate of population increase in
educationally and socially advanced states like Kerala, Tamil Nadu and
Karnataka, is overall lower, both for Muslims and Hindus, compared to the
rest of the country. Also let us have a look at Urban rural divide. More
than on third of the Muslim community is concentrated in the peripheral and
decaying areas of urban economic life. Incidence of urban poverty is higher
among them by 17% (Vis a Vis Hindus). The number of Muslims living below
poverty line is close to 65%. They are generally living in older areas of
modern cities, which are well known for poor sanitation, lack of health
facilities and basic amenities. On the top of this the repeated outburst of
communal violence against them is 'ghettoising' them with the result that
improvement in their lot is becoming more and more difficult."

Before coming to the book so highly praised by Advani, I would like to quote
from Kaleem Kawaja writings on Gujarat. "A look at the demographic map of
Gujarat shows that in Gujarat, where Muslims comprise 9 % of the overall
population, they are less than 10% of the population in the 12 districts
where they faced major violence and harassment. In all other such districts
Muslims did not suffer much violence. The history of 55 years of grievous
anti-Muslim violence in India shows that in townships and villages, where
Muslims are 20% or more of the population, not much harm happens to them in
communal riots. Muslims were always able to defend their lives and
properties. In the horrible 1992/93 anti-Muslim riots in Mumbai, Muslims
were safe in Muslim pocket localities like Mahim, Bandra, Mohammad Ali Road,
Bhindi Bazaar, but over a thousand Muslims were killed in localities where
their population was sparse.

"For 55 years an overwhelming majority of enlightened Muslims in countless
cities in India have tried their best to integrate with the Hindus. To do
that, all those Muslims who could afford the price tags of houses in new
suburbs, moved out of Muslim majority localities and settled down in
localities where their numbers were very small. But as we saw recently in
the gory violence in the Gulmohar society in Ahmedabad, where former Member
of Parliament Ahsan Jafri and his family were burnt alive, Muslims' taking
such high level personal risks for the sake of integration, has brought doom
to them."

And what happens when the State believers in the myths, too. Purnima S.
Tripathi writing in the Asian Age highlighted a proposal by the then Uttar
Pradesh government, which had brought about the controversial legislation
banning construction of religious places without prior permission, of the
state authorities, a new population policy targeting specific groups and
communities which have a higher rate of growth of population. Purnima quoted
Chief Minister RP Gupta saying "There are groups and communities which feel
that if they go on increasing their number they will capture power one day.
Such a way of thinking has to be disincentivised." The "disincentive," to
begin with, means debarring those having more than two children from
contesting panchayat elections, he said.

Union home minister Lal Krishna Advani, whose pet project is to launch a
national identity card to cleanse New Delhi of illegal aliens (Bengali
speaking Muslims, perhaps many of them refugees from Bangladesh)
understandably, is elated in the work of AP Joshi, MD Srinivas and JK Baja,
financed by his colleague Murli Manohar Joshi. In his foreword, Advani said
"Though several other factors do indeed matter, yet growth and decline of
populations and changes in the relative balance between various groups
within the rise and fall of nations and even civilisations. That is why
active and alert societies, especially of the modern times, keep a keen eye
on the changing demographic trends within themselves as well as everywhere
else in the world. Such keen observation of demographic trends is
particularly important for India today because of several reasons. First,
knowing, predicting and controlling the social and economic pressures
created by our changing demographic patterns is essential for the successful
completion of the noble task of nation-building that we have been engaged in
since Independence. Second, we are surrounded by some of the most
multitudinous and fast growing societies and nations of the world; knowing
the changing demographic patterns there is essential for us to make informed
judgments about the strategic pressures India is likely to face within its
neighbourhood in the near future.

"Finally, for more than a millennium now, India has been host to some of the
greatest, most vigorous and expansive religions of the world. This
circumstance has endowed India with a rich diversity; but it has also given
rise to some of the most acute strategic, political and administrative
problems that the Indian nation has had to face in the past and continues to
face till today. Rigorous and continuous observation and analysis of the
changing demography of different religious groups in various regions of the
country is therefore of paramount importance in maintaining the integrity of
our borders, and peace, harmony and public order within the country."

Advani just stopped short of saying that he saw Islam and Christianity, and
Muslims and Christians as dangers to India both as peoples and as

The authors have no such qualms.

They have gone out of the way to name the two communities. And they have
coined new terms and phrases alien to the sciences of cultural anthropology,
philosophy and religion to define and target these two.

