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The Indian sub-continent has witnessed certain major demographic changes during the twentieth century which will have far reaching consequences for the future of the Indian people. Unfortunately the gravity of these population changes has not received any worthwhile attention of our political class. Recently a very detailed and illuminating demographic study has been carried out by A. P. Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and Dr. J.K. Bajaj giving an insight into the latest trends in India's population.The voluminous study, based on in-depth analytical research, shows that according to the pattern of demographic changes which have occurred during the twentieth century, the Indian civilization is already under tremendous squeeze, if not under a virtual siege. It could meet a fate similar to that of Lebanon and parts of the Balkans where the majority community was reduced to minority status by demographic changes within a few decades. In India a secular trend of continuous decline in the population of Indian religionists (a term devised by the researchers to include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists) in percentage terms has been conclusively established over a period of 110 years, i.e., from 1881 to 1991. What is more alarming is that this trend has gathered speed after partition of the country in 1947.
The census data of six decades, from 1881 to 1941, reveals that in British India, i.e., before partition, the percentage of Indian Religionists declined from 78.958 percent to 73.671, while that of Muslims increased from 19.969 percent to 24.280.(1) The total population of India in these sixty years grew at a compounding rate of 0.74 percent per annum. Population of the adherents of religions of Indian origin rose at a somewhat lower rate of 0.62 percent per annum, while that of other Religionists rose almost twice as fast, at a rate of 1.14 percent per annum. Amongst adherents of Other Religions, Christians grew the fastest with an average annual growth rate of 2.41 percent; Muslims, the largest community in this group, recorded a rate of growth of 1.07 percent per annum, three fourths higher than that of Hindus.(2)
Between 1901 to 1941, the population figures for the Indian Union (i.e., Bharat) show that the population of Indian Religionists declined from 86.640 to 84.438 percent, while that of Muslims rose from 12.209 percent to 13.380 in four decades.(3) Indian Union conducted its first census after independence and partition in 1951. Since then regular census has been taken every ten years. An analysis of the census data for the four decades, from 1951 to 1991, shows that the total population of the Indian Religionists rose from 315,001,000 to 720,100,000, while that of the Muslims rose from 37,661,000 to 106,552,000. Thus in terms of percentage, the population of Indian Religionists declined from 87.237 in 1951 to 85.088 in 1991,while that of Muslims increased from 10.430 to 12.590 per cent during those forty years. In post independence era, in percentage terms the population of Christians remained almost static, it being 2.334 per cent in 1951 and 2.322 in 1991.(4) As a consequence of partition, the proportion of the Indian Religionists in Indian Union increased by about 3 percentage points between 1941 and 1951 and that of the Muslims declined by about the same percentage.
But the most significant point is that in the forty years between 1951 and 1991, the proportion of Indian Religionists has continuously declined; by 1991 the relative proportion of Indian Religionists and Muslims has come nearer to the proportion that prevailed in 1941, before partition.(5)
After independence the population of the Indian Union continued to grow at a slower rate than that of Pakistan and Bangladesh. And, within the Indian Union, Indian Religionists continued to have a lower rate of growth than that of the Muslims, though they almost caught up with the Christians. Between 1941 and 1951, the proportion of Indian Religionists in Indian Union temporarily increased from 84.44 to 87.24 per cent - primarily due to massive influx of non-Muslims from Pakistan. In the forty years between 1951 and 1991, it has come down to 85.09 per cent. The proportion of Muslims during the same period has increased from 10.43 to 12.59 per cent, thus reaching near the pre-partition level of 13.38 per cent recorded in 1941. The proportion of Christians has not changed significantly in these forty years.(6) The growth of Muslims and Christians has not been uniform over the whole of the Indian Union. The increases are concentrated in various pockets; this has led to the formation of several clusters within Indian Union, where the proportion of Indian Religionists in the population is getting sharply eroded. (7)
The rapidly changing population profile of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh should be a matter of concern to everyone, especially those political leaders who have national stature and share a futuristic perspective of the country's unity and integriy. For instance, in Assam within eight decades from 1901 and 1991, the percentage of Indian Religionists registered a steep decline of 26.30 points, falling from 84.55 to 68.25 percent, while that of the Muslims almost doubled, rising spectacularly from 15.03 to 28.43 percent.(8) At least in four districts of Dhubri, Barpeta, Hailakundi and Karimganj Muslims are reported to have become the majority community. Quite a few more districts are likely to follow suit in another decade. Similarly in West Bengal Muslims have reportedly become majority community in at least two districts of Murshidabad and Malda, while West Dinajpur and Birbhum may soon follow suit. Again certain districts of Uttar Pradesh like Rampur, Bijnor, Moradabad, Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Bareily are likely to become Muslim majority districts within the next one or two decades. In Bihar, Muslims are already an overwhelming majority in Kishanganj district with a 65.91 percent share in population, while some other districts like Araria, Katihar, Sahibganj, Darbhanga and Pashcimi Champaran have witnessed rapid growths in their numbers and percentage.
In the sensitive border state of Assam, which has witnessed numerous faultline conflicts, the decline in the share of Indian Religionists has been almost phenomenal. Their proportion has been dwindling continuously from decade to decade since 1901; it was 84.55 percent in 1901, declined to 75.80 percent by 1931 and further to 73.32 percent in 1951, when the proportion of Indian Religionists increased almost everywhere else as result of partition causing millions of Hindus and Sikhs to migrate from the neighbouring country, which later on split into Pakistan and Bangladesh.(9) During 1951-1991, the Indian Religionists in Assam lost another five percentage points, with their population declining to 68.25 percent in 1991. Thus between 1901 and 1991, the share of Indian Religionists has declined by more than 16 percentage points; about two-thirds of the decline took place in the period before independence and the remaining one-third in the four decades since then. Muslims and Christians have both gained at the cost of the Indian Religionists, the share of the Muslims in Assam has risen from 15.03 per cent in 1901 to 28.43 per cent in 1991, and that of the Christians from 0.41 to 3.32 per cent in the same period.(10) The fast pace of the growth of Muslim population in Assam has the potential of converting it into a Muslim majority state within the next twenty to thirty years time because of the operation of twin causative factors of their higher fertility rate and the unabated influx of Bangladeshis. The fate of the Hindus in West Bengal is only a shade better. In that State, the proportion of Indian Religionists declined from 70.18 per cent in 1901 to 69.29 per cent in 1931; it rose to 79.85 per cent in 1951 mainly as a result of partition, and in the four decades following independence and partition, it has declined by 3.6 percentage points to 75.82 per cent in 1991. The corresponding share of Muslims in State's population has increased from 19.46 per cent in 1951 to 23.61 per cent.(11) Similar trends of rapid decline in the percentage of the Hindu population and the substantial increase in the percentage of the Muslims have also been established in the States of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, both of which constitute the heartland of India.
The latest census data for the decade ending 2001, showing the religious break up of the population patterns in various States, is yet to be published. But on the basis of the past secular trend, it can be categorically stated that the population figures of Assam, West Bengal and the communally sensitive States of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar will reflect a further rise in the proportion of Muslims and a corresponding decline in the numbers of Hindus. Most demographers admit this. The conclusions reached in the research study titled 'Religious Demography of India' are not new. The trend was quite visible in the census figures of 1991. It has been re-confirmed now. When presented with a map and statistical chart, only a cynic can remain unaffected by the alarming growth of Muslim presence in the border belt comprising Bahraich, Gonda, Basti, Gorakhpur and Deoria of eastern U.P., Champaran, Muzzafarpur, Darbhanga, Saharsa, Purnia and Santhal Pargana districts of Bihar; West Dinajpur, Malda, Birbhum and Murshidabad of West Bengal, and Goalpara, Kamrup, Darrang and Nagaon of Assam.(12) Muslim population in this belt is said to touch 28 per cent, a decadal increase of seven per cent, in four decades. Other pockets of high Muslim growth include western U.P. Cachar (Assam) and Kolkata (West Bengal).(13)
By limiting their analysis to bare statistical parameters, the researchers have refrained from commenting on some controversial socio-economic and cultural issues which India might face as a result of these population changes. Even while avoiding the issue of India's failure to assert its civilisational ethos after independence, they have candidly pointed out that religion, particularly the large presence of a religious community in compact border regions, was the cause of partition less than six decades ago. (14) The research has conclusively established the rapid growth of Muslim numbers along the country's sensitive borders which could spell trouble in the decades ahead from the law and order point of view. Clearly there is a message in the statistics which India can ill afford to ignore. The lesson of history is that many a monotheistic creed, especially the Islam, has always found it difficult to peacefully co-exist with other religious groups. Barring this reality from public discussion would be an ostrich-like attitude. We need to recognise the gravity of the situation, defend our civilisational identity and take pride in our national genius. (15)
Ordinarily a moderate population growth of any religious group, in terms of percentage or absolute numbers, need not cause any alarm. But when such rapid growth in numbers, having the potential to radically alter the demographic religious balance in a country, is accompanied by multiple acts of terror and killings in the name of holy war or 'jihad', the concerned nation must sit up, take notice and counter the menace. The jihad being waged against India by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan and allied outfits like Al Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Tayyeba is a fact of the contemporary history. And there is more to it. Not many Indians know that a Pakistan-sponsored terrorist organization of Bangladesh, is now laying claim to West Bengal. The fundamentalist Islamist outfit, Shahadat-e al-Hikima, the formation of which was announced by its chief Syed Kawsar Hussain Siddique, on February 6, 2003, has been propagating that it considers West Bengal as a part of Bangladesh and advocates its occupation by the latter.(16) It is reported to have been funded by an underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim, now at long last declared by the U.S.A. as an international terrorist, by sending an installment of Rs.140 crore Takas, for anti-India terrorist activities.
Although on paper this terrorist outfit has been banned by the Bangladesh government, it continues to be quite active and is believed to be running many terrorist training camps at the behest of the ISI, in the area around Rajshahi. They are propagating the ideology of claiming West Bengal, as part of the Muslim Bangladesh, with the support of the ISI and Al Qaeda. It is well known that Dawood Ibrahim was responsible for the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai in which hundreds of innocent people were killed. The launch of Shahadat-e al-Hikima at the instance of the ISI has to be viewed in the light of the growing talibanization of Bangladesh and rapid growth in the activities of the ISI and Al Qaeda in that country. Dawood Ibrahim, wanted since long time by India in many cases of terrorism, including Mumbai bomb blasts, is a known protégé of the ISI. He has been sheltered and protected by the ISI and Pakistan government now for more than one decade.
As the proportion of Muslim population increases and that of Hindus declines further, say during the next 30 or 40 years, the incidence of faultline conflicts between the two major communities, the Hindus and the Muslims, is likely to increase dramatically. Not learning this simple lesson from the history of civil wars in Lebanon and the Balkans could be a major political failure and blunder, especially with the backdrop of the events leading to India's partition on religious grounds.
The history of Lebanon is a classic example of a devastating politico-religious civil war caused by the massive population changes resulting from fertility differences between the Christian and Muslim population groups. The epoch making geopolitical transformation took barely fifty years to complete. Not many Indians know that in the year 1900 the Maronite Christians constituted 77.32 per cent of Lebanon's population, while Muslims were barely 20.49 percent.(17) During the next four decades the proportion of Muslims rose rapidly, coming close to parity with Christians. In terms of a 1943 agreement, known as the National Pact of Lebanon, it was decided to share the political authority between the two religious groups, the Christians and the Muslims, in proportion to their respective strength in the national population. Posts of top ministers were apportioned between the Christians and the Muslims in a six-to-five ratio, as per the figures revealed in the country's 1932 census. At that time the Christians had a thin majority of approximately nine per cent over the Muslims. The two important top posts of the President and the Prime Minister were to be shared by the two communities, the President being a Christian and the Prime Minister a Muslim.
Subsequent population counts showed a pronounced difference between the Christian and Muslim fertility. Despite widespread awakening among Maronite Christians, who were more alert and better educated, and efforts of their clergy and community leaders to motivate them to have more babies, the declining trend in the fertility of Christians could not be reversed. In early 1970s the Christian community had a declining fertility rate of less than four children per woman, while Muslims had an estimated fertility rate of six children per woman. By then the percentage of Christians had fallen to 53.71, from 77.32 in 1900. After that it was a steep downhill slide for the Christian numbers. By 1975 Lebanon became a Muslim majority country. As a warning of the coming events casting their shadow before, the faultline conflicts between the two groups had already started rising sharply prior to the climactic demographic change.
