Thursday, January 19, 2012

Demographic changes in North East

I am reading a very interesting book "Understanding India Relevance of Hinduism". Edited by Subhash C Kashyap and Abhaya Kashyap. B.B. Dutta in his paper 'Religious Demography: Quest for a New Indian Perspective" provides the following numbers from the Indian census. While I have not cross-checked with the Indian Census website, because the information is not really easy to collect.

Percentage to the North East India population
Indian Religions67.48%62.59%56.35%49.39%

However the following paragraph appearing at this location Census: Religion and You seems to lend credence to B.B.Dutta's data summary:
Christianity has emerged as the major religion in three North-eastern states, namely, Nagaland, Mizoram, and Meghalaya. Among other states/Uts, Manipur (34.0%), Goa (26.7%), Andaman & Nicobar Islands (21.7%), Kerala (19.0%), and Arunachal Pradesh (18.7%) have considerable percentage of Christian population to the total population of the State/UT.
Looking at the population of Muslims as a percentage to the total, it is quite stable almost to the point of being stagnant. So are the illegal immigrants not counted ?



At January 24, 2012 at 1:59 PM , Blogger Pax-Indica said...

One thing that has happened in the Northeast is that many Scheduled Tribes have converted wholesale (on a community basis) to Christianity. This has been done by social coercion and aided by evangelical* movements. This is particularly true in Nagaland where sub-tribe after sub-tribe has declared itself Christian over the years. At the same time, communities that have labeled themselves Hindus have been led into believing/articulating that they were never Hindus (e.g., Nyishi community in Arunachal Pr.). All along I have been saying that when Indians from the heartland claim some form of commonality with Meitei Hindus or the Arunachali Buddhists, they do so without realizing that Manipuri brand of Vaishnavism is very different from the Vaishnavism that we know as it is today down south. In fact, except for some broad philosophical points, Hinduism in the Northeast is on its own basis. This should be obvious as Hinduism is ok with local deities and regional folklore that brands a certain Ayyanaar or Karuppasaamy or Muneeswaran as the son of a certain avatar of Rama/Shiva.

As for illegal immigrants, they are not counted in Census figures. Why will they be? They are illegal and the census-takers go with official rules.

* Both rooted from inside India and also abetted by non-citizens of India. In fact, CHT in Bangladesh has a big contingent of evangelists that are allowed by the GoBD. This is the quid pro quo that Bangladesh has agreed to for international loans in the name of human rights (unverified remark)


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