One such term is "Indian religionists" versus Christian and Muslim
populations. This term has non set definition - which changes to suit he
argument. At one stage, it includes Hindus, Tribals, Sikhs, Jains, and
Buddhists. At another, Indian Religions include Zoroastrianism and Judaism
too! Parsees and Jews as Indian religionists to suit the India-Israel Axis
so loved by Advani, and not to alienate the top industrialists now sitting
cozily in the BJP lap!

The book would have been consigned to the dustbin, where it belongs, were it
not for the fact of Advani's foreword, and that the Organiser-Panchjanya
mouthpiece of the Rastriya Swayamsewak Sangh chose to use it as Gospel in
creaming cover stories that must have scared many a good Hindu that he or
she was about to be overwhelmed, kidnapped, raped and eliminated.

The half truths begin with the first words. In their introduction, the
threesome say "India is one of the only two regions of the world where a
great human civilization took birth several millennia ago and has survived
more or less uninterrupted to this day. The other is China.. Europe, America
and other areas of the world peopled by the Europeans, as also the Arab and
other West Asian lands, are indeed centers of great and vibrant human
civilizations that they represent are relatively new developments in human
history." Egypt, which is Islamic but not Arab. Iran, which is Muslim Shia,
but not Arab and barring religion, continues as a civilization.

And China? Buddha was not born in China. Confucius was. So was Mao. But
today, China certainly ha a Buddhist flavour, decidedly so in Tibet and
other parts! And it mixes well with the past five thousand years.

They go on to say "India and China together have accounted for more than
half the population of the world at least from the beginning of the
Christian era to 1850. In the earlier centuries of the world; and Indians
outnumbered the Chinese up to at least 1500!"

The learned scholars add "The other timeless fact about India, besides the
extraordinary fertility of her lands and numerousness of her people, is the
homogeneity of her civilization and culture. This cultural homogeneity has
come under stress during the last two hundred years or so, basically under
the influence of modern ideologies that tend to look upon the homogeneity of
India as a source of oppression and backwardness. This ideological prejudice
manifests in the public life of India in the name of protection of
distinctive ways of live of religious minorities, especially those belonging
to Islam and Christianity. Such influences have led to Partition of India
into three separate political entities; religious heterogeneity of certain
parts of India formed the sole basis for this."

DD Kosambi and others pointed to the fact that even at the time of the
Buddha, more had a hundred nationalities lived in India. And Jainism and
Buddhism were born as a revolt against the Brahminical tyranny and minority
rule - over men and minds. The superficial cohesiveness contained in itself,
but could not hide, the subjugation of the untouchables, now politically
called Dalits to retrieve their human dignity.

The authors correctly say that the Indian census operations that began in
1871 classified the people of India according to their religious
affiliation. After Independence, cross-tabulation of data on religion was
discontinued, but basic date on religious affiliation has continued to be
collected. They forget to say that successive governments have reused to
divulge such data in detail, barring a superficial collective figure. The
census data forms the basis of their compilation and analysis.

The first chapter of the book looks at the growth of total population for
India as a whole, and for Indian Union, Pakistan and Bangladesh, separately,
and puts this growth in the context of the changing share of different
people in the population of the world. In the second chapter, they compile
and present their interpretation of the changing religious profile of the
populations of Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and of India encompassing
all three of these units. "Since this book is concerned mainly with the
heterogeneity introduced by Islam and Christianity, populations for the
purpose of this study are divided into three large groups: Muslims,
Christians, and the rest, who may be collectively termed as Indian

Liken their patrons in the Sangh, the authors are living in a dream land of
Vrihata Bharat, a Greater India. "Throughout our analysis, we employ the
term "India" for the geographical and historical India that encompasses the
three countries into which India was partitioned in this course of the
twentieth century."

There is something quaint in the political interpretations that the authors
seek from global census data. "From about the middle of the nineteenth to
the middle of the twentieth century was a period of great strain for most
non-European people of the world. During this period, the share of people of
European origin in the population of the world rose by about 10 percentage
points, while the share of other people correspondingly declined. In the
1930's, the share of European people in the population of the world reached
a peak of nearly 40 percent. By the middle of the twentieth century, most
non-European people of the world began to come out of the long period of
direct European rule. And with the coming of freedom, they began to
experience a great blossoming of their populations. In the latter half of
the twentieth century, the share of African and Asian populations in the
world rose sharply to largely neutralize the gains made by European people
during the previous hundred years or so. India also participated in this
great revival of non-European people. The share of people of Indian origin
thus rose to above 20 percent of the population of the world from about 16
percent in 1950." The population explosion as liberation from colonialism!