Even before Muslims acquired the majority status, ferocious civil war had started raging throughout the country wreaking havoc on the civillian population - just as it happened in Kosovo and Bosnia regions of the Balkans. Within 2 years, i.e., 1975-76, more than five lakh [a lakh = 100,000] uprooted Christians were forced to migrate out of Lebanon. Ultimately the heavily armed Lebanese Muslim militias, raising the battle cry of jihad and supported by various Muslim countries surrounding Lebanon, emerged victorious in the 1990s. Since then the Christians are being squeezed out of that country. Luckily they happen to be the well-educated, adventurous types and have a number of Christian countries to turn to. Ever since 1970s Christians have been migrating out, under the growing threat of an aggressive Muslim majority.
The demographic profile of Indonesia has been similarly tilting in favour of the Muslims, their proportion in population having gone up from 40 per cent in 1900 to almost 55 percent in 1990.(18) They are now estimated at 75 to 80 per cent of the total population. No wonder at present Indonesia is in the grip of radical Islam; this happened largely due to the vast demographic changes. Nigeria, too, is at present witnessing growing hostility and faultline conflicts between the Christians and the Muslims, because in percentage terms the population of Muslims has increased from 25.93 in 1900 to 43.89 in 1990.(19)
Rapid growth in the numbers of Muslims is now a worldwide phenomenon in most countries and their population often tends to outpace other religious groups almost universally. At this rate, Macedonia in Europe and India in Asia, could be the next two target countries for take-over or partial take-over by the Islamist jihadis, unless some other factors intervene in the meantime. Demography, as we know, is a complex science. Apart from the high fertility rate of the Muslims, Macedonia is facing the problem of large scale Muslim influx from Albania and Bosnia both of which have the highest fertility rates in Europe. Recently the sharply growing numbers of Albanian Muslims in Macedonia enabled them to wrest from the government the concession of exercising more control over the municipalities in which they happen to be in majority. The government of Macedonia admitted that making this concession to Albanian Muslims was necessary for maintaining peace in the country. The decision led to major protests by Macedonian Christians and nearly 20 thousand protestors trooped into Skopje, capital of Macedonia, in the last week of July, 2004. The concession made by the government were widely criticised on the ground that it will create "ethnic enclaves", or mini-autonomous units within the country. But repetitive aggressive demands by Albanians left the government with little choice.
The divide between the Christians and Albanian Muslims is growing rapidly and the balance of power between the two communities is delicately poised. The Albanian Muslims now constitute almost one-third of Macedonia's population. It is an ongoing problem, a growing problem, which had taken the country to the brink of civil war in 2001. There is a palpable fear among Christian Macedonians that with rapid growth in the population of Albanian Muslims, the battle cry of jihad may be raised in due course of time - on the pattern of Kosovo and Bosnia. More or less similar factors have been operating in the rapidly changing demographic profile of India. Needless to recall that both Pakistan and Bangladesh have a higher fertility rate than India.
Basically it is due to the dynamics of demography that Muslims feel confident that the "21st century will be the century of Islam" - as emphasized by Akbar S. Ahmed, a Pakistani scholar, who lectures at the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University, Washington D.C.(20) He draws attention to the fact that there are nearly 1.3 billion Muslims living in 55 countries, one of them being nuclear. Another one-third live in non-Muslim countries, while about 25 million Muslims live in the West, including 7 million in the U.S.A. and two million in the U.K. Their world population is the fastest growing across the globe and that Islam in one religion which is on collision course with all other world religions. He seems to take pride in the fact that due to a unique combination of geo-political factors, Islam is in confrontation with all "the major world religions: Judaism in the Middle East, Christianity in the Balkans, Chechenya, Nigeria, Sudan and sporadically in the Philippines and Indonesia; Hinduism in South Asia and after the Taliban blew up the statues in Bamiyan, Buddhism." (21)
Despite Islam being pitted against every major world religions, a vast majority of the Muslims believe that ultimately Islam will emerge as victorious because they consider it to be a superior faith which ensures its ready acceptability and popularity. But that kind of claim is also made by the votaries of many other religions, including Christianity and Buddhism. Actually the core of the strong belief of Islamists in the invincibility of their faith comes from the widespread consciousness about their fast growing numbers across the globe and willingness of the faithful to court martyrdom while waging jihad. Most Islamic scholars seldom fail to sing paens to the long record of the conquests made by the warriors of Islam in medieval times through holy wars and repose enormous confidence in the growing tribe of suicide bombers among Muslims which they feel will surely make them victorious in this holy war.
India has a nine hundred years long history of repetitive conflicts with Islam which dates back to the eighth century when Arabs set their foot on the Indian soil. Even when the Mughal empire was at its zenith, the resistance to the alien rule and culture at the grass root level continued to surface every now and then, in one form or another, like it did under the leadership of Rana Pratap in Rajasthan, Shivaji in Maharashtra and Guru Gobind Singh in the Punjab. Additionally there is an unfortunate legacy of communal riots which continued to erupt from time to time in various parts of the sub-continent during the British rule, right from 1889 onwards till the partition in 1947. Huntington calls these religious clashes faultline conflicts. The long tortuous history of communal riots in India during the decades preceding the partition and the two examples of the dire fate which overtook Lebanon and the former composite state of Yugoslavia in the Balkans underline the strong likelihood of the religion-based faultline conflicts plaguing the Indian sub-continent in the decades to come.
Historically, changes in the population profiles of different religious groups have often been the main source of communal divide, faultline conflicts and dismemberment of countries. The phenomenon of partition or dismemberment of a country becomes a greater possibility wherever the population gain is in favour of the Muslims. Huntington has exemplified how demographic changes tend to create tensions between the concerned religious groups because of the identity crisis. For dealing with identity crisis, what counts for most people are the relationships based on blood and belief, faith and family. Most people rally to those with similar ancestry, religion, language, values and institutions and tend to distance themselves from those with different ones. (22)
The events of Balkans illustrate this point very well. During the Cold War, Greece and Turkey were in the NATO, Bulgaria and Romania were part of the Warsaw Pact. But once Cold War was over, all these alignments broke and gave way to civilizational ties rooted in Islam and Orthodoxy. The Balkans leaders now talk of forging a Greek-Serb-Bulgarian Orthodox Christian alliance. The Prime Minister of Greece feels that the Balkans wars have revived the resonance of their old Orthodox bond. It was dormant, but now due to the latest developments in the Balkans, it is again taking shape. In difficult times people seek identity and roots in search of security to defend themselves.
Similar thoughts were echoed by Serbia's main opposition party which felt that the situation in south-eastern Europe will soon require the formation of a new Balkans alliance of Orthodox Christian countries, including Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, in order to resist the encroachment of Islam.(23) In an overview of the emerging scenario of faultline conflicts Huntington points out that in Russia Orthodox Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine will gravitate towards Russia, while Armenians and Azeris will fight each other. The Russian army will fight Muslim fundamentalists in Chechenya and Tajikstan. The neighbouring Muslim countries (part of the former Soviet Union) will try to develop economic and political relationships between themselves and with their Muslim neighbours. Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia will continue to work for cultivating relations with these new Muslim states. In the Indian subcontinent, India and Pakistan will remain at loggerheads over Kashmir where fighting will intensify, and within India, new conflicts will arise between the Muslim and the Hindu fundamentalists.(24)
Like the Balkans and Lebanon, India too has a long history of religion-based faultline conflicts, often referred to as communal disturbances. It has become fashionable to blame the British rule for the almost perennial hostility between the Hindus and the Muslims, as reflected in the frequent outbreaks of communal riots. But that is not a correct statement. Surely the British rulers did practise the policy of divide and rule, epitomised in the Roman motto, Divide et impera, and in the process tried to favour the Muslims. But that alone cannot explain the ferocity of the Hindu-Muslim riots witnessed throughout the British rule.
It must be admitted that the Hindu-Muslim discord is firmly rooted in the Indian history of one millenium. It cannot be wished away peremptorily. The Europeans had come to India as merchants, while Islam entered India's northern border as an aggressor. The conquest it undertook was not merely territorial but religious.(25) Ever since 327 B C when Alexander invaded India there have been many invasions notably by Bactrian Greeks, Sakas, Kushans and Huns which could do no more than injuring India physically. But they did not traumatise the collective psyche of the Indian people.(26) Unlike Muslim invaders, the Greeks and the Kushans did not take recourse to mass killings and plunder of innocent masses nor did they try to decimate the religious and cultural ethos of the Indian society. But the Islamic invaders were of a different genre. They subjected the Indian masses to large scale oppression for centuries, including recourse to forcible conversions, the scars of which are deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche.
Hindus find it difficult to forget that traumatic past. And unfortunately, many Muslims of the sub-continent who are mostly descendants of the Hindus forcibly converted during the oppressive alien rule, often brag about having ruled over Hindus for centuries, not realising the truth about their own roots. That creates further complications, and promotes greater hostility between the two communities. The classical example of one such vitriolic outburst was that of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, who once boasted that Muslims had ruled over cowardly Hindus for one thousand years and that they would do so again. A befitting reply to that morbid statement was given by the late Justice M.C. Chhagla, himself a Muslim, by reminding Bhutto that by hurling abuses at the Hindus, he was only denigrating his own forefathers. Truth dawned upon Bhutto but only when death stared him in the face during imprisonment by General Zia, when he landed in the death row. It was only then that Bhutto poignantly remembered the great tradition of truth and tolerance cultivated by the great Indian civilization, dating back to the times of Ashoka the Great and even earlier. In that twilight hour of his life Bhutto realized the telling difference between the sublimated civilizational values of the Indian culture, in sharp contrast with the brutal sub-cultural practices imported from the alien lands of Arabia and the Middle East.
Many historians, mostly left oriented, often overlook the truth and even try to distort history by emphasizing that before the arrival of the British there were no communal riots. It is difficult to guess whether such assertions are made due to sheer naivette or by deliberate design. They ignore the basic fact that during the long spell of Muslim rule there could be no question of any communal disturbances or riots in India because the Hindus had been totally subjugated by the Muslim rulers. Occasionally there was some resistance to Muslim oppression in some far away corner but that was sporadic, and mostly symbolic. The backbone of the Hindu resistance had been broken and their will to fight the tyranny severely restricted. Even the gutsy Maratha warriors had lost to the marauding troops of Ahmed Shah Abdali in 1761 in the third battle of Panipat.
So where was the question of the Hindus ever daring to start a communal riot, leave alone opposing the ruling Muslim community on any issue? The very thought is preposterous. There were occasional communal confrontations during the Muslim rule, too. But there could be no rioting by the Hindus. Any attempt on the part of the Hindus to assert their legitimate rights or act against the wishes of the neighbourhood Muslims, was treated as an uprising and put down with a heavy hand and often followed by strong reprisals. This had happened off and on even in the vicinity of Delhi, in the area now called Mewat. Ultimately the headstrong and turbulent Mewatis, both Rajput and Jat Hindus, were tamed by the medium of repression and then forced to convert to Islam. The same thing happened to Malkana Rajputs in the rural belt of Agra. The Hindus of Katihar in Bihar and several other parts of India faced similar persecution. The average Hindu was just not allowed to assert his rights nor permitted any self-respect. Owing to the overload of abject slavery and persecution carried by generations of Hindus, their guts were in tatters and excepting pockets of resistance here and there, say in Maharashtra which had undergone a Hindu resurgence under Shivaji, or parts of Rajasthan where the folklore of valiant Rana Pratap who had the daring to cross swords with the army of mighty Akbar, sometimes made Hindus hold their head high.
A number of historians, ranging from Lanepool, Titus and R.C. Majumdar to Will Durant have graphically described how Indian civilization was ravaged and plundered under the Muslim rule. A large numbers of Hindus were forcibly converted to Islam. Those wanting to escape conversion had to pay the impost called jiziya. As a result of the oppressive policies practised by the alien rulers, millions of Indians were reduced to the status of hewers of wood and drawers of water. The sole exception to the overall atmosphere of shame and sullenness of the Hindu society were the Sikhs of Punjab whom the great Guru Gobind Singh had infused with a new vigour to oppose tyranny and defend not only their motherland but also protect the meek and submissive Hindu masses from among whom they had been moulded into Khalsa [baptised as Sikhs].
It was only after the rise of the Sikh power in Punjab that the annual blight of invaders and looters descending into India from across the Khyber and Bolan passes stopped playing havoc with the hapless populace. Not only did the Sikh warriors led by generals like Hari Singh Nalwa and Sham Singh Atariwala put the fear of God into the hearts of invaders, for a change they also trounced the belligerent Afghans and made king Shujah of Afghanistan pay an annual tribute, ban cow slaughter and return the plundered gates of the historic Somnath temple. The Sikhs demonstrated how a motivated people, fired with the zeal to re-win their lost pride and honour, could turn the tide against bands of ruthless marauders.
