Why Govt. Hides Religous data from Census 2011?

published on May 27, 2013

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde released the Primary Census Abstract-Data Highlights of Census 2011 in a function organised by the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, in New Delhi on April 30, 2013.

However, one wonders what happened to the religion-wise data. Information on religion was duly collected in Column 7 of the Census 2011 Household Schedule. But both the Provisional Population Totals and Primary Census Abstract are silent on religious data. When the results in rarefied categories like number of literates and literacy rate by sex and residence could be arrived at, would it have been difficult to tell how many Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists are in India. Nor would it have been difficult to determine the decadal population growth rate of respective communities. The hindrance was possibly not technological but political.

Religious headcount is being undertaken since the first Census of India (1871-72). But it is a highly sensitive category when it comes to the announcing the results. Muslim population tends to increase faster than the rest of the population. In 1909, Colonel UN Mukherji had written a pamphlet Hindus: A Dying Race. His projections were based on the study of three consecutive censuses 1881, 1891 and 1901. It revealed how Hindu demographic share was declining with every passing decade. Colonel Mukherji met Swami Shraddhanand of Arya Samaj at Calcutta in 1911. His statistical and analytical study prompted Swami Shraddhanand to formulate Shuddhi and Sangathan. It was a project to bring back converted Indians into their native Hindu fold.

The political sensitiveness of the subject can be understood from the huff around the release First Report On Religion (Census 2001) in 2005, which reveals that contrary to overall population trend, growth rate of Muslim population has increased. The decadal growth rate of the Muslims was around 36 percent which was up from 30 per cent between 1981 and 1991 respectively. The Hindu growth rate had fallen to 20 per cent to from 23 per cent in the same corresponding period.

Read Complete Report by  Priyadarshi Dutta @
http://www.niticentral.com/2013/05/03/why-is-census-2011-silent-on-religious-data-73065.html

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