PM panel's report on religious demographics evokes mixed reactions from Bihar

Patna May 9 (IANS) A study released recently saying the share of the majority Hindu population in India decreased between 1950 and 2015, while that of the minority population went up has evoked mixed reactions from different political parties in Bihar.

According to the working paper released by the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM), India's Hindu population decreased by 7.82 per cent between 1950 and 2015, from 84.68 per cent to 78.06 per cent, while the Muslim population went up from 9.84 per cent to 14.09 per cent during this period, marking a 43.15 per cent rise.

Commenting on the study, RJD spokesperson Mritunjay Tiwari said, “The report suits the BJP-RSS agenda. Why was it published at a time when the Lok Sabha elections are underway in the country? The timing of the report raises questions.”

“I want to ask the top BJP leaders why didn't they conduct the national census in 2021. Only the census gives the exact parameters of population growth. During the 17-month tenure of the grand alliance in Bihar, we conducted the caste-based survey, in which all castes and religions were included,” Tiwari added.

BJP spokesperson Arvind Kumar Singh said: “There is a lack of family planning among the minority community. This is the reason why their population is increasing. Lack of education is another factor. There should be a law for population control in the country that should be strictly implemented.”

On the timing of releasing the report, Singh said, “The government institutions are doing their work. The country is so big that elections keep happening at some place or the other. This report has nothing to do with the Lok Sabha elections.”

JD-U MLC Neeraj Kumar said: “The population growth of minorities is not related to religion. It is related to education. Bangladesh's model of population control is considered the best in the world. Bangladesh is a Muslim country and its economy is much smaller than India. So, why do people across the world give an example of Bangladesh when it comes to population control?”

“Under the Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, we have worked hard on women's education. Our government has launched several programmes to encourage women to study, including scholarships at different levels. The fertility rate in Bihar has declined in the last few years,” Kumar claimed.


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