Who can forget that when the Pandits of Kashmir valley, came under severe pressure, on orders of Aurangzeb either to convert to Islam or face death, they rushed to Guru Tegh Bahadur, father of Guru Gobind Singh, for the shelter and succour of his temporal and spiritual strength to escape Aurangzeb's wrath. Sometime a question is asked that why did the Sikh soldiers of Punjab support the British rulers during the mutiny of 1857, also described as the first war of India's independence. The answer is simple. Having borne the brunt of the despotic Muslim rule for centuries, Sikhs had the farsight to discern that it was better to suffer the privations of serving under the British than to allow the horrors of Muslim rule to revisit India. It was only after 1857 that a mass awakening seized the sullen Hindu masses which ultimately gave birth to the concept of Indian nationalism which, for all practical purposes, came up as the resurgent Hindu nationalism.
The truth is that the phenomenon of communal riots started in the late nineteenth century only after Hindus regained their lost confidence and self-respect under the British rule as a result of the enlightenment acquired from western education which enabled them to stand up to communal fanaticism. To that extent perhaps our leftist friends might like to blame the Hindu community, more than the British rulers, for mustering the courage to stand up for their self-respect when Muslims were no longer the rulers. In doing so perhaps they will be nearer to truth.
Throughout British rule religious disturbances broke out with unabated fury almost every year. For example, between 1889-93, seven disturbances broke out in Bombay (now Maharashtra), 46 in Bengal, 9 in N.W.P. (North West Province) and Oudh (present Uttar Pradesh), 17 in Madras (which comprised Tamil Nadu, parts of Andhra, Kerala and Ganjam district of Orissa), 1 in Punjab and 3 in Hyderabad. Again between 1923-26 riots broke out at 71 places and were responsible for over 3000 injured and 260 deaths. (27) According to the opinion of the masses these disturbances broke out on such issues as cow-killing; playing of music before mosques; the construction and demolition of mosques; coincidence of Hindu and Muslim festivals; obstruction in each other's place of worship and in festivals. But the educated classes attributed these to such causes as the increasing heat of religious, political and race discussion, which could be seen from the struggle for government posts, the question of separate representation; the proximity of census; the growing irritation of Muslims with the Swadeshi agitation coupled with agrarian and social disturbances; Muslim extra-territorial sympathies and lastly to the missionary or proselytizing movements.(28) In November 1912 serious Hindu-Muslim disturbances took place in Ajodhya (Ayodhaya) and Faizabad in the United Provinces (i.e., present U.P.) over the sacrifice of cows on the occasion of the Id-uz-Zuha. In October 1916 two serious Hindu Muslim disturbances occurred in the Patna District on the occasion of Bakr-Id.(29)
The communal situation deteriorated substantially after the Moplah rebellion of 1920 caused by the Khilafat Committee's call for jihad in which the Hindus suffered enormously. Thereafter frequency of communal riots began to rise sharply. Though there was lull during the years 1922-23, the relations between the two communities were strained throughout 1923-24. One of the worst communal riots took place in Kohat (N.W.F.P.) on September 9 and 10, 1924 in which total casualties were 155 killed and many wounded. As a result of the reign of terror the whole Hindu population was evacuated from Kohat. They could return only after several weeks, when it was agreed to drop prosecutions against the rioters.(30) In the summer months of 1924 there was a distressing number of riots. In July, severe fighting broke out between the Hindus and the Muslims in Delhi resulting in serious casualties. In the same month there was again an outbreak of riot at Nagpur. August was even worse. There were riots at Lahore, Lucknow, Moradabad, Bhagalpur and Nagpur in British India; while a severe affray took place at Gulbarga in the Nizam's dominion. The months of September-October saw severe fighting at Lucknow, Shahjahanpur, Kankinarah and Allahabad. In 1925-26 the antagonism between the Hindus and the Muslims became more widespread.
A very significant feature of the Hindu-Muslim rioting which took place during this period was its wide distribution and its occurrence, in some cases, in small villages.(31) In his lucid treatise, Pakistan or Partition of India, Dr. Ambedkar has given graphic details of many communal riots which took place year after year in various parts of the country, in the decades following the Moplah rebellion and during subsequent years, before the actual partition of the country. Once in a while the British might have favoured a particular community but there is no empirical evidence to support the oft-repeated allegation that they were responsible for promoting communal strife between the two communities, excepting the solitary instance of the Direct Action Day rioting in August, 1946, in Calcutta.
It is a fact that communal riots were a regular feature of the Indian political scene from the eighties of the nineteenth century right up to the year of the partition of the country, i.e., 1947. The years 1946 and 1947 witnessed the biggest communal carnage ever witnessed in the history of modern world. What was more shameful was that neither the British nor the Congress leadership did anything worthwhile to prevent it, although the country had already been awash with communal frenzy for the previous two years. The threat of massive communal clashes was looming large over the horizon of the sub-continent since the Calcutta killings of August 16, 1946, when the Muslim League gave a call for jihad against the Hindus. The threat of communal carnage was so obvious that even the blind could see it, smell it and feel it in the air! But no preventive strategy was devised.
Looking to the past history of communal conflicts and the latest demographic changes taking place in the sub-continent, the phenomenon of growing communal tensions and recrudescence of faultline religious conflicts is likely to pose a formidable challenge to the Indian state in the near future - say at the most within the next two to three decades. Unless sound strategic policies, both at micro and macro levels, are devised by the political leadership from now onwards to roll back the growing tide of Bangladeshi influx and bridge the civilizational divide between the two communities, the coming decades could witness multiple faultline conflagrations giving rise to major law and order problems of staggering dimensions.
If the past experience of the partition of India and the events of the Balkans are objectively analysed, it would be noticed that the faultline conflicts in one part of the country invariably tend to generate cascading effect in other parts. That is elementary common sense. It is no use shutting one's eyes like an ostrich to an impending serious law and order problem which could affect the lives of millions of people.The growing tension and mutual suspicion between the two communities is already in the air because of repetitive attacks by the Islamist terrorists on innocent civillians, Hindu yatris and on the temples of Raghunathji in Jammu and Akshardham in Gujarat. Only the purblind can pretend to ignore it.
In the recent years the continued influx of Bangladeshi Muslims into India has further muddied the communal scene. According to a rough estimate there could be approximately thirty million Bangladeshi migrants and their progeny already in India and their silent invasion through the porous border continues unabated. It may be recalled that according to the 2001 Census of Bangladesh, within 50 years, from 1951 to 2001, that country's population rose more than 3 times, rising from 42.16 million in 1951 to 129.2 million in 2001 registering a mammoth addition of 87.04 million. To get an idea of the high fertility rate of Bangladeshis one has just to add to the aforementioned figures another 20 to 30 million intruders pushed out into India plus the forced out migration of millions of hapless Hindus. And according to demographers, by 2020 A.D. the population of Bangladesh will swell to 170 million and more which could mean more Bangladeshi influx. These figures, based on census data, should give some idea of the problem to India's political leadership, presently represented by the new Home Minister of the United Progressive Alliance regime, who publicly indicated his intention to deal with the matter in a soft manner.
The serious dimensions of the problem were highlighted by Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, a retired senior officer of the Cabinet Secretariat in a well-researched study published sometime ago. (32) He drew attention to an incisive analysis of the 1991 Bangladesh census statistics by Sarifa Begum, a Bangla demographer, which showed that the estimated 104.7 million population of Bangladesh in 1991 had excluded 9-10 millions from the computation. Additionally the census figures were at odds with the Bangladesh government's own projection of a population of 112-114 million in 1991 and the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) estimate of 116-117 million. Sarifa Begum rightly attributed the 'missing millions' to unregistered 'out-migration'.(33) From the estimates projected by Sarifa Begum, it is clear that between the census decade of 1981-1991 approximately 14 to 15 million Bangladeshis had entered India. There was a sizeable presence of Bangla immigrants in India even before 1981 - many stayed on after 1971 war which had led to the liberation of Bangladesh. Many more continued to pour in. But they were mainly concentrated in Assam, West Bengal and parts of Bihar and U.P. till 1980-82 when a massive influx of Bangladeshis started. Between 1980-1991 millions of them managed to spread almost all over India. By now their presence in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata and numerous small townships runs into millions. Official estimates place the number of Bangladeshis in Delhi at more than 13 lakhs. Mumbai has even a larger number, while Kolkata may have near about two million or more.
Their deportation has become almost impossible, as admitted by Delhi Police while responding to a High Court directive. They cited various reasons including political pressure and the non-cooperation from corrupt officials. This was stated in a sealed affidavit which the Delhi police filed before the high court.(34) The 13 lakh illegal Bangladeshi migrants have managed to acquire documents like ration cards, passports and voter identity cards to avail civic facilities which rightful citizens are being deprived of. (35) In Delhi the official figure stands at 13 lakh. But the actual number could be twice this figure. Illegal Bangla immigrants have settled in large numbers in cities like Patna, Lucknow, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, and many other towns. India's Defence Minster, George Fernandes, during his visit to Chandigarh on September 27, 2003, confirmed that a large number of Bangladeshis were entering India and altering the demographic character of the North-eastern States. According to the information given to him by the Eastern Command over one lakh Bangladeshis were entering India every year.(36) The influx of Bangladeshi Muslims has been depriving millions of economically backward and poor Indian wage earners, and small farmers, of their work-a-day employment and meagre land holdings thereby putting an economic squeeze on the poorest of the poor groups in India.
Unfortunately there has been no realization of the important fact that the illegal migrants from Bangladesh are not qualified professionals nor educated individuals. They are essentially poor wretches who are unable to earn a subsistence wage in their own country. Almost the entire lot of Bangla-Muslim immigrants are illiterate and unskilled petty wage earners owing to which the first victims of their influx are the poorest local Indian labourers and land-tillers who are elbowed out of their professions and lands. In most cases the immigrants start by offering to work on a lower wage and then gradually worm their way up and spread their wings. This process has been creating tensions both on economic and religious grounds in several parts of the country. Unfortunately our self-centred politicians do not realize that by out-migrating between 20 to 30 million poor and illiterate miserable wage-earners and their progeny (which too must be in millions by now), the Bangladesh government has transferred approximately fifteen to twenty percent of their poverty and an equal percentage of illiteracy to India. This has added to the economic burden of the Indian people and increased unemployment, while to Bangladesh it has provided corresponding relief both in economic growth and promotion of literacy in that country.
Interestingly the political parties sustaining their growth through the culture of minority-vote bank comprising Bangladeshis are guilty of depriving the poorest of the poor Indian citizens of their bread and butter. The Bangla immigration has been pushing down the poverty-stricken marginalized Indians, mostly in Bengal and other poor states like Assam, Orissa, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, into deeper depths of penury. By denying the problem of Bangladeshi influx the Communists, Marxists and other leftist outfits have been functioning in a manner totally inimical to the interests of the poor and the weaker sections of society in whose name they have always captured political power.
Another important implication of this ever-growing problem is that the continuing silent invasion of Bangladeshis has become a major obstacle in raising the thresh-hold level of poverty in the country, especially in West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Bihar and U.P. Their growing numbers have acted as a drag on India's economic development. But this out-migration of approximately 30 million people has given a big push to the prosperity of Bangladesh and upgraded that country's GDP and literacy level, almost dramatically. If this massive immigration was curbed, the per capita income of the states like Assam, West Bengal, Tripura, Meghalaya, Orissa, Bihar,etc., would have risen much faster. The slow pace of illiteracy eradication, too, is a direct result of this illegal invasion.
No Indian economist has tried to assess the economic cost of Bangladeshi influx and the financial implications of the burden it has cast on the Indian nation - over the decades it could run into billions of rupees. This huge influx is also responsible for the high incidence of unemployment in States like Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Orissa, Bihar and U.P. It may be recalled that in the year 2003 there was an ugly row resulting in riots over the sharing of job opportunities in Indian Railways between the Assamese and Biharies in which the latter had suffered a great deal. Obviously if Assam is burdened with providing economic sustenance which also means employment opportunities to more than 5 million Bangladeshis and Bihar is saddled with the unwelcome responsibility of feeding another 1 to 2 million aliens, where will the local people, the sons of the soil, find employment for economic sustenance?