"The people of Indian origin thus have improved their share in the
population of the world considerably in the course of twentieth century,"
gloat the authors, if only to wail on the plight of the "Indian Religionists
amongst the Indians".

"The proportion of Indian Religionists in the population of India has
declined by 11 percentage points during the period of 110 years for which
census information is available. Indian Religionists formed 79.32 percent of
the population in 1881 and 68.03 percent in 1991. This is an extraordinarily
high decline to take place in just about a century; at the peak of Mughal
rule at the time of Akbar, after nearly four hundred years of Islamic
domination, the proportion of Muslims in India was said to be no more than
one-sixth of the population. If the trend of decline seen during 1881-1991
continues, then the proportion of Indian Religionists in India is likely to
fall below 50 percent early in the latter half of the twenty-first century."

Within Indian Union, they calculate the decline from 86.64 percent in 1901
to 85.09 percent in 1991. This is largely because there was an increase of
almost 3 percentage points in the proportion of Indian Religionists in
Indian Union between 1941 and 1951, as a result of the forced and violent
transfer of populations associated with Partition. Since 1951, the share of
Indian Religionists within Indian Union has declined by more than 2
percentage points.

They are at a loss to explain the rise in the population of non Muslims in
the Punjab, for instance. They say "In the areas that form Pakistan now, the
proportion of Indian Religionists rose considerably during the pre-Partition
period, from 15.93 percent in 1901 to 19.69 percent in 1951. This is the
only region of India, where Indian Religionists registered any gains in the
course of the twentieth century. Partition immediately negated these gains;
the proportion of Indian Religionists declined to 1.60 percent in 1951, and
has remained around that figure since then."

There is only so much that you can stretch the imagination. Faced with cold
data, the authors have to admit that the "decline in the proportion of
Indian Religionists within Indian Union has not been too remarkable, though
they have lost about 2 percentage points off their share since Independence
and Partition."

The game plan unfolds now. Not able to make political capital out of the
national data, they go into micro analysis. "The detailed district-wise data
analysed in the book shows that the decline - of Indian religionists - has
been fairly steep in certain geographically well-defined pockets of the
country, while in most parts Indian Religionists continue to hold sway.'

This is the classic language of the Sangh. The North East is becoming
Christian and will revolt from India. Muslims will take over other regions
in Bihar and Assam. "A very large part of Indian Union, comprising almost
all of the northwestern, western, central and southern states, has seen
little decline in the proportion of Indian Religionists."

Without data to support, they authors however make bold statements for, of
all place s, Uttar Pradesh from where the bulk of the migration had taken
place to Pakistan in 1947. "In the heartland and eastern regions of Indian
Union, comprising Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, however,
Indian Religionists are under great pressure. This region encompasses the
most fertile lands of India and accommodates about 37 percent of the
population in 1991 on about 19 percent of the geographic area of Indian
Union. Here, Indian Religionists have a share of only about 80 percent in
the population; and, they have suffered a decline of about 4 percentage
points in their share in the four decades between 1951 and 1991. The rest of
the population is formed mainly of Muslims, who have a share of nearly 19
percent in the population."

The alarm is sounded in 'research' which finds that "Muslims presence is
especially high in a northern border belt that starts from Bahraich district
of eastern Uttar Pradesh and moved through Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur and
Deoria districts of the state; to Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga,
Saharsa, Purnia and Santhal Pargana districts of Bihar; West Dinajpur,
Maldah, Birbhum and Murshidabad districts of West Bengal; and Goalpara,
Kamrup, Darrang and Nagaon districts of Assam. Muslims form about 28 percent
of the population of this border belt; their growth here has been high
enough to add almost 7 percentage points to their share of the population in
the four decades since Partition."

"Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Assam, and especially the border
areas of these states, thus constitute a region of high Muslim presence and
growth. The share of Indian Religionists in this region is under great
stress and is likely to remain so in the future; Indian Religionists have
already turned into a minority in several districts of the region."

They take a magnifying glass to the outskirts, so to say, of India to
discover asymmetry. "The third region of Indian Union comprising the extreme
border areas - including Jammu and Kashmir in the north, Goa and Kerala in
the West, Lakshadweep and Nicobar Islands off the Indian coast, and the
states of the northeast - where Indian Religionists do not have a dominating
presence ..

