Hindu population in India on decline: EAC-PM report

— Muslims grew by 43 %, also rise in minorities in India

New Delhi: A study by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) has revealed a decline in the Hindu population in India, while minority groups such as Muslims, Christians, and Sikhs are on the rise, according to media reports.

The report indicates that the population share of Hindus, the majority religion in India, has decreased by 7.8% between 1950 and 2015, dropping from 84% to 78%.

In contrast, the Muslim population grew from 9.84% to 14.09%, Christians from 2.24% to 2.36%, Sikhs from 1.24% to 1.85%, and Buddhists from 0.05% to 0.81%.

However, the Jain and Parsi communities, also part of the minority population, witnessed a decline in numbers. The Jain population decreased from 0.45% to 0.36%, while Parsis declined by 85% from 0.03% to 0.0004%.

EAC-PM member Shamika Ravi stated, as quoted by The Indian Express, “The change in the proportion of minorities as a share of the total population serves as a reliable proxy for the status of minorities in a country, which is fostered via policies including defining minorities, which itself is a rate practice globally.”

The authors of the study highlighted that India’s performance aligns with larger global trends. They stated, “Contrary to the noise in several quarters, careful analysis of the data shows that minorities are not just protected, but indeed thriving in India.”

While the reasons behind the increase in the minority population could be varied, including migration and conversion, the authors focused on the share of the minority population as a cumulative outcome measure of their well-being.

“A society that provides a congenial environment for the flourishing of minorities is more likely to witness an increase or stabilization in their numbers over a period of three generations,” the authors noted.

They added, “Conversely, a society that creates a hostile environment for minorities and/or denies them access to public goods and services is more likely to witness a decrease in their share of the overall total population. The nature and extent of change in the share of the minority population in a country is therefore a strong indicator of their relative well-being within a country.”

Additionally, Hindus as the majority religion saw a decline in its share by 3.6% in Nepal, according to the study.

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