Unfortunately most Indian intellectuals do not want to understand this simple 'cause-and-effect' economic phenomenon resulting from illegal entry of 20 million to 30 million foreigners and the resultant crushing economic burden thrown on the marginalised poor sons of the soil. One of the most important reasons of higher incidence of poverty and hunger in Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and U.P. is the growth of Bangladeshi numbers. It can be safely presumed that in addition to the 15 million immigrants who entered India during the census decade of 1981-1991, as estimated by Sarifa Begum, an additional 1.5 million, or 15 lakhs, had entered during the last 13 years. And if we take into account the numbers of immigrants present in India before 1981 and their progeny, the real figure could cross 30 million. The faultline conflicts likely to arise from unlawful entry of 20-25 million Bangladeshis during the last thirty years, to which must have been added a few more millions as their progeny, because of their higher fertility, can be ignored only at grave peril to the Indian nation. After lying for decades to their voters, mostly the poor people, in a style remniscent of Goebbels, finally even the Communist Party (Marxist) and leftists who had always glossed over this problem because of their commitment to vote-bank politics, conceded in July 2003 that the illegal migration of Bangladeshis has acquired alarming proportions.
This marked quite an about-turn by a party which shrugged off fears about Bangladeshis pouring into different parts of the state as an "anti-Muslim campaign."(37) The changed tune, sung by the CPM's state Secretary, Anil Biswas, was apparently occassioned by the dawn of wisdom on the new Chief Minister of West Bengal, Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. Unlike his ultra-secular predecessor, Jyoti Basu, the present Chief Minster candidly admitted that the Central Government's fears of demographic crisis in the border districts of West Bengal and the resultant consequences for the state's security and economic development were true and that this problem deserves attention.
The crass administrative ineptitude of the State governments and inexcusable lack of political will, on the part of successive political leadership and indifference of the governments at the Centre, has been responsible for the growth of this gigantic problem which is already causing faultline tremors from north-eastern India to Delhi and Maharashtra. It has become a serious threat to India's national security because now Bangladesh is the commonest route being used by Islamist terrorists for entering India. The persistent denials by Bangladesh Government of the fact of illegal immigration stands fully rebutted by the research carried out by Sarifa Begum, one of their own demographers. The much higher growth rates in Indian districts bordering Bangladesh and significantly lower growth rates in the adjoining areas, extremely low growth in Hindu-concentrated districts and population explosion in urban pockets of West Bengal confirmed the finding. Some statistics tellingly illustrate the point: Greater Jessore and Greater Khulna districts in Bangladesh registered 1.97 and 1.58 per cent growth respectively as against 3.16 per cent in the adjoining North 24 Parganas. Greater Mymensingh had a growth rate of 1.82 per cent against 3.84 per cent in the adjacent Garo Hills district in Meghalaya. Greater Comilla district (Bangladesh) showed 1.89 per cent growth rate against 3.36 per cent in Tripura. Many semi-urban areas of West Bengal have witnessed a virtual population explosion - Gobardanga (8.64 per cent), Khardah (9.5), Raiganj (13.93), Ashoknagar (7.45) Mekhliganj (7.98) and Tufanganj (22.45) - against the 2.45 per cent state average.(38) Like all Muslims, Bangladeshis have a higher fertility rate because of non-acceptance of the small family norm on religious grounds. The massive influx of Bangla Muslims during the last three decades has caused a sharp increase in communal tension and socio-political fissures in Assam and other parts of north-eastern India. This changed demography and the communal balance of the border districts has been generating inter-ethnic and inter-religious tensions. In West Bengal, many Hindus of remote villages in the border belt have been relocating themselves in towns for better security and protection. (39)
Accordng to a report submitted by the intelligence agencies to the Indian government in early 2004 the Muslim population in Nagaland, mostly illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, has more than trebled in the last decade, their estimated numbers rising from 20,000 in 1991 to over 75,000 in 2001. In Mizoram, too, there has been unprecedented growth in the number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants. The survey said that more than 80 lakh illegal Bangla immigrants were residing in West Bengal, 50 lakhs in Assam and 5 lakhs in north-eastern Bihar, including Katihar, Sahebganj, Kishenganj and Purnea. Consequently this illegal immigration has not only been been altering the demographical complexion of the border districts of these States, but also bestowing on the intruders more political clout. In Assam, the illegal immigrants have acquired a critical edge inasmuch as they are able to affect the electoral outcome in around 50 of the total number of 126 constituencies of the State Assembly. (40)
Their presence has been fuelling unrest in the region and the locals are increasingly resenting their presence - a fact which had been highlighted earlier also by a former Governor, Lt. General (Retd) S.K. Sinha, in his report to the Central Government. The Intelligence Bureau further cautioned the government about the BNP-led government's efforts to use illegal migrants to spread Jihadi terrorism. The phenomenal growth of Madarasas in Bangladesh is now said to be close to 100,000 (one lakh) of which nearly 90 percent are called "Qaumi" Madarasas and Bangladesh government professes to have no control over them. These Qaumi Madarasas, largely funded by Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, have reportedly become the purveyors of an India-baiting campaign. Many Islamic organizations of Bangladesh have been circulating fundamentalist propaganda material targetting India in several parts of the North East. On many occasions, the police have seized discs and audio-cassettes containing vituperative anti-India speeches of Maulana Dilawar Hussain Syeedi, a known anti-India campaigner and Member of Bangladesh Parliament representing Jamaat-e-Islami (Bangladesh). (41)
The resentment against Bangla-immigration now appears to be rising dangerously in India's north-east. Recently an organisation by the name 'the North-East People's Forum' was set up to find ways and means for countering the menace. During his inaugural address on September 19, 2003, at Guwahati in Assam, P.A. Sangma, former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, disclosed that Osama bin Laden was directly financing over 400 madarasas in Bangladesh, which were "training more than 25,000 people to become part of suicide squads". He asserted that he was saying this with full authority, as it was conveyed to him "by the Chairman of the Parliamentarians Committee of South-East Asian Countries, Professor Kabir Choudhry, who is from Bangladesh". An alarming aspect of the problem is that a large number of youth from Assam and other north-eastern states have also joined them. During the last two years more than 500 non-government organisations have come up in Bangladesh which are preaching fundamentalism.(42) Sangma, who is Vice-Chairman of the Parliamentarians' Committee of Southeast Asian Countries, emphasized that "we cannot remain a silent spectator to the political developments in the neighbouring countries". He clarified that it was not Bangladesh but Pakistan which was using Bangla territory to create unrest in India and reminded the audience that at the time of Bangladesh's liberation, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Z.A. Bhutto, had remarked that the war had just begun; it will continue for the next one hundred years. Incidentally, Sangma is not a Hindu. He is a practising Christian and a patriot of the highest order.
As pointed out by Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, the presence of nearly 15 per cent of another country's population in India underscores the significant erosion of our national sovereignty. It is a pity that India has no say in "who comes in and who stays on in this country". In Assam and West Bengal, votes by foreigners decisively influence election results in an increasingly large number of parliamentary and state assembly constituencies. The rise of Islamic fundamentalism and spread of the jihadi spirit in Bangladesh have turned the illegal immigrants into a potent source of subversion.(43).
Ultimately over the decades the geo-political and economic consequences of the unabated silent Bangladeshi invasion are likely to be far more damaging for the Indian nation than the consequences of the Pak-inspired terrorism confronting us in the violent valley of Kashmir - although the fountainhead of both these crisis situations is the same. Yet the awesome demographic threat emanating from the unremitting Bangladeshi influx has not received even minimal attention of the powers that be. Apparently we have a political class which is no better than the Bourbons of France of whom it was said that they could learn nothing, unlearn little.
Some analysts believe that the number of illegal Bangla immigrants who entered India during the last three decades plus the sum total of their subsequent fast growing progeny, due to high fertility rate, could be larger than the total births prevented in a span of five years through the family planning campaign in the country. That kind of large influx of immigrants could lead to huge socio-economic upheavals in the sub-continent. The last three decades have already witnessed increased polarisation between the two communities. The persistent opposition of Muslim groups to a uniform civil code and the resurgence of radical Islam manifesting itself in relentless bomb blasts across the country, including the frequent of killings of innocent and unarmed pilgrims proceeding to Amarnath and Vaishnodevi are just straws in the wind.
These ghastly events are already causing both grief and anger among Hindus. Unfortunately our leftist media analysts and columnists have a tendency to turn Nelson's eye to the ground realities. It has become fashionable among them to blame the concept of Hindutava and the so-called Hindu militancy for the growth of communal politics in the country. Their understanding of this serious problem and the issues involved is both superficial and simplistic; it only hows their enormous bias. With their eyes wide shut they can't see the long list of Hindu temples throughout the country which are security protected from attacks by terrorists - including the famous Tirumala temple situated in the far away south. They pretend not to know that in recent years a number of temples have been attacked, including Akshardham and the famous Raghunath temple of Jammu. The latter was attacked twice. If a Press Trust of India report is to be believed, even the make-shift Ram temple at Ayodhya is under threat of attack by Lashkar-e Tayyeba jihadis.(44)
Even after writing and reading so much about the death and destruction caused by more than half a dozen bomb blasts which rocked Mumbai between December 2002 and August 2003, the leftists continue to blame the Hindus and Hindutava for the communal unrest sweeping the country. It is surprising how any rational and even minimally educated person can miss the vital point that a major part of the turmoil taking place in the Hindu society is a direct consequence of the depredations of the protagonists of radical Islam operating from Pakistan and Bangladesh, and some supporters of their cause embedded in the Indian society - howsoever small their numbers might be. One such example is Dr. Jalees Ansari, originally a medico from Mumbai's V.N. Desai Hospital, now facing prosecution in more than thirty bombings across the country and presently lodged in the Ajmer jail. He is a typical supporter of the jihadi culture. He is an Indian, but a member of the Ahl-e Hadees, a puritannical Islamic outfit. Ansari believes in waging jihad against kafirs and has become a role model for many motivated Muslim youth for terrorist acts. Dr. Ansari has many comrades. One of them is said to be one C.A.M. Basheer, an engineer from Kerala. Another is Janab, full name Tahir Ali Nisar Ahmed, a close confidante of Ansari, reportedly a specialist in making bombs. Both are on the run. There are many more like Dr. Ansari and Janab in Mumbai, Malegaon, Solapur, Hyderabad, Delhi and even in Bangalore. A handful have been caught, others are still at large.
Among those charged with the bombing of a local train of Mumbai in December 2002, are educated Muslims, a chemical engineer, a doctor and a computer expert - all three of them are educated professionals with good family backgrounds. None of them was unemployed, none lived in poverty and none belonged to Gujarat or Kashmir. The clue to their proclivity for terror lies in the fact that they are all committed to the Islamic doctrine of jihad. Investigations into the twin bomb blasts in Mumbai on August 25, 2003, in which 53 persons were killed and 153 injured, have revealed that Hyderabad has become the hub of terrorist activities. It has acquired the contours of a city infested with hundreds of terrorists. In Pandya murder case also the trail of the dastardly crime had led the police to Hyderabad. Mumbai and Delhi have been the prime targets of terrorist attacks in recent years - perhaps Mumbai has been a notch higher in the target list. Frankly speaking, so many terror attacks across the country could not have taken place without some kind of local support. And dozens of such attacks, including those on pilgrims and temples, were taking place even before the Gujarat riots. It is no use shutting one's eyes to the inconvenient truth.