It is in Goa they find relief. "In Goa, Indian Religionists constitute about
two-thirds of the population; of the rest about 30 percent are Christians
and 5 percent Muslims. This is one of the rare states, where Indian
Religionists have considerably improved their share; the state seems likely
to acquire a religious profile similar to the neighbouring states of
Karnataka and Maharashtra in the near future."

Kerala is a different story. "Indian Religionists have been losing ground
throughout the twentieth century. They have a share of 57 percent in the
population in 1991; this is about 12 percentage points less than their share
in 1901. They have lost about 6 percentage points to Christians and about
the same to Muslims; the gains of Christians occurred largely during the
pre-Partition period of 1901-1941 and those of Muslims during the
post-Partition period of 1951-1991. This loss of about 12 percentage points
in the course of the twentieth century has occurred on top of the
substantial losses that Indian Religionists in Kerala suffered due to
large-scale conversions to Islam during the later part of eighteenth century
and to Christianity during the nineteenth. Thus in the course of the last
three centuries, Indian Religionists have comprehensively lost their
dominance in this coastal state. Lakshadweep Islands off the Kerala coast
have been predominantly Muslim throughout the twentieth century. Nicobar
Islands that form the southernmost outpost of India have turned almost 70
percent Christian in the recent past."

Like Advani and Kupahalli Sudershan of the RSS, the authors reserve the
punch for Nagaland the north east. They have no stories to tell of when the
Vaishnava invasions took place, or of the non-Hindu tribal religions that
flourished. But this they say "The most dramatic story of the twentieth
century is that of the northeastern states. In 1901, Indian Religionists
formed more than 90 percent of the population of these states, while
Christians formed less than 2 percent. In 1991 the proportion of Indian
Religionists Indian Religionists is reduced to less than 60 percent, while
that of Christians has risen to nearly 40 per cent. Most of this change has
occurred during the period of following Independence; in 1941, Indian
Religionists still formed nearly 90 percent of the population, and even in
1931, the year for which census figures for converts to Christianity are
said to be more reliable, proportion of Indian Religionists in the
population was more than 80 percent; of the rest only about 10 percent were
Christians. Share of Indian Religionists in the population of the region
today seems to somewhat respectable because of the persistence of Indian
Religionists in Tripura and central districts of Manipur; these areas were
ruled by avowedly Vaishnava states for several centuries. In other parts of
the region, especially in Nagaland, Mizoram, outer districts of Manipur and
much of Meghalaya, Indian Religionists have been reduced to an insignificant

No real figures. Just dramatic percentages. As the Sangh statisticians gave
in the Dangs in Gujarat, before the Churches were demolished through
Christmas season in 1998. For that the precedent was Arunachal where the
state had, decades earlier, helped wipe out 400 churches or more!

The authors and their financiers claim this is "leading to the formation of
border pockets, where Indian Religionists are in a minority or nearly so.
Existence of such distinct pockets formed the demographic basis of the
country in 1947. A similar pocket of high Muslim influence seems to be now
developing in the northern border belt covering the states of Uttar Pradesh,
Bihar, West Bengal and Assam. And, a border pocket of even more intense
Christian influence had developed in the northeastern states. Nicobar
Islands district on the extreme southern tip of the country has been
Christianised. And, Indian Religionists have lost sway in the western
coastal state of Kerala. "

I do not know if Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee during his recent China
visit asked the mandarins of Beijing their secret of reducing the Muslim
influence Perhaps he did, if he was carrying a copy of this book. As APJ,
MDS and JKB say "India, on the whole, has resisted Christianisation;
proportion of Christians in India remains around 2 percent. And, India has
not succumbed to the expansion of Islam like some countries of Africa. But
Indian experience of the twentieth century has not been nearly as robust as
that of the other great non-Islamic and non-Christian civilization of the
world, China. During the course of the twentieth century, not only the
proportion but also the absolute number of Muslims in China has declined,
and Christianity has failed to find any foothold there. India has not
responded like China. Consequently, India has suffered Partition, and
several border areas of the post-Partition Indian Union have become
vulnerable to non-Indian Religionists influences." Perhaps Mr. Vajpayee is
returning with the great Chinese secret. Or perhaps that will have to wait
till Advani goes to China.

Return to New collection at South Asia Citizens Web

Return to South Asia Citizens Web Home Page