So, it looks like the Hindu population in India has fallen as a proportion (but not numerically), and that Islam and Christianity are growing within the country.In dribs and drabs, the 2011 religious headcount data from Census 2011 has been surfacing since mid-2014. In the coming weeks, or maybe one or two months, the data will be officially released. We cannot know if the official data will contradict or amplify the leaked data, which show a dramatic fall in the proportion of the country’s Hindu population by 2.1 percent, and an equally dramatic rise in the Muslim proportion by 0.8 percent, but one thing is clear: it will be seriously misleading.
The real problem is that Census 2011 - like many before it - is a substantial piece of fiction. It has been computed with unsound methods and will not represent a true and fair picture of religious affiliations in India. It is a scandal that we can compile data with such little regard for statistical rigour or method. I will explain why I say this a bit later.
Census 2011 will probably be an overestimate of the real Hindu population, possibly an underestimate of the Muslim and Christian populations, and probably unreliable about those who may not want to be counted under any religion, including atheists.
Representational image. Representational image.
The fundamental error in the religious census could be the fudge it manages between people who may be civilisationally grouped as Hindu and those who are Hindu by religious affiliation and practice. The only sound way to list anyone under a particular religious head is by self-affirmation and self-selection. It cannot be a default condition, or done by adding people to the Hindu count in case he or she does not claim to be Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh or Jain.
The census surveyor is (as this blogpost suggests) allowed only six options for indicating religion: the above five and Hinduism. Moreover, while a scheduled tribe (ST) citizen can indicate any religion of his or her choice, a scheduled caste (SC) Indian can only belong to Hinduism if he or she claims to be SC. This is because reservations based on caste status can only be given to SCs who are Hindu. This itself suggests that Christian SCs may be undercounted, making the Hindu total bloat to that extent.
Given the significant proselytisation and conversion activities of Muslim and Christian religious organisations, the chances are a large chunk of the SC population has probably formally been designated as Hindu to avoid being made ineligible for reservations.
Religious Census 2011 sucks: Hindu population may even now be overstated Watch
- Thread Starter
- 27-01-2015 18:48
(Original post by navarre)
- 29-01-2015 19:33
So, it looks like the Hindu population in India has fallen as a proportion (but not numerically), and that Islam and Christianity are growing within the country.