Was the EAC-PM Report created to bolster Modi’s hate speech?

The outdated statistic stated that there had been a 43% growth in the Muslim population.

This type of conversation may be familiar to you:

               “Muslims are having more children. So the Muslim population is increasing rapidly. In a few years, they will become the majority of the population.”

These presenters consistently employ data that contrasts the proportion of Hindus and Muslims in 1951 with that of 2011’s population.

The right-wing and extreme right-wing frequently employ this parallel to discuss Hindutva beliefs and propagate animosity. Given this information, unfounded allegations such as ‘Love Jihad’ can be made. Similar hate rhetoric was mentioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently. He made derogatory remarks about Muslims, referring to them as “the most fertile” and “immigrants”. Despite widespread international condemnation of this hate speech, Modi persistently expresses political views that promote religious discord.

The ‘Economic Advisory Committee to the Prime Minister’ (EAC-PM) has issued a report that supports and strengthens Prime Minister Modi’s address. According to the report “Share of Religious Minorities: A Cross-Country Analysis,” there were 43% more Muslims in India in 2015 than there were in 1950. Nevertheless, there has been a decrease of nearly 7% in the Hindu population.

What is the current objective of EAC data?

Why is this information being released at this time by the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Committee? To back up the speeches made by the prime minister? The status of Muslims in India has been a subject of debate ever since Narendra Modi took office as prime minister.

Suspicion against Narendra Modi, the former chief minister of Gujarat, was heightened from the start due to his involvement in the riots in that state. In this instance, the ongoing attacks, hate speech, and demolitions by bulldozers targeting Muslims increased criticism of Modi. Despite his remarks that rioters may be recognized by their clothing, Prime Minister Modi has mostly refrained from openly expressing his Islamophobia over the previous ten years.

In this instance, Modi has persisted in making anti-Islamic remarks ever since the first round of the current Lok Sabha elections concluded. He stated that mangalsutra from Hindu women will be stolen to give it to Muslims; Congress is engaging in vote jihad; he also added that they would threaten to take away OBC, SC, and ST reservations and give them to Muslims; he also used “dog whistle” language to claim that Muslims are “having more children” and “immigrants.” The report’s reference to the “noise” of people becoming concerned and questioning the situation of Muslims in India is the primary indicator that it was released in favor of this theory.

The purpose of this report is to establish reasonable apprehensions and questions as an outcry. Let us discuss each of the issues in them in more detail.

Smattering of contradictory data in the report:

A population census is needed to know the share of Hindus and Muslims in the population. However, the population census was not taken in 2021. Even in 2024, there is no clear timeline for the census. In this case, the proposed data for the year 2015 has been used for this report (Estimate). Additionally, they use the comparison with the 1950 data to convey a story. However, they just wrote that there is a favorable environment for Muslims to live in India without looking into any of the factors contributing to the population growth or decline. It should be remembered that Modi only became office in 2014. This report’s conclusion is derived from the proposed 2015 calculation.

Outdated Data:

When the population census came in 2011, the known old information that the number of Muslims had increased compared to 1950, they have now come up with a sophisticated calculation called “Rate of Change”. 100% growth is defined as a price, quantity, or other increase of one to two. However, the growth rate is only 10% if it increases from one crore to one crore ten lakh. With this, could you say 10% less? No. Because, there would be a 10 lakh increase in headcount. It may be argued that the growth from one to two is higher if we focus on the rate of change instead of the number. Similar computations have been performed for the old population.

According to the 1951 Census:

Total Population: 36.10 Crores, Hindus: 30.36 crore, Muslims: 3.56 crore, Difference = 26.8 crores

According to the 2011 Census:

Total population: 121.08 crore, Hindus: 96.63 crore (79.8%), Muslims: 17.22 crore (14.23%), Difference = 79.41 crores

2011 vs 2015:

As of 2011, the proportion of Muslims in the population was 14.23. As per this study, in 2015, this was 14.09. If these figures are accurate, does this imply that Muslims are making up a smaller percentage of the population in 2015? Why move on without investigating the reason and giving any explanation?

Birth Rate:

According to the National Family Health Survey NFHS-5 for 2019-21, India’s birth rate has dropped to an average of 2. In this, the Hindu birth rate is 1.94, and the Muslim birth rate is 2.36. This was 3.3 for Hindus and 4.4 for Muslims in 1992. The Hindu birth rate fell by 1.36 while the Muslim birth rate fell by 2.04 over the same period. That is, the birth rate has fallen more among Muslims than among Hindus. You can compute everything, assuming that the Rate of Change account is optimal. In terms of Rate of Change, the birth rate of Hindus has decreased by 41%. However, the birth rate among Muslims has dropped by 47%.

Education:

The fact that Muslims have a higher birth rate than Hindus—0.42—is mostly due to education. High birth rates are found in areas with low literacy. Muslims are generally less educated than those of other faiths. This is not limited to higher education; the situation remains unchanged if one considers merely educational attainment.

Economy:

Economics is an important factor as is education. Wherever there is poverty and little opportunity for economic development, the birth rate is high. Even within India, the greatest birth rates are found in Uttar Pradesh (2.4) and Bihar (3). Thus, focusing exclusively on birth rates with religion does not advance knowledge or a fundamental comprehension of population increase; rather, it only serves to incite religious fanaticism and hostility.

Declining Fertility Rate:

Just as the birth rate is declining across India, so is the birth rate among all religions. The gap between Hindus and Muslims has now halved to 0.4 from 0.8. As education and economic development increase, this number will decrease further and come to parity. In the Islamic country of the United Arab Emirates, the birth rate is only 1.5. 1.9 in Turkey; 1.8 in Qatar; Iran has a birth rate of 1.7. So, it is just a bigotry to say that Muslims have more children.

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Indu Meenakshi

Indu Meenakshi is a former Microbiologist-turned-journalist, works as a Sub-Editor at YouTurn. She additionally holds Master’s in Management and English Literature. As a fact-checker, her job entails actively dispelling false information found online, exposing fake news, and raising public awareness.
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