The ruling party in India is set to release crucial religious data of census 2011, which was allegedly kept under wraps by the previous government.
“The computation of the religious data is under process and it is expected to be released shortly,” said a senior home ministry official.
According to National Democratic Alliance (NDA), data collected during the previous census revealed a significant growth in India’s Muslim population. While the former government, led by United Progressive Alliance, chose to release figures of socio-economic and other indicators, it decided against releasing religious data, explained the official.
Bharatya Janta Party (BJP), the then opposition and current majority party, criticized Congress for deceiving the common man and demanded that they release all the demographic data.
NDA’s decision to publish data of census 2011 comes amidst controversial statements recently made by BJP leaders. Earlier, Sakshi Maharaj, a member of parliament from BJP, had said the time had come for Hindu women to produce more children than their Muslim counterparts in order to protect Hinduism. While BJP defended several other comments made by Maharaj, after this particular incident, the party distanced itself from him and served him a show-cause notice. BJP’s radical offshoots, including Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, have been promoting the Ghar Wapasi program in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. The rightwing offshoots were reportedly promising monetary incentives to Hindus and Dalit Christians for bearing more children and converting to Hinduism respectively. As a matter of fact, Union Minister Venkaiah Naidu drew attention to the current situation in parliament during the previous session, saying there was a growing need for anti-conversion laws to be implemented by state governments as well as the central government.
Photo Credits: The Hindu