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Monday, August 24, 2015

Muslim population in Indian states, percentage as per Census 2011 report on religions: UP, West Bengal, Bihar have largest Muslim concentration

The population of Muslims in India is slightly more than 14.2%. The last census was conducted in 2011 but the figures about religions were not disclosed till as late as 2015.

There is lot of confusion about figures of Muslims in Indian states. The reason is that various reports are cited including estimates of United States (US) agencies and other international organisations like PEW group.

Also, there is a trend of 'exaggeration' among sections of Muslims, which creates misconceptions. We must know the figures as per the census report. Here is the Muslim population in different states as per the government of India's official figures.

Muslim population is highest in Uttar Pradesh, which is home to 3.84 crore Muslims but they account for nearly 19.5% of the population of the state, followed by West Bengal,  Bihar, Maharashtra, Assam and Kerala.

The percentage of Muslims is highest in Jammu-Kashmir among big states and in Lakshadwip among the union territories. These are figures as per census 2011, and the current figure would be slightly high. The next census will take place in 2021.

State                                         Muslim population [Figures as per Census 2011]

Uttar Pradesh                            3.84 crore
West Bengal                              2.46 crore
Bihar                                        1.75 crore
Maharashtra                              1.29 crore
Assam                                      1.06 crore

Kerala                                        88 lakh
Jammu and Kashmir                    85 lakh
*Andhra Pradesh+Telangana        81 lakh
Karnataka                                  78 lakh
Rajasthan                                   62 lakh

Gujarat                                       58 lakh
Madhya Pradesh                          47.7 lakh
Jharkhand                                   47 lakh
Tamil Nadu                                 42.5 lakh
Delhi                                          21.5 lakh

Haryana                                       17.8 lakh
Uttarakhand                                 14 lakh
Odisha                                         9.1 lakh
Punjab                                         5.26 lakh
Chhattisgarh                                5.1 lakh

[Lakshadweep has a small population, just 64,000, but it is predominantly Muslim]    


India's population: 121.09 crore [1.21 billion]
Hindus    96.63 crore   (79.8%)
Muslims  17.22 crore   (14.2%)
Christian 2.78 crores (2.3 per cent)
Sikh 2.08 crores (1.7 per cent)
Buddhist 84 lakh (0.7 per cent)
Jain 45 lakh (0.4 per cent)
Other religions and persuasions (ORP) 0.79 crores (0.7 per cent) 
Religion not stated 0.29 crores (0.2 per cent)

BIG FIVE STATES: Maximum Muslim population is in these states

The big five are UP, WB, Bihar, Maharashtra and Assam--each having more than 1 crore or 10 million Muslims. The states that have 5-10 million Muslims include Kerala, Jammu Kashmir, Karnataka, Rajasthan.

Then comes, the states that have 20-50 lakh Muslims [2-5 million]. They include Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Delhi. Next come, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Tripura.

But even states like Haryana, Orissa (now Odisha) and Punjab that have lesser Muslims, often have cities, towns and regions that have a strong Muslim concentration or Muslim dominated pockets where the impact of Muslims on local culture is quite visible.                

The states and union territories that come later in the list include Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Manipur, Meghalaya, Goa, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Andaman Nicobar, Daman and Diu, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Chandigarh et al.

[*Jointly, Andhra Pradesh+Telangana, population in Census 2011 was 8.45 crore, which meant there were 81 lakh Muslims (9.6%). Andhra is a bigger state in terms of population but has less Muslim percent. Telangana has a higher Muslim population than Andhra. After bifurcation, the religious population hasn't been officially known for both states].

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Eyes on Muslim population in Bihar: Will 1.75 crore Muslims tilt the balance in 2015 Assembly election?

As the crucial election for Bihar assembly approaches, the focus is on the Muslim electorate in the state.

The question is will Bihar Muslims solidly support the Nitish Kumar-led JDU-RJD coalition.

Or will Asaduddin Owaisi's entry into the state would lead to polarisation on communal lines.

Owaisi has targeted Seemanchal, a backward region that has a huge Muslim population, for his rally.

MIM's entry has energised a section of Muslim youth. There is a chance that in Seemanchal, there will be an affect on JDU-RJD's prospects because of Majlis. The possibility is that it will not only divide Muslim but will also lead to consolidation of BJP's core vote?

Bihar has over 1.75 crore Muslims, accounting for 17% population in State

Bihar has the third highest population of Muslims in the country, after Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Bengal (in numbers, not percentage). While UP has over 4 crore Muslims and Bengal has 2.45 crore Muslims.

