A recent study conducted by the Indian national government demystified the narrative of a replacement theory peddled by Hindutva figureheads.
Like their American counterparts, extreme right-wing nationalists in India are convinced that Muslims are taking over their country. And that Indians are being slowly ousted from their rightful place, despite being the majority.
Yati Narsinghanand, an ultra-conservative Hindutva figure, warned his followers to take action now or suffer a "Muslim prime minister in 2029."
"The way their population increases, there will be a Muslim prime minister in 2029," Narsinghanand said. "Once that happens, 50% of Hindus will have to undergo a religious conversion, and 40% will be killed," he prophesized.
Narsinghanand is currently out on bail after being arrested for hate speech. He was arrested following Waseem Rizvi, another Hindutva figure.
Narsinghanand's claims echo the western replacement theory embraced by western right-wing groups, including white nationalists. Both India's Hindutva and Western nationalists justify their hatred and violence against minorities through this conspiracy theory.
In 2017, in a blatant display of occultism and false nationalism, a group of far-right extremists gathered for a "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The rally ended up in violence after scores of its attendees attacked peaceful counter-protesters.
The group, which consisted of white male Christians, chanted, "Jews will not replace us."
But Narsinghanand and other Hindutva accusations are breaking down in the face of the newly released report by India's government.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS), conducted by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, revealed a truth starkly contrasting the great replacement narrative.
According to the recent release of NFHS, which covered 2019 to 2021, the Muslim fertility rate has declined in the last six years. Although the figure published in NFHS indicates that Muslim birth rates in India are higher than the national average, the trend shows that the number is steadily declining.
The NFHS is also compounded by a similar report published by the Pew Research Center in 2021. According to Pew, Muslim birth rates are also dropping.
Although the Pew study indicated that the birth rates across different religious groups in India are declining, the number of Muslim children born is falling faster than the number of Hindus. "The gaps in childbearing between India's religious groups are generally much smaller than they used to be," the study reported.
Shahabuddin Yaqoob Quraishi, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India, dismissed the great replacement theory claims. "It's clear as daylight: the idea that Muslims will become India's biggest community is a total hoax," Quraishi said in his book, The Population Myth.
Stephanie Kramer, a senior researcher at Pew Research Center specializing in religion through her report published in 2021, said, "Hindus remain the large majority in India."