The growth of Islamic population, their birth rates etc have been much debated. How does it impact the rest of us? And if the growth rate is alarming, how will it impact India?
I will present this article first with a macro view and then bring in micro view which is India / Pakistan / Bangladesh centric.
Let us look at the macro view – the presence of Muslims around the world.
Map 1 – shows that Islam is spread all over the world, and the annual growth rate in absence of total growth rate does not give a realistic picture.
Map 2 – This is an important map as it shows the growth of Islam and this is pretty much confined to North Africa / Arab / South & South East Asia.
Map 3 – It shows the percentage of Muslims around the world. India still has overall percentage <15% (but for only a short time – we will come to this later). In a separate article I had written why Islam cannot integrate with host nations – specifically acts of arson / killing go up commensurate with the increasing % of muslims in host nations.
Map 4 & 5 – Shows the actual Muslim population in countries. See the huge number of Islamic population in the Indian sub-continent.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE MAP FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW.
On top of such a huge and growing population the Islamic states are blessed with oil. Hence, it has been the dream of some Islamic scholars and strategists that the Islamic nations should form a confederation of states and come under one banner and control this precious commodity through Unites States of Islam (USI) – a de facto Caliphate. It is interesting to see the US version of this Caliphate and the Islamic version of this Caliphate, 2050 AD. In the US version – Afghanistan and Iraq are under US control. Of course, the Islamic version has no such pretensions. I believe, if this Caliphate comes about – it will mirror the Islamic version.
Map 6 – US version on Caliphate
Map 7 – Islamic version of Caliphate
The US version feels that there is tremendous conflict within Islam and sectarianism (fight within Sunni & Shia) will never make this Caliphate a reality.
Map 8 - Distribution of Sunnis & Shias in this world.
If Sunni & Shia can be termed as brothers – there is an old Persian saying. Me, my brother and our cousin against the stranger. Then me and my brother against our cousin. Lastly, it will be me against my brother. (Hence, what is stopping brothers from making common cause against an “identified” enemy – the stranger).
If you look at both the versions – India, it seems is out of this Caliphate. However, dreamers of this Caliphate in Pakistan, view it differently - they very much see portions of India in this Caliphate.
Map 9 - World Map by population. Look at this very interesting map. The map of the world has been redrawn with same borders but with different bulge – greater the population, bigger the bulge. Look at India, China, Pakistan, Bangladesh – they are huge.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE MAP FOR AN ENLARGED VIEW.
Herein, lies the second part of the story. The declining population of Europe, Japan and Russia.
To maintain a steady population, a country has to have a birth rate of 2.10. However, Western Europe has a birth rate of 1.5 – which is 30% below replacement. For a nation obsessed with sex, they are producing less children. Other than a shrinking population, these countries will see shrinking economies and a far higher tax burden on the younger generation. Europe is trying to tackle this issue by importing Muslim labourers. France and Germany today have 10% Muslim population that are growing at a far higher rate than is the “host” Christian population. This affects foreign policy of nations. Germany and France did not support the US invasion of Iraq, simply out of the fear that their Muslim population will implode on them.
Japan which has an even lower birth rate of 1.3 has tackled its issues differently. They stand to lose 60 million of its population in the next 30 years. Japan does not import labour. It simply shuts down schools and businesses. Till date, Japan has closed 2000 schools and the rate of school closure is 300 / year.
For Russia the problem has taken catastrophic proportions. Its birth rate is so low, that by 2050, THE POPULATION OF RUSSIA WILL BE LESS THAN THAT OF YEMEN. Russia sits on 1/6 of the global available land and one cannot defend such a huge territory with such a small population.
Let us look at India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Even though Bangladesh was part of Pakistan in 1947, for reasons of statistics, I am taking it as a separate country. I will show the population that was there in 1947 and expected population of these countries in 2050. All figures taken from World Bank.
PAKISTAN: Population in 1947 = 30 million. Expected Population in 2050 = 300 million. A 900% growth over 103 years.
BANGLADESH: Population in 1947 = 32 million. Expected Population in 2050 = 280 million. A 775% growth over 103 years.
INDIA: Population in 1947 = 345 million. Expected Population in 2050 = 1630 million. A mere 373% growth over 103 years.
Both Pakistan and Bangladesh have overwhelmingly Islamic population, hence growth is wholly attributed to them.
In case of India, there is a difference of Islamic population growth rate and the Hindu population growth rate. Muslims in India accounted for 9.9% of India’s total population in 1951, 10.8% in 1971, 11.3% in 1981, 12.1% in 1991. (CENSUS FIGURES - ACTUAL FIGURE HIGHER).
Let us look at the scientific data, and try to figure out when India’s muslims become 25% of India’s total population. Will come to why this 25% is important.
Total Indian Population in 1991 = 816 million.
Indian Muslim Population in 1991 = 101 million (12.1% of total).
