Minorities thriving in India: EAC-PM paper

Minorities thriving in India: EAC-PM paper

NEW DELHI: A report by Economic Advisory Council to the PM has said that minorities are thriving in India, and not just protected, arguing that the share of the majority population has declined in the country between 1950 and 2015.
A paper by Shamika Ravi, Abraham Jose and Apurv Kumar Mishra said the share of Hindus in the country’s population decreased 7.8% between 1950 and 2015 — from 84.7% to 78.1%.
Without giving the absolute numbers, it argued that the share of Muslims increased over 43% — from 9.8% in 1950 to 14.1% in 2015.
The paper titled ‘Share of Religious Minorities: A Cross-Country Analysis (1950-2015)’ also said the share of Jains decreased from 0.4% in 1950 to 0.3%.
According to the paper, the share of Christians rose from 2.2% to 2.4%— an increase of 5.4% between 1950 and 2015. While the share of Sikhs increased from 1.2% in 1950 to 1.9% in 2015, an increase of 6.6%, the share of Parsis declined 85%, falling from 0.03% in 1950 to 0.004% in 2015.
The data indicated that “there is a conducive environment to foster diversity in society”, the paper said, adding that it was not possible to promote better life outcomes for the disadvantaged sections of society without providing a nurturing environment and societal support through a bottom-up approach
The paper noted that a decrease in the share of the majority population and a consequent increase in the share of minorities suggests that the net result of all policy actions, political decisions and societal processes is to provide a conducive environment for increasing diversity in society.
The analysis, however, came under scrutiny with the Population Foundation of India (PFI) saying, “The study’s focus on changes in the share of majority and minority religious groups globally over a 65-year period should not be used to incite fear or discrimination against any community.”
It said the decadal growth rate for Muslims has been slowing for three decades. “Specifically, the decadal growth rate for Muslims decreased from 32.9% in 1981-1991 to 24.6% in 2001-2011. The decline is more pronounced than that of Hindus, whose growth rate fell from 22.7% to 16.8% over the same period. The census data is available from 1951 to 2011 and is quite similar to the data in this study, indicating these numbers aren’t new,” PFI said in a statement.

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