“You see this is because of low literacy. Most of the Muslims are illiterate. Every family has six, seven, eight, nine, 10 members.”
—Assam chief minister
—Assam chief minister
Did a Congress CM just make a statement evocative of Narendra Modi’s “hum do, hamare do, woh paanch, unke pachchis”? Tarun Gogoi’s response during a television interview last week had the BJP claiming he was “a man after our heart”, “someone beating us at our game”. But demographers and sociologists were less amused. They have for long held socio-economic factors rather than one’s religion responsible for high fertility rates. So, contrary to Gogoi’s assertion of Muslims having “six, seven, eight...too many” children, in reality, the nominally higher Muslim fertility rate is declining faster than for other communities.
Fertility rates are complicated and vary from region to region for the Muslim community. A low fertility rate reflects greater prosperity and education. In Kerala, for instance, the Muslim fertility rate is lower than the national average. Says P.M. Kulkarni, a professor at the Centre for the Study of Regional Development in JNU, “Fertility across the country has been declining; this is the case for Muslims too. The gap between the Hindu birth rate and of Muslims cannot be explained away by education alone. More complex reasons are at work here.”
With the census figures for 2012 still awaited, the data currently being used for reference is the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) data for 2005-06. Going by its figures, the fertility rate for the country stands at 2.7, and that for Muslims at 3.1. However, one may well ask why Hindus should be lumped as a whole across caste, tribe and class, and that figure be put up for comparison against the one for Muslims.
Experts also predict that the Muslim fertility rate will be the same as the national average in another seven to 10 years as the decline in fertility rate is greater in the minority community. The little higher rate currently is interpreted as a sign of backwardness. But one only has to look at the NFHS data to realise that fertility rates are always higher among the disadvantaged groups. So, it is 3.1 among STs, 2.9 for SCs and 2.8 in other backward classes.
In the current scenario, Muslim women are less likely to use contraceptives (46 per cent) as opposed to other religious communities (Hindus, 58 per cent) and 58-75 per cent among other religious communities. The reasons go beyond education and poverty. Mohan Rao of JNU’s Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health says they have been trying to understand the reasons for the declining fertility rate among Muslims. “In the absence of hard figures,” he says, “one can only speculate, but we can see the investment being made in education among Muslims despite factors like high unemployment and family-based employment stacked against them.”
And comments such as Gogoi’s or the regular potshots from the BJP, activists say, often work against women. The Union women and child development ministry recently endorsed the two-child norm by linking it with schemes for women and children. “This was a direct attack on women and their fertility,” says social activist Sejal Dand. The ministry’s diktat is now being fought in the courts. Meanwhile, one of the great half-truths about Muslims continues to breed more distortions, lies and politics.
Apropos Counter-Productive (Sep 24) and comments like “fertility rates are always higher among the disadvantaged groups” and “Muslim fertility rate will be same as the national average in 7-10 years”, can we infer that the community is going to be on par with the “advantaged” groups in a decade? So then, Muslims are catching up with the rest of the country in economic prosperity? Why then the constant whine that they are being discriminated against?
Whatever your arguments, and they’re pretty thin, when a religion actively encourages its followers to have more babies, there’s no way it can escape blame. Leftist spin is all very well, but you can’t change the hard reality on the ground.
Prasanth Nambiar, Melbourne
This article represents the kind of myopic worldview & one-eyed peddling of horseshit(pardon my language) that is typical of left-liberals.
They seem to be happy just having a 'liberal' tag.
In their Utopian wonderland,there are 3 kinds of people-
2)The Oppressors &
3)The Saviours of the Oppressed who fight against the dirty capitalist pig oppressors.
The author embarasses herself here.The irony in almost everything she says is hilarious,in a way.
THIS ARTICLE,is an example of how to spread myths and half-truths.
A)The premise is that the idea that muslim women give birth to more children than non muslim women is a 'myth'.
But she then goes on to illustrate how 'disadvantaged' groups are prone to making these decisions of extra large families.
Now if you are a pathan or syed as opposed to an ansari,how in the bloody imaginary hell are you 'disadvantaged'??
Disadvantagement,in India has a historical context.
The SC STs have been historically disadvantaged & even the OBC's now(regardless of religious beliefs or lack of belief-50% of Muslims are categorised as 1 OBC group or the other) are seen as historically disadvantaged.
