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Concern over rapid growth of Muslim population in Assam

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  28 Aug 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, Aug 27: Political pundits and alysts might dismiss the growth in Muslim population as revealed in the religious basis decadal census report of 2011 as inconsequential, considered on the basis of tiol average. While the decadal growth rate of Hindu population during the period of 2001–2011 was 79.8%, population being 96.63 crore, the Muslim grew by 14.2% with a population of 17.22 crore. The growth rate for the Hindus was 16.8% and for Muslims 24.6%.

But, seen and viewed in the context of Assam, it is no doubt alarming. The census report of 2001 has listed 6 districts of the state, Dhubri, Goalpara, Karimganj, Hailakandi, gaon and Barpeta as Muslim majority, besides projecting 3 other districts of Marigaon, Darrang and Bongaigaon to become minority domited in another decade. This has come true.

The facts and figures as outlined by the Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Government of Assam, point out the decadal growth rate of population of Muslims during 1981–1991 in the districts of Dhubri, Goalpara, Barpeta and Hailakandi as phenomel. The trend in the growth of population for Hindus since 1981 has been on decline while that of Muslim during the period has been on rise with moderate fall in 2011. It is also worth mentioning that while the decadal growth of Hindu population during 1991–2001 has been 20.3% that of Muslims 36%.

Of concern is the fact if during the last 20 years, 9 districts of Assam become Muslim majority, what will happen in another decades? Religious Demography of India, published by Cheni based Centre of Policy Studies, forewarning about the growth of population in the country as a whole says the fate of Hindus in Jammu and Kashmir is well known. Assam is another Kashmir in the making. The Jammu and Kashmir pattern of ethnic cleansing in Assam cannot be a myth.

In the wider perspective, Lebanon, a Christian state, is now a part of the history of demographic topsy–turvy of the past. Cyprus, an island located about 40 km south of Turkey, is the latest example of demographic upset. Nearly 7.2 lakh Greeks found themselves swamped by the Turks. By 1974, the Turks became domint enough to disturb the Greeks. About 2 lakh of them were forced to migrate to the northern area. The Greeks became refugees in their own homeland.

This phenomel growth of minority population reflects on the ubated influx from Bangladesh. It is now more than pronounced in the fast changing demographic structure of the state. It is no use recalling the historic AASU movement on the foreigners issue which began with a bang and ended in a whimper. And worst still, the subsequent government formed at Dispur led by AASU chief Prafulla Kumar Mohanta which was elected to power on this issue forgot the agenda for which it was sent.

When asked about the presence of illegal migrants in Assam, it is on record that Hiteswar Saikia, chief minister of the time, admitted 30 lakh of them in the state. His statement was made on the floor of the Assembly on April 10, 1992. Two days later, he denied on being threatened by Abdul Muhib Mazumdar, law minister, and some other MLAs. It was a brazen volte–face made by him. The present Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi while addressing a public rally at Juria in gaon on December 2, 2012 said, “There is no Bangladeshi tiol in Assam.” One might ask, what will be the fate of the state?

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