% Increase in Total Population since 1981 = 23.8
Increase in Muslim Population since 1981 = 32.8
We now make a few rough, order-of-magnitude calculations of the numbers involved and their actual consequences. Using t for time, with origin at 1991, T for total Indian population and M for the population of Indian Muslims, the relevant exponential equations are:
T(t)=T(0)exp(0.24t), with T(0)=816mil
M(t)=M(0)exp(0.24t), with M(0)=101mil
Our first calculation is based on the admittedly ad-hoc assumption that India can't support a population more than double the present one. The time for population to double is obtained by solving T(t)=2T(0), and we get t=2.89. Since we are measuring time in decades, this is about 30 years. Now we find that M(2.89)=262mil, while the total will double to 1632mil, and so the Muslim fraction will be only about 16%.
Now let us look at what it would take for the Muslim fraction to reach 25%. The relevant equation is:
Solving for t, we get t=7.81, which is about 80 years i.e. 2070.
It is reliably argued (IN BOARDROOMS) that when the Muslim population of India will reach 25% of the total population, there will be a third partition of India. (The first two gave birth to Pakistan and Bangladesh).
Which area is vulnerable to such a scenario?
A quick look will point to Assam, West Bengal and Bihar. The present population ratio of Muslims is calculated to be 28% in Assam and 25% in W. Bengal.
I am quoting from a brilliant article written by Arun Shourie – which is a must read. He states: “West Bengal accounted for 56 per cent in South and North Parganas, 48 per cent in Nadia, 52 per cent in Murshidabad, 54 per cent in Malda and about 60 per cent in Islampur sub-division of West Dinajpur. (For those who are not in the know – the above mentioned named eg: West Dinajpur etc are districts within the state of West Bengal)
A study of the border belt of West Bengal yields some telling statistics: 20-40 per cent villages in the border districts are said to be predominantly Muslim. There are indications that the concentration of the minority community, including the Bangladesh immigrants, in the villages has resulted in the majority community moving to urban centres. Several towns in the border districts are now predominantly inhabited by the majority community but surrounded by villages mostly dominated by the minority community. Lin Piao’s theory of occupying the villages before overwhelming the cities comes to mind, though the context is different. However, the basic factor of security threat in both the cases is the same.
‘‘...Figures have been given showing the concentration of Muslim population in the districts of West Bengal bordering Bangladesh starting from 24 Parganas and going up to Islampur of West Dinajpur district and their population being well over 50 per cent of the population. The Kishanganj district (of Bihar) which was part of Purnea district earlier, which is contiguous to the West Bengal area, also has a majority of Muslim population. The total population of the districts of South and North 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, Nadia, Malda and West Dinajpur adds up to 27,337,362. If we add the population of Kishanganj district of Bihar of 986,672, the total comes to 28,324,034. (All figures are based on the 1991 Census.) This mass of land with a population of nearly 2.8 crores has a Muslim majority. The total population of West Bengal in 1991 was 67.9 million and of these, 28.32 million are concentrated in the border districts, with about 16-17 million population of minority community being concentrated in this area. This crucial tract of land in West Bengal and Bihar, lying along the Ganges/Hughly and west Bangladesh with a population of over 28 million, with Muslims constituting a majority, should give cause for anxiety for any thinking Indian.’’
And what if, from these figures, I had advanced two warnings.
First: ‘‘There is a distinct danger of another Muslim country, speaking predominantly Bengali, emerging in the eastern part of India in the future, at a time when India might find itself weakened politically and militarily.’’
And second "that the danger is as grave even if that third Islamic State does not get carved out in the sub-continent into a full-fledged country.”
I agree 100% with Shourie and would like to draw attention back to 2070 when this might become a reality as per statistics. However, the reality will be different. The plotters in Pakistan have re-drawn the India map and they want to see it fructify in their lifetime – and most of these are old warhorses are into their late 60s and 70s. Which means – in the next 15 years.
I have kept this article deliberately simple. There are many scenarios which can seriously complicate the above assumptions, for example:
1) detonation of a dirty bomb in Gujarat
2) nuclear attack on Israel
3) increasing riots in city centres as food becomes scarce following a draught, population keeps increasing but land mass does not
4) Shrinking shorelines due to global warming and consequent rise in water level. Will push millions of Bangladeshis in Bengal.
I give 15 years before we see very interesting and intriguing developments in our neighbourhood. Some of our politicians are hastening this process by shamelessly indulging in vote-bank politics.
And the game has started unfolding in Assam and Bengal. I had written an earlier article : BEHEADING IN BENGAL - WHAT NEXT? Another article I wrote : IS THERE A GORKHALAND? I believe this Gorkhaland agitation has been funded by ISI to wrest the "Chicken neck".
To exacerbate the split:
1)The serial blasts have taken place in Guwahati. The blasts want to split the community along religious lines - makes it easier for a future split.
2) Logically, therfore, blasts are imminent in Kolkata, Siliguri in West Bengal. It should be mentioned, Assam, Bengal and Kerela are the most communally sensitive states (as per poll). Hence, blasts here will have the desired result.
3) SIMI etc will carry on mindless killing of innocents to push forward the message: We can strike anywhere at our will and your police and intelligence are worthless in protecting you. This will psychologically wilt the population and drive it against police / army / political forces, hastening the divide.
WHAT NEXT? AND OUR RESPONSE?