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Section : Economics
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Rising Muslim demography and the TFR gap
 
Delhi was already surrounded by high Muslim population in west UP, Alwar and Mewat. If Haryana keeps going on this trajectory, the encirclement of Delhi will soon be complete.

By YUGAPARIVARTAN




The lower rung BJP leaders every now and then are known to raise the bogey of TFR (total fertility rate) and exhort Hindus to increase their fertility. No sooner that such ideas are floated and the entire media gets up into arms leading to disowning of such members and comments by top leaders.

While the left chastises the TFR brigade by citing their ill-founded fears about Muslim population explosion, the neo-liberal supporters on the right although acknowledging the problem fail to react because they don’t/can’t match the resolve of Muslim women as Hindu women are not captive breeders.

But truth be told, the gullible Hindus hide their personal choice of having few kids by by hiding under the intellectual veneer of excess population, saving environment, women empowerment and other ideas that they have been spoon fed since independence and have taken them up with great zeal like any other nouveau convert to modern memes. The national and state governments too have played their role to a large extent and hence we find open support for this government propaganda which has put the responsibility of saving the world squarely on the Hindu shoulders.

But how does the TFR actually looks like? We present the result for the two religions from 2011 census for different states.

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Few things to notice here. First, the Muslim fertility is higher in almost all states. Second, thefertility is hovering around or below 2 for most Hindus, i.e. below replacement level. So Hindu population in these states will actually fall in the future. Third, it is not that Muslims are having too many children, it is just that the Hindus are having too few children which allows Muslims to keep the same percentage fertility gap (the only thing which matters for population share growth).

Another important point to note is that the percentage difference is much higher in some states, which are important demographically- like Assam, West Bengal. The surprise addition here is that of Haryana with the highest TFR difference between the two communities. The current muslim share of Haryana population is very low and so it would not impact right now, but if the trends continue Haryana too will join the list of west UP districts specifically given most Muslim concentration in Mewat and Yamunanagar. Delhi was already surrounded by high Muslim population in west UP, Alwar and Mewat. If Haryana keeps going on this trajectory, the encirclement of Delhi will soon be complete.

But what is causing this great fall in Hindu fertility?

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It is the urban Hindu who is showing the same trend everywhere and his fertility is hanging around 1.5 level. In some states, it is much worse and gone down to 1 like in West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh. So, the low Hindu fertility in urban areas generate a much higher percentage difference between two religions. The rural areas though better than urban areas are still lagging behind Muslim TFR.

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