Apart from the promptings by the ISI, the roots of the growing trend among Muslim youth of India towards jihadi ideology lie in the continuing propagation of the fundamentalist version of Islam by several leaders of the community and their staunch opposition to modernity. They insist on maintaining total supremacy of Sharia and orthodoxy. On September 21, 2003, the Uttar Pradesh Chapter of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) had organized a 20,000 strong Jalsa-e-Alam rally at Jyotiba Phule Stadium, Lucknow, to voice the concerns of the Indian Muslims. (45) Some of the views aired by the speakers were quite bizarre as well as somewhat frightening, as would be seen from a sample reproduced below:
This action plan of the Jamiat, or their charter, did not differ much from the manifesto of the Taliban. That indeed was the essence of the goals set forth by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind. (46) The assertion that India belongs to the minorities who together constitute the majority reveals a dangerous anti-Hindu mindset. If this is the line of thinking of the so-called moderate Muslims today when Hindus are still in a comfortable majority, one shudders to think of what would happen to India when the Muslims grow to the near parity status in terms of population. At this rally were present some of the leading lights of India's several political parties - the Congress, the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Samajwadi Party.(47). None of them objected to the half-truths, none showed the daring to contradict the communal rhetoric and the retrograde agenda being propagated among the Muslim masses to poison their minds. A similar action plan was advocated in the presidential address of Amir Al-Hind Hazrat Molana Syed Asad Madani, President, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUH) at Delhi on March 9, 2003. Incidentally in the year 1999 in Assam, the Goalpara district Vice-President of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, Maulana Mohammed Muslim Ali alias Muslimuddin, had been arrested for sending Muslim youth to Pakistan to undergo arms training. He had visited Pakistan on five occasions and five passports, including bogus ones, were seized from him. He was also the chief organiser of the Harkat-ul Mujahideen in Assam.(48)
When such are the beliefs and thoughts of the leading lights of the Muslim community, how can one hope to promote communal harmony in India? It is shocking that even today the so-called moderate organizations like the Jamiat-al Ulema-e-Hind are doggedly following a fundamentalist agenda similar to the one propagated and followed by the Muslim League 57 years ago, before the partition. Is it any wonder then that radical Muslim outfits like the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India) and Deendar Anjuman have been working overtime to achieve the ultimate Islamist goal of transforming India into Dar-ul Islam? It may be recalled that during the first four decades of the twentieth century numerous attempts were made, mostly at the intiative of Gandhiji, to forge unity between Hindus and Muslims - sometime even by appeasing the latter. But all such attempts failed miserably and finally the communal situation took a turn for the worse. Even after independence, the communal problem and the resultant societal tensions have been with us now for almost fifty years, excepting a brief spell of five to ten years immediately following the partition.
Subsequent to the rapid growth of fundamentalist Islam across the globe and multiple Pakistan sponsored terror attacks in Jammu & Kashmir, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Coimbatore and other parts of India, the hostility between the two communities has reached a new high. Unless the Muslim society opts for modernity and tolerance there is little likelihood of any rapprochement. Surprisingly the stand of the Muslim leadership and their flock on many crucial issues has not changed a wee bit even after independence. They continue to refuse to sing Vande Matram in schools and at public functions, insist on slaughtering cows on religious ground, as a matter of right, and have been staunchly opposing the introduction of a uniform civil code. On these sensitive issues even today the position of Muslims remains the same as it was one hundred years ago.
More importantly, Muslims are not prepared to modernise their madarasas or modify the teaching of the hatred-promoting subjects like jihad to young children. So long as the concepts like jihad and ghanima, i.e. plunder, continue to be taught in madarasas there is little hope of achieving any unity of mind between the two communities. If you talk to a Muslim clergy, a Maulvi, and seek his views for excluding the subject of jihad from the instructions he imparts to his pupils, he becomes furious and asserts that jihad is a part of the Quranic teaching and giving it up will be an act of blasphemy. When you address the same question to an educated and enlightened Muslim, he informs you that just as the philosophy of 'karma' is central to the teachings of the Gita, the theological concept of jihad is an integral part of Muslim scriptures. Both insist in their own way that the teaching of jihad to children cannot be modified. Both affirm that jihad is a very important aspect of Islamic faith. That is also the position taken by scholars like M.J. Akbar. So long as the glory of jihad against the Kafirs or infidels continues to be taught to young Muslims as part of their religious instruction, their hatred against the Hindus will continue to grow and smoulder. In such circumstances, there can be no real understanding between the two communities.
A great deal of effort has been made during the last one hundred years to bring about Hindu-Muslim unity or at least evolve a formula for peaceful co-existence between the two groups but all those efforts failed. And that was how Pakistan was born. In this matter the Indian polity appears to have reached almost a dead end. A simple example will illustrate the crux of the Hindu-Muslim problem. Anyone can sing from any temple or Gurdwara, Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn, his favourite bhajan, "Ishwar Allah tero naam, sab ko sanmati de bhagwan" emphasizing the inherent unity of all religions, that there was only one God and that Ishwar and Allah were His two names. Indeed this bhajan (i.e., hymn) is regularly sung during prayers in many temples and Hindu homes, too. You can sing it with utmost abandon in any Gurdwara - and perhaps in a non-orthodox Church too. But no Muslim dare say from the pulpit of a mosque that Ishwar and Allah were two names of the same God who is one entity, though the wise worship Him in many ways. Any Muslim saying so in a mosque runs the risk of being lynched to death. In a nutshell, that rigidity of Muslims, that refusal to acknowledge that Ishwar and Allah were the names of the same God, that kind of extreme intolerance of another person's viewpoint is the crux of the centuries old Hindu Muslim problem - the main cause of faultline conflicts.
Mahatma Gandhi, too, had a first hand taste of this kind of extreme intolerance of Muslims when after the notorious Noakhali riots of October 1946, in which thousands of Hindus lost lives and property, he went there to preach peace and amity between the two communities. In his book titled To the Protagonist of Pakistan Gandhiji has narrated how during his daily meeting at Masimpur (Noakhali), on January 8, 1947, he found to his dismay that a number of Muslims had left when "Ramanama was taken at the prayer." Addressing the gathering after the prayer was over, he expressed unhappiness that his Muslim brothers had gone away. He was told that Muslims left because they did not like taking Ramanama. Gandhiji felt sad that Muslims thought that God could only be called by the name 'Khuda'. He realized only then that the cause of all that happened during the Noakhali riots was that kind of intolerance of the religious beliefs of other people. He remarked that Hindus might be small in numbers, but the Muslims should know that Ramanama and the name of Khuda were the same. He said that he was told that in Pakistan everyone will be allowed to follow his own religion, but what he had just seen in Masimpur was something else. He felt sorry that Hindus of Masimpur were expected to forget their Hindu faith and required to address God as Khuda. (49)
History is an eloquent witness to the fact that the Hindu civilization has always been exceptionally tolerant and peaceful, both by tradition and temperament. Frankly, the Hindu response to frequent senseless killings by jihadis often borders on pusillanimity, especially if you consider the fact that despite massive ethnic cleansing in Kashmir Valley, resulting in the killings of unarmed Kashmiri Hindus by Islamic terrorists and the ouster of more than three hundred thousand Hindus, no radical outfit like Gujarat Revenge Force was ever launched, nor any retaliatory attacks ever planned. Let the leftists name any other country in the world where the majority community has stoically suffered the kind of ethnic cleansing of their kinsmen, as Hindus have tolerated in the violent Valley.
How is it that the RSS and Hindu Mahasabha could not influence the Hindu mind at the time of independence to opt for the creation of a theocratic Hindu Rashtra, when in the aftermath of partition, the country was abuzz with gory tales of bloodbath and the wounds of partition were raw? How is it that now, fifty six years after independence, the Hindu society has come to be seized with the concept of Hindutava? Surprisingly many political commentators and left-oriented columnists are not prepared to analyse and comprehend this vital sea change in the thought process of Hindu society. They do not understand the simple fact that when partition took place in 1947, the majority of Hindus had believed that they were putting behind them the old sordid era of religion-based strifes and genuinely looked forward to living peacefully in the years ahead. The Hindu majority had deliberately opted for a secular democratic system - and decisively rejected the theocratic concept of Hindu Rashtra in the earnest belief that the Muslims opting to stay behind in India will whole heartedly subscribe to the secular ideal, give up their divisive postures and respect the principles enshrined in the Indian Constitution, including the Directive Principles of the State Policy. But unfortunately that did not happen and the fundamentalist clergy and an equally fundamentalist political leadership continued to rule the hearts and minds of the Muslims. That is the real tragedy. Our over-reactive columnist should understand that the religion-based unrest in the Hindu society being witnessed today is nothing more than mere "Hindu response" to the threat of Islamist militancy reflected in the long standing call for jihad against 'Hindu India' given by the ISI of Pakistan decades ago, repeated by bin Laden and the Taliban in 1998, and brashly sought to be implemented by Musharraf in Kargil in 1999. This response is the spontaneous reaction of a beseiged and beleaguered civilization, ravaged and plundered for centuries by ruthless invaders.
The Islamist threat is deeply embedded in the Hindu psyche and comes from the hearts of millions of ordinary rustic Hindus, certainly not part of the intellectual elite to which most of the political analysts and columnist belong. A mere glance at the blood drenched history of medieval India will convince anyone of the grossness of the terror and trauma which Indian masses had gone through during those dark centuries. Such indeed has been the impact of that harrowing experience, that in the present times, the Hindu masses hear the eerie echoes of their troubled past in every bomb blast, every attack on Hindu temples and unarmed pilgrims, and on hearing every battle cry of jihad. When they see that countrywide hundreds of temples have to be security protected to save them from Islamist attacks and that even festivals like Dashehra and Deepawali are threatened with jihadi bombings, in their subconscious they are reminded of the fate of thousands of temples destroyed by Jihadi invaders in the not too-distant past.
Not many people are aware that in the light of attacks on Akshardham and Raghunathji temples, the security of the Tirumala temple is sought to be hugely upgraded. Plans are afoot to import light weight pistols from Israel, a bomb disposal squad and special scanners have been inducted and the feasibility of providing bullet proof glass enclosures in front of the queuing space leading to the temple 'mahadwaram' is underway.(50) In doing all that the Hindus are not acting as a schizoid group; they are being just practical in responding to the threat of jihadis of whose destructive mindset they have been aware for many centuries. Can anyone believe that the Islamist threat to the Hindu way of life will not register in the minds of lakhs of devotees praying at the Amarnath shrine or Vaishnodevi, or at the Tirupati temple? And the same threat perception and security apparatus is visible at hundreds of temples across the country, including Siddhi Vinayak in Mumbai, Somnath and Ambaji in Gujarat, Hanuman Mandir and Laxminarayan and Kalkaji temples in Delhi. Will it not strike a responsive chord for Hindutava in the hearts and minds of temple-going Hindu worshippers?
When an entire civilization is threatened by bombers, there is bound to be some mass response. Seeing gunmen at the temple gates, even young children accompanying their parents are known to have asked uncomfortable searching questions. There are, however, some self-styled intellectuals who fail to understand this simple truth from which the natural Hindu response emanates. Perhaps they do not understand the phenomenon of stress related human response to threatening situations. It is time they and their fundamentalist clients realized that such conditions will not help in promoting communal harmony, howsoever hard one might keep on wishing and trying.
The spiralling of terrorist attacks across the country, reflected in the successive bombings in Jammu & Kashmir, Delhi, Ahmedabad and Mumbai have substantially contributed to the growing civilizational divide. Every act of terrorism acts as chilling reminder of the dark centuries when thousands of chained and manacled Indian slaves were carried over the Hindu Kush mountains for sale in the bazaars of Ghazni, Kabul and Baghdad. Many of these scarry episodes have been vividly described by several eminent historians, as highlighted by Ambedkar in his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India. As pointed out by Dr. Ambedkar, Mahomed Ghori "not only destroyed temples but made it a policy to make slaves of the Hindus conquered". In the words of the well known historian Dr Titus -
"Mahmud seems to have made the slaughter of infidels, the destruction of their temples, the capturing of slaves, and the plundering of wealth of the people [...] the main objects of his raids. On the occasion of his first raid he is said to have taken much booty; and half million Hindus, 'beautiful men and women' were reduced to slavery and taken back to Ghazni." (51)
Later when Mahomed seized Kanauj, in A.D. 1017, he took so much booty and so many prisoners that the fingers of those who counted them would have tired. Describing how common Indian slaves had become in Gazni and Central Asia after the campaign of A.D. 1019, the historian of the time recorded that the number of prisoners may be conceived from the fact that each one was sold for two to ten dirhams. These were afterwards taken to Gazni, and the merchants came from distant cities to purchase them (52) These are only two of the hundreds of similar instances cited by chapter and verse, in book after book, by innumerable prominent historians - many of them Muslims.
