The controversy related to alarming growth in the birth rate of Muslims in Kerala has taken a new turn with the demand for an independent enquiry on the issue by National Foundation for Justice and Development.
"The recent statistics by the Government of Kerala is a subject of concern for the state. While the birth rate of Hindus and Christians has marked a decline, the Muslim birth rate in the state has been rising steadily, according to a vital statistics report 2015, prepared by economics and statistics department. Hindus in the state will become a minority by 2025," said P K D Nambiar, President of National Foundation for Justice and Development.
The controversy on the issue of relative number of children born to different communities has arisen in Kerala after a retired chief of Kerala police stated in an interview that of all children born in the state in 2015, as many as 42 percent are Muslim, even though the share of Muslims in the total population as counted in Census 2011 is only 26.6 percent. The former police chief has been accused of misrepresenting facts and fomenting communal discord.
"The aforementioned data provided by the Government of Kerala and analysed by a former top cop clearly indicates that the societal change that we are facing today is a result of strategic planning. Without the support of our so called secular governments, this scenario would have never been possible. The major motive of such government has always been vote bank minority appeasement politics. The results of their insensitive policies are now finally started showing their colours and the key victims have always been the common people," Nambiar said while talking to ANI.
Share of Muslims in the child (0-6yr) population of Kerala and their share in the live births in the state are much higher than their share in the population and have been rising rapidly. Muslims have a share of 41.45 percent in the live births in 2015 compared to 36.32 percent in 2008. And they have a share of 36.74 percent in the 0-6 population of the state in 2011 compared to 31.08 percent in 2001. Their share in the total population as counted in Census 2011 is only 26.56 percent. "The data strongly suggests that the imbalance in the growth of Muslims and others in the state is likely to keep rising sharply rather than subsiding in the foreseeable future," Nambiar said.
From 100 percent literacy to women empowerment from a rich cultural heritage to quality healthcare, God's Own Country - Kerala is endowed with attributes that are widely known and admired. History has it that Kerala is one of the very few states in India, which has an extensive past associated to trade and culture.
Quoting the vital statistics, Nambiar said, "The percentage birth rate of Muslims has increased from 35 in 2006 to 41.45 in 2015, while in Hindu community, which recorded a birth rate of 46% in 2006 has dropped to 42.87% in 10 years. Even the Christian birth rate, which has always been below 20%, slumped to 15.42% in 2015 from 17% in 2006. In 2013, the rate climbed to 44.08% but declined to 42.87% by 2015. The highest birth rate recorded by Christians between 2006 and 2015 was in 2012 when the birth rate touched 18.63%."
Muslim birth rate shows a steady climb before dropping in 2012 when the birth rate fell from 38.21% (2011) to 31.96%. Between 2010 and 2011, there was only a marginal variation in Muslim birth rates as it changed from 38.26% (2010) to 38.21% in 2011. The Hindu birth rate has been on a downward slide from 2006 to 2012.
"Now, it would not be wrong to say that the once 'land of Hindus', Kerala, does not stand by its name anymore. A place, which saw a temple in every 500 meter, is now clustered with mosques and churches. All the major lanes and streets have been infused with well decorated, enormous mosques and churches. This has resulted in changing the entire characteristics of the state," Nambiar said.
In the history, Kerala was exploited many times. The intruders who made their way to this rich part of the country included Portuguese, Dutch, French, British and even Arabs. Their major motive was spice trade, however, in due process they extracted all they could from the resourceful land and exploited the native people. The dramatic transformation from humble tradesmen of local spices, to missionaries and to finally rulers is quite evident from the state's archives. This, however, was possible due to the benevolence of the then kings of the state.
When countered that the former police chief has been accused of misrepresenting facts and fomenting communal discord, Nambiar said, "Vital statistics data for Kerala is among the most reliable in the country. Given so much of good reliable data, why don't our demographers apply their standard analytical tools to predict the likely trends of the changing religious demography of Kerala? It would be a very interesting academic research problem to pursue and it may also help India in evolving an appropriate policy for maintaining demographic equilibrium among various religious communities. The kind of imbalance that is developing in Kerala is difficult to sustain for any reasonably functional polity".
A thorough enquiry is necessary to understand this major demographic change. I will be meeting to the Central leaders and apprise them about the alarming growth rate of Muslim children," said PKD Nambiar, who has been raising the issue of Kerala, at national level, through his Delhi based Forum.
He also plans to meet the Union Home Minister on the issue.
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