M A I N   N E W S

Govt corrects Census
Muslims' growth 29.3 pc
S. Satyanarayanan
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, September 9
The government today issued revised data of the religious Census after carrying out vital corrections that show that the population growth rate of Muslim community during the decade 1991-2001 has come down, not increasing.

As per the new data, the growth rate of all sections of the population has been revised. Muslims still have the highest growth rate with 29.3 per cent, a 3.6 per cent less than the 1991 growth rate of 32.9 per cent.

The revised Census on religion clearly highlights the “exclusion of Jammu and Kashmir from the 1991 Census and Assam from the 1981 census.

The first-ever ‘Census Report on Religion’ released by the Census Commission of India on September 6, had showed a “high growth” of Muslims at 36 per cent during the decade 1991-2001 in sharp contrast to the 20.3 per cent growth rate of Hindu population during the same period, triggering a political storm as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Sangh Parivar outfits made much of the “imbalance” caused by the high growth of Muslims compared to Hindus.

According to the adjusted figures, the Hindu population growth during 1991-2001 is 20 per cent as against 20.3 per cent projected in the earlier report.

There is also a noticeable fall in the Sikh population growth rate. As against 18.2 per cent, the revised figures issued today puts the Sikh growth rate at 16.9 per cent, among Christians it is 22.1 per cent as against previous figure of 22.6 per cent.

The Buddhists growth rate as been put at 23.2 per cent as against 24.5 per cent. But the figures for Jains remains at 26 per cent.

The Census Commission had withheld distribution of the report following this major flaw and is now ready with the fresh report for distribution.

Based on the earlier report, the BJP and Sangh Parivar outfits had expressed grave concern over the contrary growth rates of Hindus and Muslims and termed it as “disturbing”.

On the other hand, Muslim organisations and intellectuals reacted differently.

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