It was not for nothing that at the time of partition Dr. Ambedkar advised his followers, the Scheduled Castes, who happened to be trapped inside Pakistan, to come over to India by such means as may be available to them. He further told the scheduled caste people that it would be fatal for them, whether in Pakistan or in Hyderabad, to place faith in Muslims or the Muslim League. He regretted that it had become a habit with the Scheduled Castes to look upon Muslims as their friends simply because they dislike the Hindus which was a mistaken view.(53)
At the time of partition, Dr. Ambedkar was by far the most aware politicians. He could anticipate the likely fate of the Hindus and the Sikhs left behind in Pakistan. After all it was he who had forcefully argued for a well organized exchange of population of minorities on the pattern of the Balkans, in his book, Pakistan or the Partition of India in 1946. He had cited examples of similar exchange of populations worked out by Turkey and Greece and other countries of the Balkans after the second Balkans war in 1913 to minimize the sufferings of the left-behind minorities. He had forcefully advocated organized exchange of population by pointing out that despite insertion of constitutional safeguards the problems of minorities in the Balkans and Turkey could not be resolved until the three concerned nations, Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria devised a plan for organized exchange of population. The presumption that constitutional safeguards or protection by the concerned states would be able to protect the minorities was proved wrong. Only organized exchange of population could afford protection to the minorities trapped in the hostile environs. He forcefully argued that experience showed that safeguards did not save the minorities but only the exchange of population did save them. The task undertaken by the three concerned nations was a major one for such small countries, involving transfer of twenty million people from one location to another. Those countries felt that the consideration of communal peace and saving lives must outweigh every other consideration. If those three small countries could do it, there was no reason to believe that India and Pakistan could not do so. To quote Dr. Ambedkar, "the transfer of minorities is the only lasting remedy for communal peace.................If small countries with limited resources like Greece, Turkey and Bulgaria, were capable of such an undertaking there is no reason to suppose that what they did cannot be accomplished by Indians." (54)
If only someone had listened to the wise counsel of Ambedkar, millions of innocent people would have escaped being butchered and plundered in the maelstrom of communal frenzy let loose by the Muslim League in 1946-47 in the name of jihad. In the words of the famous historian Will Durant "the Mohammedan conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story of history". He calls it a discouraging tale, for its only lesson was that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate complex of order and liberty, culture and peace could be overthrown at any time by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.(55)
The threat to Indian civilization from outside, that is Pakistan and Bangladesh, is open and widely understood. But it is anybody's guess how great is the threat which thirty plus radical Islamists outfits pose from within. As pointed out by Francois Gautier, the massacre of six million Jews by Hitler and the persecution they suffered all over the world in the last 15 centuries has been meticulously recorded after 1945 and has been enshrined not only in history books, but also in the Holocaust museums, the most famous of these being the one in Washington D.C.
The Hindus too have suffered a terrible holocaust, probably without parallel in human history. Drawing attention to the naming of a mountain system nearly 1000 miles long and 200 miles wide located between Amu Darya Valley and Indus valley as Hindu Kush, he draws attention to the fact that it is a reminder of the days when the Hindu slaves from the Indian sub-continent died in harsh Afghan mountains while being transported to the courts of Central Asian rulers. Encyclopaedia Britannica mentions "that the name HinduKush first appears in 1333 A.D. in the writings of Ibn Battutah, the medieval Berber traveller who said the name meant "Hindu Killer", a meaning still given by Afghan mountain dwellers." Unlike the Jewish holocaust, the exact toll in the Hindu genocide suggested by the name Hindu Kush is not available.(56). It recalls that in December 1398 A.D., Timurlane ordered the execution of at least 50,000 captives before the battle for Delhi. Similarly it is recorded in the Encyclopaedia Britannica that Mughal emperor Akbar ordered the massacre of nearly 30,000 captured Rajputs on February 24, 1568, A.D., after the battle for Chittor, a number confirmed by Abul Fazl, the court historian of Akbar. (57).
India's past experience with jihadis is a terrible story of senseless killings, loot, and oppressive slavery - all in the holy name of religion. Despite grave provocations by Islamist bombers, the Hindus continue to be tolerant. Even then attempts continue to be made, every now and then, to confound the gullible masses about the real intentions of the organizations like the SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), Al Umma of S.A. Basha, notorious for Coimbatore serial bomb blasts,the Muslim Defence Force, Ahl-e-Hadees, Deendar Anjuman, All India Jihad Committee, Islamic Liberation Army of Assam, Gujarat Revenge Force and dozens of similar radical outfits by covering up their ugly designs. Their activities continue to raise temperature across the country and naturally fuel Hindu fundamentalism. Incidentally, more than thirty radical Islamist outfits are already operating in India, which number is equal to nearly two-thirds of similar radical groups in Pakistan, as is evident from Appendix-II. It is no secret that most of these Islamist outfits have been operating at the behest of the ISI of Pakistan. But they have substantial local roots as well, embedded in the society as moles - and the Pakistani officialdom openly boasts about it.
At a meeting which a senior official of the Indian Foreign Service had with a group of prominent Pakistanis in a South Asian capital, a close associate of Musharraf bluntly remarked that if India believed that it could ignore its differences with Pakistan and move ahead economically, his country would have no difficulty in taking steps to retard India's economic progress. And a few years ago a former Director General of the ISI had told the same retired official that Pakistan would see to it that the jihad in Kashmir draws support from Muslims all across India. That was in response to an assertion that Muslims of India were proud of the secular ethos of their country.(58)
One simply marvels at those who keep on saying that there is no Al Qaeda presence in India. It is not necessary for a bomber or AK 47 wielding terrorist to wear a badge of allegiance to Al Qaeda to identify himself or proclaim his evil intentions. Al Qaeda is nothing but a jihadi philosophy which imbues a Muslim with an urge to kill the so-called infidels and wage jihad. All those who manufacture and explode bombs, all those who collaborate for attacking temples and
carry AK 47s to murder innocent pilgrims are ipso facto members of Al Qaeda and are potential ISI agents. They are, all of them, subscribers to the Taliban philosophy. It is not incumbent upon an activist of SIMI or Al Umma to make a pilgrimage to Guantonamo Bay Naval Base to earn his jihadi spurs! His killer action is the badge of Jihadi honour, good enough to make him an Al Qaeda operator. In sharp contrast to the nefarious activities of SIMI and Al Ummat, no one can cite even a single instance of any Hindu organisation threatening or attacking the Muslim pilgrims proceeding to Ajmer, leave alone those boarding planes for going to Haj in Arabia. It is a matter of gratification that the Indian society gladly helps them in fulfilling their religious obligations in the true spirit of "sarva dharma sam bhava" (equal respect for all religious beliefs). There can be no better and more forceful example of Hindu tolerance. It shows the vital civilizational difference between the attitude of the two communities.
Till eighth century India exhibited an astonishing panoply of excellence in arts, sciences, mathematics, culture and civilizational values of a high order.That period has been rightly described as the golden age of Hinduism. But from eighth century onwards the meteoric rise of Islam from the arid deserts of Arabia broke the placid calm of the sub-continent by making repeated knocks at the western gates of the country. The intrepid, but ruthless soldiers of Islam led by Mohammed bin Qasim, made their intentions to destroy the Indian civilization known first by overrunning the Hindu kingdom of Sind in 713 A.D. The conquest of Sind was followed by breaching the natural barriers of the Khyber and Bolan passes in the north west of the country by Mahmud of Ghazni in the eleventh century. He killed thousands of innocent Indians by labelling them as infidels and laid waste the northern plains.
Long before the rise of Islam the suzerainty of Indian rulers extended right up to the region called Gandhara (Kandhar in modern Afghanistan) and far beyond upto Vaahic Pradesh, now called Balkh i.e., Bacteria. In Indian folklore the people of Gandhara called Gandharvas, were known for their fair complexion, statutesque looks and proficiency in arts and culture. Even today the Gandhara school of arts occupies a distinct pride of place in the realm of Indo-Aryan art. The kingdom of Gandhara was established by Prince Taksha, the grandson of Raja Bharat of Ayodhya and its borders stretched right from Takshashila (Taxila) to Tashkent, which name is a corrupt form of Taksha Khand, located in the present day Uzbekistan. In the classical Indian epic, Mahabharata, queen Gandhari, daughter of the king of Gandhara and wife of the blind king Dhiritarashtra, occupies a prominent place.
From eighth century onwards for nearly nine hundred years the Indian civilization was pilloried and ravaged by a series of onslaughts by Muslim invaders as a result of which it descended into the abyss of slavery and abject poverty due to the incessant loot and plunder. Alluding to that era of darkness, the famous historian A.L. Basham has written that before the Muslim rule over India this country was "the wonder of the world" and that was how India attracted "the tourists and looters from everywhere." According to Rizwan Salim, the wrecking of Hindu temples went on from the early years of the eighth century to well past 1700 A.D., a period of almost 1000 years.(59) Every Muslim ruler of Delhi (or Governor of the Province) spent most of his time fighting the Hindu kings in the north and the south, the east and the west. And almost every Muslim Sultan and his army commanders indulged in large scale looting and destruction of Hindu temples and idols. The temples were also the citadels of beautiful and wonderful Hindu and art and architecture which, with the destruction of the temples, got lost to the future generations. The invaders also slaughtered a lot of Hindus.
The evidence of the ferocity with which the Muslim invaders struck at the sculptures of gods and goddesses, demons and apsaras, kings and queens, dancers and musicians is frightful.(60) Rizwan continues, savages at a very low level of civilisation and no culture worth the name began entering India from the early eighth century onwards. Islamic invaders demolished Hindu temples, shattered unaccountable sculpture and idols, plundered innumerable palaces and forts of the Hindu kings, killed vast number of Hindu men and carried off Hindu women. This story, the educated - and the lot of even the illiterate Indians - know very well. History books recount it in remarkable detail. But many in the world may not know that the alien Muslim marauders destroyed the historical evolution of the earth's most mentally advanced civilisation, the most richly imaginative culture and the most vigorously creative society. Tenth century Hindustan was far advanced than its contemporaries in the East and the West for its achievements in the realms of philosophy and scientific theorising, mathematics and knowledge of nature's workings. Hindus of the early medieval period were unquestionably superior in many things than the Chinese, the Persians (including the Sassanians), the Romans and the Byzantines of the immediate preceding centuries.(61)
Before the onslaught of Muslim invasions, India was a very prosperous and rich country. The wealth of the country reached its peak under Chandragupta Maurya and Harsha Vardhan. Yuan Chwang (also known as Hiuen Tsang) described an Indian city as beautified with gardens and pools and adorned with institutes of letters and arts; "the inhabitants were well off and there were families with great wealth; fruits and flowers were abundant. The people had a refined appearance and dressed in glossy attire. They were clear and suggestive in discourse, though equally divided between orthodoxy and heterodoxy.(62) Earlier, when during the reign of Chandragupta Maurya, Megasthenes came to Pataliputra as Ambassador of Seleucus Nicator, Greek king of Syria, he was amazed to find a civilization which he found to his surprise, as entirely equal to their own. The absence of slavery in India struck him as a favourable contrast with his own nation. Although the people were divided into castes according to occupations, they accepted these divisions as natural. They lived happily enough, was his verdict. (63)
The oldest of the two thousand cities of northern India in Chandragupta's time was Taxila (a corrupt form of Taksh-shila). It was situated approximately twenty miles northwest of the modern Rawalpindi. Arrian describes it as "a large and prosperous city". According to Strabo "it is large and has most excellent laws." It was both a military and university town, strategically situated on the main road to West Asia and containing the most famous of the several universities possessed by India at that time. Students flocked to Taxila as in the Middle Ages they flocked to Paris; there all the arts and sciences could be studied under eminent professors, and the medical school especially was held in high repute throughout the Oriental world.(64) The excavations of Sir John Marshall on the site of Taxila have unearthed delicately carved stones, highly polished statuary, coins as old as 600 B.C., and glassware of a quality never bettered later in India. In the words of Vincent Smith, a high degree of material civilization had been attained and that all the arts and crafts incident to the life of a wealthy, cultured city were familiar.(65 ). It is time that the Pakistani masses, misled by the rhetoric of fundamentlist Mullahs, owned and realised the glory of their ancestors and took pride in their Hindu heritage which was unfortunately destroyed by the invaders from the north and West Asia. If only Pakistanis were able to come out of the clutches of radical Islam, foisted by decades of military dictatorship, and wake up to the reality of their glorious pre-Islamic past, they will surely move ahead on the road to progress as fast as Indians have done.
Contribution of India in the field of mathematics was enormous. For making complex calculations the Hindus had developed a system of mathematics superior than Greeks, in every respect except geometry. The concept of 'zero', the so-called Arabic numerals and the decimal system were devised by the Indians and then learnt from them by Arabic scholars. The miscalled "Arabic" numerals are found on the Rock Edicts of Ashoka (256 B.C.), a thousand years before their occurrence in the Arabic literature.(66) It may be recalled that in Arabic a numeral is called "Hindsa", which clearly denotes its origin from Hind that is India. The decimal system was known to Aryabhata and Brahmagupta long before its appearance in the writings of Arabs and the Syrians. The Chinese learnt it from the Buddhist missionaries.
