An Old Vicious Stereotype is Peddled Again, Against Muslims, Belying Facts

“Hum paanch, hamare pachees” – Narendra Modi himself mocked the Muslim community.

Modi against Muslims

“HUM paanch, Hamare pachees” – Narendra Modi himself mocked the Muslim community. The slogan ‘Hum do hamare do’ (we two, our two) implied a couple of wife and husband having two children. Modi meant that a Muslim man generally was having four wives, this counted to five and these five persons were having a total twenty-five children. The then chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi made this comment in 2002. In February of that year, we witnessed the carnage in Gujarat after Godhra incident.  The election was after few months.  In several places, he was delivering speeches at that time. On the issue of not providing relief camps for Muslims after the carnage, he simply replied – “What should I do? Run relief camps for them? Do we want to have baby producing centres?” Interestingly, a chief minister who had taken oath under constitution had been mocking an entire community of his state (about 9 per cent of population) and isolating this community from the rest people of Gujarat by branding them as ‘them’.

Generally, this campaign is still going on that a Muslim man has four wives, and several children and that is leading to the high population growth of Muslims. It is true that one Muslim man can have four wives at a time, according to their religion and also the law. Many people believe that most Muslim men are doing that. According to 2011 census report, the number of total married Muslim men was about 3 crores and 61 lakhs. If each of them had four wives, then the total number of married Muslim women could count about 14 crores and 44 lakhs, which was far above the population of Muslim women in total (about 8 crores 40 lakhs) in 2011. This total population included the baby girl who was born even one day before. Thus, if even we arrange the marriage of the girl born yesterday with a Muslim man, it is not possible to supply four wives to each Muslim man.

Census data provides us the religious wise number of married men and women. Obviously, each of the total married women is a wife of a married man. If we calculate the average from census data, we can see that per 1000 married Muslim men, there were 1043 married women, according to 2011 census.  It implies among these 1043 women, there were 43 women who had husbands having more than one wife.  The Muslim men who had more than one wife, if each of them had four wives, then about 14-15  among 1000 Muslim married men had four wives, which was just  1.43 per cent. It implies that almost 99 per cent of Muslim men did not take the opportunity of four wives provided by the law and their religion.  Thus, the comment “Hum paanch” is a blatant lie.

What about the men of other religions, where both religion and law do not allow more than one wife? Do any of them have more than one wife? If so, how many? If we look at Table-1, we can see that men of different religions had more than one wife in accordance to 2011 census. Consider the case of Hindu, per 1000 married men there were 1019 married women in 2011. This could not happen unless there were some men who had more than one wife. Those who had more than one wife, if each of them had only two wives, then 19 among 1000 married Hindu men had two wives, which was prohibited according to the law and their religion. RSS is campaigning ‘Ghar wapsi’ and ‘Love Jihad’ to bring back the Hindu girls who married Muslims, but why is BJP not thinking about the conditions of these 19 distressed Hindu women,  whose marriages were completely illegal and they were debarred from getting any legal right as wives?

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Modi mocked the Muslims – “Hamare Pachees” implying a Muslim man’s four wives generally give birth to 25 children. If we take the average of this 25, we may say that one wife has seven and each of the rest three has six children. However, Modi associates did not stick to only 6-7. On January 7, 2015, BJP MP from Unnao,  Sakshi Maharaj said in a meeting in Meerut hinting at Muslims –“The concept of four wives and forty children just won’t work in India”, thus implying that each Muslim woman is giving birth of 10 children. He continued in the same speech by addressing the Hindu women – “It is high time that every Hindu woman must produce at least four children to protect the Hindu religion”, as if the task of Hindu women is only to give births! Other leaders of BJP also think so. Hitler in Nazi regime also opined like that. In 1943, a law was discussed among Nazi leaders that all women – married or single – should have four children, though this law never came into being.  In 1929, Joseph Goebbels wrote – “The mission of women is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world. This is not at all as…unmodern as it sounds. The female bird pretties herself for her mate and hatches eggs for him. In exchange, the male takes care of gathering food…”

Is it a fact that on an average a Muslim woman gives birth to 6-7 or 10 children today? The answer is – no, according to census report of 2011. In the census report, we get figures of number of ever married women of different religions and the number of their surviving children. Thus, we can get the average number of surviving children per ever married woman. Table 2 shows the average number of surviving children per woman of different religions. It can be observed that the average number of surviving children per woman lies between 2 and 3 for all religions including Muslim, though it is higher in case of Muslim. But the story of 6-7 or 10 children per woman as stated by Modi or Sakshi Maharaj is absolutely false.