THIS,is law!!We must take religious ignorance as a factor here and not skirt over the issue.I don't believe blinkered outlooks are 'innate' to the muslims like a lot of right-wingers.Working hard & working smart,can change your socio-economic status in a region.
So,don't put or slot me in the RSS space for disagreeing with you or simply put-Stating what is obvious and the truth!!
I am poor primarily because of YOU 'disadvantaging' me,is a lazy,decadent rubbish argument that even a good % of educated,aware indian muslims disagree with.
B)The Kerala stat is a convenient stat.The author of the article conveniently gets into ethno-specifics when it comes to kerala as if she's made some sort of point.
In Kerala,it is again, the Muslims who have the greatest Birth rate.
In assam ,again it is the Muslim population that has experienced explosive growth(pun not intended).
This is true around the world.
Till 1.5 years ago, the Total Fertility rates of Muslim was 3.6 & some time ago the planning commission of India claimed this was now only 3.1.See how sudden this drop is.The left-liberals will do everything they possibly can to bury their heads in the sand & 'go with the flow' while never taking a stand on anything.This sudden change in stats is deliberate and is clearly an act of the most pathetic form of appeasement politics.
But leaving that aside & taking the same Planning commision figures, the respective figure for Hindus, is 1.6.
Muslim:Hindu fertility rates =2:1.
If you look at 1971 to 2011 census figures,the muslim population growth has been around 30% and slightly above 30%,per decade.
Now compare with the non muslim population growth, and even though there are decades where each non muslim religion has matched the muslims,it is ONLY the muslims who continue to have a 30% growth rate.
Please ma'am,grow a spine and don't write like a mental midget!!
I might have posted this quote earlier but I shall do so again:An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last-Winston Churchill
[[- "fertility rates are always higher among the disadvantaged groups."
- "the Muslim fertility rate will be the same as the national average in another seven to 10 years."]]
From the above, one can infer that Muslims (who consider themselves disadvantaged) are going to be on par with the "advantaged" groups within 7-10 years. Does that mean that Muslims are catching up with the rest of the country in terms of economic prosperity? Why then do we hear the constant whine that Muslims are being discriminated against and denied the opportunity to climb the ladder of success?
More than mullah babus, these "concerned" columnist baboo(n)s are the real hindrances for the muslim upliftment.....yawn...bubbye
OK, Apples should be compared to apples.... the above graph is totally misleading, it contain all sorts of factors like, religion, caste, wealth, literacy etc lumped together in a single graph to make it look like Muslim population growth rate is similar to other groups. It’s like comparing apples, pears and grapes!! A simple graph with Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh, and Buddhist population growth rate would have shown the REAL picture.
Now the author trying hard here to prove that religion is not the reason for high Muslim population growth..I beg to differ...any quick look at the Islamic publications of this country (Milli Gazette, Radiance Weekly, Urdu newspapers and other vernacular islamic publications) will prove it otherwise. These magazines regularly publish articles opposing the very idea of population control. Many of these magazines argue that population explosion among humans is a myth and our creator has provided (or will provide) ample resources for ANY number of human population. Through mosques and madrassas they actively discourage birth control and their main aim is to change the demography. English media hardly keep an eye on such publications which has massive circulations and debates within the community. Fact is population of Muslims all over the country has been on the rise including Kerala (literacy 99%), in fact in Kerala Muslim growth rate is almost double that of Christians (Muslim population of Kerala was somewhere around 15% of total population before independence and now it is well above 27%- explain?? Poverty?? Nop, Muslims probably are the richest ethnic group in Kerala). So the only explanation here is Religion – religion actively encourages population growth. Leftist spin can only help to hoodwink people’s eyes but can’t change the hard reality on the ground.
"The Union women and child development ministry recently endorsed the two-child norm by linking it with schemes for women and children. “This was a direct attack on women and their fertility,” says social activist Sejal Dand. "
Most of the people having 4 and 5 kids are illiterate village women who are under the thumbs of their in-laws and husbands. Only a jholawalla like this social activist will be under the illusion that they choose to have so many kids. If you give these families incentives to have fewer kids, everyone will be better off.
In a few more years, we will be most populous country in the world. Many parts of the Punjab and the Ganges plain are running out of water. We need to do everything we can to reduce the population. The problem with people like this useless "social activist" is that they ape Western ideas such as militant feminism without thinking about whether these ideas make any sense in the Indian context.
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