Similarly, Algebra was developed apparently quite independently, by both the Hindus and the Greeks. Its Arabic name, 'al-jabr' meaning adjustment, indicates that it came to Europe from the Arabs, but the latter took it from India. The great Hindu leaders in this field, as in astronomy, were Aryabhata, Brahmagupta and Bhaskara. It was Bhaskara who invented the radical sign and many algebraic symbols. These clever mathematicians conceptualized a negative quantity, without which the algebra would have been quite impossible. They were the first to find the square root of '2', and solved in eighth century A.D., indeterminate equations of the second degree that were unknown to Europe until the days of Euler, a thousand years later.(67) The pinnacle of the glory of Hindu science and literature was their wonderful ability to weave the drab science of mathematics with the imagery of sensuous poetry. Will Durant praises the Hindus for expressing their science in poetic form and imparting to mathematical problems a grace characteristic of India's Golden Age, as reflected in the following two simple equations of Hindu algebra:
"Out of a swarm of bees one-fifth part settled on a Kadamba blossom; one third on a Silindra flower; three times the difference of those numbers flew to the bloom of Kutaja. One bee, which remained, hovered about in the air. Tell me, charming woman, the number of bees."
"Eight rubies, ten emeralds, and a hundred pearls, which are in thy ear-ring, my beloved, were purchased by me for an equal amount; and the sum of the prices of the three sorts of gems was less than half a hundred, tell me the price of each, auspicious woman". (68)
These examples further show that in ancient Indian society, women were held in high esteem, considered "auspicious" and even invited to solve novel algebraic equations, while being lavishly admired for their beauty, intellect and charm. They participated fully in arts, science and literary disourses as equal partners. Many of them were Rishis, too, in their own right and participated in "shastra artha" and 'samvad' for exploring civilizational and cosmic phenomena and resolving knotty riddles.
Rizwan Salim points out that the followers of Siva and Vishnu on the sub- continent had created for themselves a society more mentally evolved, more joyous and prosperous than what had been attained by the Jews, Christians and the Muslims. Medieval India, until the Islamic invaders destroyed it, was history's most richly imaginative culture and one of the five most advanced civilisations of all times. Ancient Hindu sculpture is vigorous and sensual in the highest degree - more fascinating than human figural art created anywhere on earth. Only statues created by classical Greek artists may be placed in the same class as Hindu temple sculpture. The Gothic art of cathedrals in France is perhaps the only other religious architecture wich could be considered to be comparable with the intricate architecture of the Hindu temples.(69)
In his outspoken critique of the damage caused by invaders to the ancient Indian civilization, Rizwan Salim continues: "Giving proof of the resentment that men belonging to an inferior civilisation feel upon encountering a superior civilisation of individuals with a more refined culture, Islamic invaders from Arabia and western Asia broke and burned everything beautiful they came across in Hindustan". Instead of attracting the so-called Hindu "infidels" to Islam by setting personal example, they just built a number of mosques at the sites of torn down temples and foolishly pretended that they had triumphed over the minds and culture of the Hindus.(70) The stones and columns of Hindu temples can be seen to have been incorporated into the architecture of several mosques. (71)
In this context, out of sheer curiosity, one question comes to mind. Could it be that the root cause of the widespread poverty which stalks the Indian countryside and the pain of hunger and deprivation stamped for centuries on the foreheads of the successive generations of emaciated millions, lies in the relentless plunder of wealth from the hearths and homes of Indian citizens and the treasuries of Indian kings by the waves of successive invaders, including Europeans? An insight into the strategy adopted to impoverish the Indians has been provided by the renowned historian, Will Durant, by highlighting that the policy of the Sultans was clearly sketched by Alauddin, who required his advisers to draw up rules and regulations for grinding down the Hindus and depriving them of that wealth and property which fostered disaffection and rebellion. Half of the gross produce of the soil was collected by the government; native rulers had taken up one sixth. According to a Moslem historian, no Hindu could hold his head high and in their houses no sign of gold or silver was to be found and blows, imprisonment and chains were all employed to enforce payments. When one of the advisers of Allauddin protested against this policy, the Sultan answered:"Oh, Doctor, thou art a learned man, but thou hast no experience; I am an unlettered man, but I have a great deal". Be assured that Hindus will never become submissive till they are reduced to poverty.(70)
Broadly, the same policy of loot was followed by all successive alien rulers, including the British, except perhaps Akbar. If an in-depth research, based on the empirical data of the likely quantum of wealth plundered during one thousand years of alien rule is made, perhaps the answer to the above question, tugging at every Indian's heart, might be in the affirmative.
We have seen that the dice of demography is heavily loaded against the Indian civilization because of the double jeopardy caused by the rapidly declining proportion of Indian Religionists, that is the Hindus, the Sikhs and the Buddhists, in the population of India during the last 110 years and the massive silent invasion of Bangladeshis during the last thirty years. Over a period of time, say during the next three to four decades, the deadly combination of these two factors has the potential of pushing India into chaotic turmoil and civil war-like conditions similar to those witnessed in Lebanon in 1970s and the erstwhile state of Yugoslavia in the not too distant past. As highlighted in the previous chapter, in 1961 the Serbs constituted 43 percent of the population of Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Muslims were only 26 percent. Within the next 30 years, i.e. by 1991, the Serbs were reduced to 31 percent while the percentage of Muslims rose to 44, and the latter started demanding a separate Muslim state of Bosnia as soon as their numbers outpaced the Christian Serbs. That demographic change was the most important reason for the outbreak of the long drawn bloody civil war in the Balkans the rumblings of which can be heard even today in Kosovo. The Christian Serbs and the Bosnian Muslims (who too are Serbs converted to Islam during the Ottoman rule) have a long feuding history of 700 years.
To a serious student of the political scenario of the sub-continent it should be obvious that lately India has witnessed a sharp increase in hostility between the Hindus and the Muslims. Even hitherto relatively calm and peaceful south Indian states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala have witnessed a sharp upswing in communal clashes. This sudden increase in the incidence of religion-based faultline conflicts, recently noticed in several parts of the country, can be ascribed to the rapid demographic changes, more than any other development.
During the last decade there has been a radical change in the thinking about the goals of population planning. In the modified approach, the focus has distinctly shifted from mere reduction in the numbers of new borns to protection of the child and the mother and their welfare. The old theory of opting for family planning as a quick fix for poverty alleviation, based on the Malthusian syndrome, is getting eroded. By now it has become an old cliche and even the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme) has abandoned it.
It is being increasingly recognized that quality human resource or manpower is the most important component of all economic activity, including scientific research, inventions, new technologies and innovative thinking. Basically, manpower is what sustains the running of all farms, factories and transport systems. It holds the key to a country's economic development, much more than any other factor. Again, human resource is the motivator for innumerable multi-disciplinary research projects launched across the globe to explore the new frontiers of science and technology. It requires no great wisdom to know that the size of a country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has a direct correlation with the size of its working population. A country having a high proportion of young, energetic and productive manpower will have a more robust economic growth than the one which has a disproportinately heavy burden of old people and pensioners. Similarly the quantum and percentage of savings in a country are a function of the size of its working population. Young working people are able to produce more, earn more and have higher disposable incomes compared to old people and pensioners. Therefore they are able to save more and invest more.
It is a truism that countries having large youthful populations tend to have higher savings rate than those having a larger proportion of the elderly. The economic stagnation and slow down in the GDP growth, lately witnessed in most European countries and Japan, is a direct consequence of their declining numbers of working manpower and the growing burden of looking after ageing populations and pensioners. Apart from the inability of the old people to contribute much to the country's productive activity, the governments have to look after them by incurring expenditure on their social security and welfare.
It needs to be realized that young manpower is the single most important contributory factor for defence preparedness of every nation, the critical requirement being to provide a steady supply of youthful soldiers and officers to the defence forces for ensuring territorial integrity of the country and defending its borders. The importance of this aspect can be gauged from the fact that a military report commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defence on the subject 'Population Control as a Military Issue' went to the extent of according "population control activities a level of importance that is essentially equal to the development and procurement of advanced weapons."
The alarming free fall in the population of Russia and the plight of many European countries like Germany, burdened by the growing retinues of pensioners, have alerted the demographers and population experts, even of the United Nations, to the hazards of lop- sided emphasis on population control solely for reducing the birth rates. A new U.N. report studying the effects of population growth on the environment provides information that challenges some of the most fundamental assumptions of population control used to justify sterlization, abortion and contraception.(71) A report on the subject, "World Population Monitoring" by the Population Division of the Economic and Social Affairs, emphasizes that many of the most dire predictions about the consequences of population growth have proved unfounded and remain unlikely to occur even if the world population rises to 8.9 billion by 2050.(72) In March 2002 the U.N. had convened a meeting of demographers to discuss whether the fertility of developing countries like India and Brazil will continue to fall, perhaps even reaching the extremely low fertility rates found in many developed nations. The Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs concluded that it is altogether likely that the fertility of much of the world will sink well below replacement level, which is 2.1 children per woman. Population Division reported at the meeting that before 2050, eighty percent of the world population will be projected to have below replacement fertility. In the light of this new assessment, the Population Division has reduced its 2100 A.D. projection for India by 600 million people.(73) Overall, the U.N. now believes that 74 countries, including India, will follow this pattern of drastic fertility reduction.
And there is a note of warning, too. Some demographers fear that an anti-natal ethos, which is promoted by the contraceptive movement, may be impossible to reverse once it gets entrenched in a society and that fertility rates will continue to fall well below 2.1 children per woman in such countries. This phenomenon is already being experienced in many countries. The Population Division has been steadfast in its assertion that the fertility decline that has already occurred in countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan is beginning to have profoundly negative implications for those societies in the form of low economic productivity caused by shortfall of young manpower. And to add to their financial woes, the ever-increasing proportion of older people will overtax social security systems, pension funds and health care facilities. In a recent report, the Population Division concluded that even massive immigration may not save these countries from the problems associated with below-replacement level fertility.(74)
Looking to the fate of Russia and many European countries, it is time India woke up to the future threat of declining youthful manpower, in case the present single-track population control policy is continued. Demography should not be used solely as a tool for arresting population growth. It is a complex and multi-faceted science which should also be used for meeting the growing needs of a country for economic development, defence preparedness, requirements of internal security and maintaining peace within the country and in the immediate neighbourhood. It is fallacious to presume that an increase in population per se is a roadblock to the prosperity and economic development of any country, much less a resurgent nation like India, which has just now found its bearings in the realm of economic progress.
A few examples will expose the gaping holes in that theory. India has a population density of 324 persons per sq. km. which is a shade lower than the population density of 335 persons per sq. km of Japan. But India is a poor nation, while Japan is rich and prosperous. Netherlands has approximately four time the population density of its former colony, Indonesia. But Indonesia continues to be poor, while Netherlands is highly prosperous. Is it not extraordinary that Bolivia with its 5 persons per sq. km density is poor and therefore overpopulated, but Hong Kong with its huge population density is not poor nor overpopulated? Let us take the nearer home example of Singapore, a highly prosperous country, which has a massive population density of 5088 persons per sq. km., as against 324 persons per sq. km. in India. On top of it, Singapore has practically little natural resources like iron ore, coal or petroleum; nor does it have a bubbling green hinterland growing huge crops of corn and fruits. But in terms of economic development and prosperity Singapore is several decades ahead of India - just recall how in the post World War II years Singapore was an island of poverty and squalor. And the irony of the situation is that Singapore government is keen to increase the population of their small country further for which reasons they are offering incentives to their youth to marry early and raise families. Singaporean males are even being encouraged to bring brides from Viet Nam because the latter prefer to raise children rather than rushing into the modern rat race for high profile jobs. The aim of the Singapore government is not to lose the momentum of fast track economic development which they have built by dint of sheer hard work and promoting technical education. At the same time, Singapore has been looking forward to welcoming high calibre professional immigrants from other countries for this very reason.
It is therefore difficult to accept the thesis that an increasing population by itself is a liability. On the other hand, the history of economic development of several nations shows that a growth in the working population of a country has the potential to drive up the rate of its economic growth. Three most important determinants of economic development are the EAP (Economically Active Population), capital accumulation and adoption of the latest technology. Luckily India is blessed with all these important attributes. "The path to 2050" is the title of an excellent economic research paper released by Goldman Sachs in the first week of October 2003. The paper analyses the prospects for economic growth of four leading emerging market economies (BRIC - i.e., Brazil, Russia, India and China) and demonstrates, by using demographic projections and other parameters, that the economies of these countries are growing faster than the economies of G-6 (U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Japan) and that how this growth differential will shift the balance of economic power. The BRIC's economies are likely to become a much larger force in the global economy much faster than most investors currently anticipate.(75) According to this research paper, among the BRIC economies, it is actually India that has the potential to show the fastest growth over the next 30 to 50 years, not China. In fact, by 2010 India should be growing faster than China with the growth differential only increasing over time. This is driven largely by the demographic dividend which India is likely to reap over the coming decades, with a sharp surge in its EAP, or working-age population.(76) This is of course a two-edged sword, either we as a country create enough employment to absorb this huge surge in working age people and join the ranks of the global economic powers or we run the risk of falling into social chaos and anarchy.