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One point must be mentioned here. The relation between a woman and a man, the birth of their child, the rearing of their child, generally all come from a passionate emotional relation and a social responsibility. It does not resemble to that of the lives of other animals.  Specially, in our country, it is absolutely true where the parents take lot of responsibility in the growing of their child. In that case, counting the children per head as generally done in case of other animals is a matter of bad taste. Even if we do that, generally for all animals, the number of future children is estimated by counting the female animals, not the male. Suppose, if anyone keeps cows, dogs or other animals, then he or she estimates the expected number of future animals by counting the females. How many calves will be born in a cowshed is estimated by the number of cows, not by the number of bullocks. But Modi, Sakshi Mharaj and other BJP leaders start their counts with the male gender! The matter did not end here. On September 22, 2002, Modi moved from ‘Hum paanch and hamare pachees’ to ‘Paanch na pachees ane pachees na 625’, which translates into ‘from five to 25 and from 25 to 625’. What the arithmetic is! Even if Modi’s ‘Hum paanch, hamare pachees’ had been true, to go to 625 from these 25, each of these 25 has to be male child, not female. Unfortunate for our country, Modi could deliver these speeches easily and many people accepted those. It is an extreme outcome of supremacy of male in a patriarchal feudal society.

In 2001 census, the Hindu and Muslim population was 80.45 per cent and 13.43 per cent respectively. In 2011 census, it changes to 79.8 per cent and 14.2 per cent. There is a campaign by the BJP leaders including Modi that many infiltrators are coming from outside countries, specially Bangladesh to India, causing the increase in Muslim population. Nothing is published till date in 2011 census about the illegal immigrants in India. Census in 2001 reported that there were 3,084,826 people in India who came from Bangladesh . Obviously, all of them were not Muslims.  Even if we consider that all these 30 lakhs people were Muslims, that counts to only 2.2 there of total Muslim population.  Even if we deduct this number from the total, the Muslim population could have been decreased very slightly from 13.43 per cent to 13.06 per cent in 2001. Thus, the theory of infiltration to increase the Muslim population is entirely wrong. Still, BJP often campaigns about this infiltration in high dose. In the last parliament election, Modi himself used to do this very strongly, specially in the border districts of Bengal.

As stated, the percentage of Muslims has increased slightly between 2001 to 2011 (13.43 per cent to 14.2 per cent). It is true that Muslim population is increasing at higher rate. According to 2001 and 2011 census, the number of Hindus and Muslims has increased at the rate of 17 per cent and 25 per cent respectively between 2001 to 2011. Why is this rate of increase in case of Muslims higher? The reason for this can be easily observed from Table 2. It can be seen that the tendency of giving births is higher in case of Muslim women (surviving children per Muslim woman was 2.82 in 2011). One reason for it may be that the consciousness about birth control is comparatively lagging behind in Muslim society. Generally, a society having backwardness is lacking the consciousness about birth control. There is no doubt from the statistical figures and also from Sachar committee report that Muslims are lagging behind socially and economically.  Some states in the southern India which are ahead in education, say for example Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the number of surviving children per woman is 2.20 and 1.98 respectively – well below the national average. Obviously, the consciousness about birth control is at higher level in these states. But the records also show that this consciousness about birth control is also increasing in case of Muslims.  Because, in 2001, the number of surviving children per ever married Muslim woman was 3.15, and it decreased to 2.82 in 2011. In several foreign countries, research was done about the tendency of giving births among women. It was observed in some papers that this tendency is low among the working women. The number of working women is very low in Muslim community. This may be one reason of increasing fertility rate in case of Muslim women.

But, the question is, is it true that Muslims are going to be a majority in near future as campaigned by the RSS? If so, how far is this near future?  Even if we consider that the present rate of increase in population will continue in the coming years, then the Muslims will be a majority in 272 years after 2011 – that is in 2283. If we go 272 years back from 2011, we get the year 1739 – even before the British period.  In these 272 years, not only our country, the world has changed a lot. Railways was not invented at that time.  Michael Farady invented electric motor in 1821 – 82 years after 1739.  We witnessed the invention of so many things and incidences in the last century – aeroplanes, televisions, computers, mobiles, the journey to space, two world wars, etc. In our country, we also witnessed many changes in the last century – the independence, the partition of the country, etc.  There is no doubt that the world will change at an unprecedented speed in the next 200 years than that happened in the last 200 years. Will there be a BJP party in the year 2283?  Moreover, if the population growth continues to increase at this rate, in 2283 the population of India will be 10,230 crores – 14 times of world’s present population. Can we imagine it? Thus the verdict to chase Muslims or produce four children per Hindu woman on this plea that the Muslims are going to be a majority after 266 years from now, is simply unacceptable. We must have to foil all the ill political motives of the RSS and the BJP behind these unscientific, illogical and nonsensical talks.     

Disclaimer: The views expressed here are the author's personal views, and do not necessarily represent the views of Sabranginia



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