In that sense, India's destiny will be made or broken within the next 10-15 years. The gainful employment of this demographic dividend, or lack of it, will determine the economic and social fate of our country.(77) Most Economists concede that population increase by itself is not an obstacle to economic development; on the contrary, it is more of an asset by virtue of being one of the important determinants of economic growth. But an illiterate and unskilled population is surely a major obstacle to development. For India the two biggest roadblocks to speedy economic growth are illiteracy and obscurantism. It is time to launch a frontal campaign to eradicate these two major evils which have been acting as a drag on the pace of our economic development. The truth boils down to this. Simply because of our own monumental failure during the last fifty seven years to achieve total literacy and make every Indian an educated and skilled citizen, some woolly headed experts are trying to raise the bogey of over-population as a smokescreen by ignoring the well known enlightened path of economic development, despite population growth.
We have seen in the previous chapter how the U.S. policy makers have been commissioning purposeful research studies about the demographic changes taking place across the world and studying their likely impact not only on the future of their country, but all over the world, especially in the realm of economic development, defence preparedness and the changing geo-political configuration across the globe. It is high time that in India, too, a mechanism was established to undertake comparable strategic demographic studies concerning various important aspects of national security, economic development and defence preparedness with special reference to the future strategic role of India in southeast Asia and the Middle East. Such population studies analysing long term impact of demographic changes in the sub-continent and immediate neighbourhood should be undertaken regularly, at least once in five years, and if necessary, even at shorter intervals.
It is imperative for the Indian nation to avoid a repeat of the demographic disaster which overtook Lebanon and the Balkans and now threatens Macedonia. We must not forget that even democracies are sustained by the number game expressed in terms of votes. Unless there is a mass awareness among the people about the likely demographic disaster, in this number game of one-man-one-vote, the dynamics of demography could turn the tables on the Indian civilization, say by the day after - that is within a short span of thirty to forty years. A political analyst and author, Dr. Rafiq Zakaria, wrote in his book, Communal Rage in Secular India, that it would take more than 365 years for Hindus to lose their majority status in India, thus suggesting that there was no cause for alarm. What an observation, what vision? Dr. Zakaria conveniently overlooks three important facts. First, the calculations made by him are totally fuzzy and completely out of sync with the ground reality; the apocalypse can visit India much earlier, especially in view of the incessant influx of Bangladeshi Muslims. Second, 365 years is a very short span in the history of a civilization. It certainly is not such a long time frame that it could be easily ignored? As a rule, civilizations are reckoned in terms of dozens of millennia and far beyond. And lastly, our own experience of the birth of Pakistan clearly shows that a determined violent and secession-oriented minority group of 25-30 per cent can engineer major faultline conflicts by taking recourse to organized violence and create civil war-like conditions. Apart from our own history, the events of Lebanon, the Balkans, Chechenya and the Philippines conclusively support this premise. It is difficult to believe that Dr. Zakaria made this observation due to ignorance or sheer naivette. He is a very well read and wide awake political analyst.
The dilemma facing the peace loving democratic nations, belonging to the universal civilization, has been vividly described by Bernard Lewis when he wrote that in this respect the democrats are at a disadvantage, because their ideology requires them, even when in power, to give freedom and rights to the Islamist opposition. The Islamists, when in power, are under no such obligation. On the contrary, their principles require them to suppress what they see as impious and subversive activities.(78). "For Islamists, democracy, expressing the will of the people, is the road to power but it is a one-way road, on which there is no return, no rejection of the sovereignty of God, as exercised through His chosen representatives". Their electoral policy has been classically summarized as "One man (men only) one vote, once."(79)
For Indian civilization, reeling under the onslaught of jihad declared by the Pakistan-sponsored terrorists, these adverse population trends have acquired a definitive meaning - perhaps even sinister overtones. Any further adverse changes in the population ratios will speed up the communal divide, promote bigger faultline conflicts and then might lead to chaos and civil war-like conditions in the years ahead. There is yet more cause for serious concern. Such religion-based faultline conflicts in the sub-continent could assume almost diabolical dimensions because of the huge size of the Hindu population. As the proportion of the Hindus declines, the incidence of such conflicts will tend to rise almost dramatically. That was how it happened in Lebanon and the Balkans, and that is how it has started happening lately in southern Thailand.
Even when the population of the Hindus in certain states, or all over the country, is reduced to the near minority status, the ferocity of faultline conflicts raging in the sub-continent could be very intense, much more intense than what was experienced in Lebanon and the Balkans, because of the mammoth size of the Hindu population in absolute numbers. The Hindu numbers are already approaching one billion mark. The estimated population of Lebanon is around 40 lakhs, while that of the Balkans region is around 7.5 crores. Both population numbers could be described as peanuts, in comparison with the total population of the Indian sub-continent. God forbid, if unrest and violence seizes such a huge mass of 1.5 billion human beings (roughly, estimated population of India after 3-4 decades), one shudders to think of the likely damage to the lives and property of India's future generations and national progress - even colossal harm to the entire world civilization. This is a matter which should cause serious concern to the well meaning leaders of both Hindus and Muslims.
It may be recalled that as a result of the growing religion-based faultline conflicts in the Balkans approximately 15 per cent of the total population of the Balkans peninsula region had to involuntarily move from one place to another since 1980s.(80) These figures of involuntary displacement of the population of the Balkans, compiled by the International Center for Migration Policy Development, speak for themselves. If 15 per cent, or even 10 per cent, of a total population of 1.5 billion human beings was forced to involuntarily move from one place to another in search of safety, due to religion-based conflicts, it will be a catastrophe and mayhem unparalleled in the history of mankind. It may be recalled that during partition the uprooting of Hindu population in West Pakistan was almost 90 percent, while in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) it was between 60 to 70 percent. Therefore any major changes in the demographic profile of India, say after three or four decades, could lead to violent communal clashes and result in a major global disaster.
It is therefore imperative for the present political leadership of Indians to watch out and secure the interests of the future generations by evolving an effective preventive strategy. It is a critically sensitive subject on which there is a pressing need for total political consensus at the national level. Our composite national leadership dare not fail in this task. Let it not be said later on about the Indian leadership, as was sarcastically remarked about the tragedy of Lebanon, that the owl of Minerva began its flight only when total darkness had enveloped the skies.
1. A.P. Joshi, M D Srinivas and J.K. Bajaj, "Religious Demography of India", p.21, Source, table 2.2: Religious Composition of India (Percentage Distribution,1881-1941.
2. Ibid, p.22, Source, Table 2.3: Rates of Growth of Different Religious Communities, 1881-1941.
3. Ibid, p.25, Source: Table: 2.6: Religious Composition of Indian Union, 1991-1941, in thousands.
4. Ibid, p. 27, Source: table 2.7a: Religious Composition of Indian Union, 1951-1991 (for the total estimated population, in thousands).
5. Ibid, pp.27-28.
6. Ibid, p.35.
8. Ibid, p.199, Source: table: D-9.
9. Dr. A. P. Joshi, M.D. Srinivas and J.K. Bajaj, "Religious Demography of India", p. 96.
11. Ibid, p.95.
12. Sandhya Jain, Political lesson of demography, The Pioneer, New Delhi, August 26, 2003.
16. Hiranmay Karlekar, Deal carefully with Dhaka, The Pioneer, May 16, 2003.
17. Source: A.P. Joshi, M D Srinivas and J.K. Bajaj, Religious Demography of India, p.319, table 33e: West Asia.
18. Ibid, Source: p.313, table: D-33b: Southeast Asia.
19. Ibid, p.328, Source: table D-34c: West Africa. 20. Akbar S. Ahmed, Islam Under Siege (Published in 2003 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd., U.K., and Vistaar Publications, New Delhi, in India), p.7, Introduction.
22. Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of World Order, p.126.
25. Balbir K. Punj, Right remedy wrong diagnosis, The Asian Age, New Delhi, June 10, 2003.
27. Y.B. Mathur, Muslims and Changing India, p.1, footnote.
28. Ibid, p.2, Source: Government of India's Note dated 6.10.1893. Home Political a Proceeding Nos. 169-89 dated November 1893.
29. Ibid, pp. 3-4.
30. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or Partition of India, p. 154.
31. Ibid, p. 155
32. Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, Space Invaders, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, February 14, 2003}.
34. Bhadra Sinha, 'Can't deport Bangladeshi immigrants', The Times of India, New Delhi, September 25, 2003.
36. Reeta Sharma, Fernandes confirms Bangla infiltration, The Pioneer, New Delhi, September 29, 2003.
37. A news item captioned 'Bangla migrant issue alarming says CPM finally', The Economic Times, New Delhi, July 15, 2002.
38. Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, Space invaders, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, February 14, 2003.
40.A write-up captioned 'Illegal Immigration Foxes Security Agencies, The Economic Times, New Delhi, February 9. 2004, p. 2.
42. News Item titled 'Sangma: Laden is financing Bangla madaris', The Asian Age, New Delhi, September 20, 2003.
43. Bibhuti Bhusan Nandy, Space invaders, The Hindustan Times, New Delhi, February 14, 2003.
44. PTI news item captioned 'Ayodhya on terror hit list', The Pioneer, New Delhi, September 15, 2003.
45. Balbir K. Punj, 'The secular Trojan horse, The Asian Age, New Delhi, September 30, 2003.
48. Ibid, Source: The Hindustan Times dated August 13, 1999.
49. Mahatma Gandhi, To the Protagonist of Pakistan, 9. 204 (Gandhi Series, Vol. V), edited and published by Anand T Hingorani, Karachi. January 26, 1947: Sole Distributors Rupa & Co., Calcutta, Ahmedabad.
50. Times News Network, 'Israeli guns to guard Tirupati deity', Times of India, New Delhi, p.8, August 20, 2003.
51. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or Partition of India, p.44, Source: Dr. Titus, Medieval India, p.24.
52. Ibid, p. 44.
53. Prafulla Goradia, A war graver than any other, The Pioneer, New Delhi, September 30, 2003, Source: Dhananjay Keer's Ambedkar, pp. 399, as referred to in the Free Press Journal, November 28, 1947.
55. Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Part I, p.459.
56. Francois Gautier, Learning from History, The Pioneer, New Delhi, September 3, 2003.
58. G. Parthasarthy, 'Pakistan's guns and poses', The Pioneer, New Delhi, September 11, 2003.
59. Rizwan Salim, Heritage - What the invaders really did, the Sunday Hindustan Times, December 28, 1997.
62. Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, part I, p. 480, Source: Watters, i.340.
63. Ibid, p. 441.
67. Ibid, p. 528.
68. Ibid, p. 528, Source: Monier Williams, 183-4.
69. Rizwan Salim, Heritage - What the invaders really did, the Sunday Hindustan Times, New Delhi, December 28, 1997.
72. Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, part I, p.462.
73. 'Population Control - it is killing us!' The reality behind the overpopulation myth: Source: http://www.cqnet.com.au/-user/dancasey/Population_control.html
76. Ibid, Source: Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute, March 13, 2002.
77. A.P., Bric by bric - How the world will change, The Business Standard, New Delhi, October 16, 2003, p.7.
80. Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam, Holy War and Unholy Terror, p. 85.
82. Jonas Widgren, the statement made at the Stability Pact Regional meeting on Co-operation in South Eastern Europe to Stabilize Population Movement, Tirana, December 12-13, 2002 (source: www.icmpd.org)
Ram K. Ohri is a retired senior police officer of the Indian Police
Service (IPS) and author of "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect"
and "The Bell Tolls: Tomorrow's Truncated India."
This is Chapter 7 of Mr. Ohri's book, "Long March Of Islam: Future Imperfect". Chapter 1 was printed in the September-October 2009 issue of Think-Israel. It is available here. Subsequent chapters were posted, one per issue. The book was published by Manas Publications in New Delhi in 2004. Its ISBN # is 817049186X. It is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc. Mr. Ohri writes that the book is "Dedicated to my sweet grand daughters, Saloni and Jaisal and my soulmate, Pushpa."
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