As per 2011 census, population of  Bihar was 10.41 crore. The percentage of Muslims as per the latest census (religious figures released only a few months ago), the percentage was around 16.9 (roughly 17).

Till now, it was believed that Muslims would vote en bloc for the RJD-JDU-Congress coalition.

Hence, it was felt that their vote would not be divided unlike past when minorities' votes were divided between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal.

But, jointly, JDU-RJD-Congress have a support of over 50% electorate--at least, on paper.

It gives them the edge, as reflected in opinion polls too. However, the coming few weeks would determine if the 'secular forces' would take off or lose steam.

The BJP campaign is led by none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He is using his oratory and his tested skills to capture the imagination of the Biharis. A few more weeks and we will find out whom Bihar electorate hand over reins of the State.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Top ten news websites in India: New Media challenges existing media with faster news, fresh perspective

These are exciting times in Indian journalism. The 'New Media' is emerging and is throwing a major challenge to existing media--traditional newspapers and TV channels.

Major newspapers whose websites earlier cornered a large chunk of the news traffic on internet, are now facing a tough competition.

There are several reasons for it. Read ten points on, 'The Good and The Bad about New Media', here:

1. Unlike traditional media, the newsrooms here work at a fast pace and news is delivered instantly.

2. These sites provide you with fresh, alternative perspective. There are more Op-Ed pieces and individuals with a flair for writing, who didn't get space in print earlier, get published.

3. There are less restrictions in New Media. Things which people wanted to talk or hear about but that was sanitised and censored in traditional media, gets splashed in New Media.

4. Stories are being told differently. There is more creativity visible in headlines too.

5. There is no space restriction. If someone writes brilliantly and the stuff is really interesting, then he/she can write 2,000-5,000 words and it would be published.

6. Interesting information that was earlier kept aside for columns or diary items, is being packaged well in the story form and delivered instantly. This is putting up pressure on traditional media.

7. Unlike traditional media, New Media doesn't need a huge staff. Often, a small but dedicated team of talented people, can come up with creative headlines or an interesting twist that grab eyeballs.

8. Another positive aspect is that the monopoly of big media houses is ending. There are less 'holy cows' and fewer 'taboos'. Also, emergence of New Media brings more opportunities to journalists and hence people won't shy away from writing about big media houses, which was avoided till now.

9. It is not that everything is going great. There is sloppy reporting too. Just having a couple of talented persons doesn't compensate for a nationwide network. As a result, insight is often missing about stories in states that are far away from Delhi, Mumbai.

10. In fact, many incidents that require serious reporting don't get reported well, because the New Media either doesn't have enough resources or sends a reporter to the town much later, and he/she gets filtered information from secondary sources.

Good journalism requires good money. Unless you invest in human resources--pay your correspondent or stringer well, you can't get quality stuff all the time. Some of these New Media websites have good financial backing, while others have limited funds at disposal.

Ten Top New Media Websites

All these websites are different in the way they present news. If there is a major political happening, Scroll.in may provide you an insightful article and historical perspective. The Quint breaks a story about a VVIP's demise, much before others even think of 'breaking' the news.

The Wire tells stories at length and the editor's long experience is visible in the stories. Twocircles.Net has been there for quite long and pitches itself as voice of the marginalised.

There can be interesting opinion pieces on DailyO. TheNewsMinute focuses specially on Southern States. FirstPost is in a different league because it is flush with funds and despite its ideological bent, it has refreshing opinion pieces.

Countercurrents has been there for long but not given the due credit. There are other sites too that haven't been mentioned here. The best part about New Media is that now news can't be stopped. If any one gets air about it, they would run it, without sitting on the information.



The Quint

The Wire

First Post

The News Minute





Monday, July 27, 2015

Boatman's son who became President of India: Technocrat-turn-leader APJ Abdul Kalam who inspired millions is no more

Former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam, an iconic figure in India, and a technocrat-turn-leader who inspired millions of people, especially, the children, passed away in Shillong on July 27.

Kalam was 83. He was recipient of India's highest honour, Bharat Ratna.

He had gone to North East, and was delivering a lecture at IIM, when he suddenly collapsed. Doctors said that it was a massive heart attack, which caused his death.

Avul Pakir Jainul Abideen Abdul Kalam was born in Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu in 1931. His father was a boat owner. Kalam had worked from early childhood and distributed newspapers to supplement to the family's income.


A bright student, he studied Aerospace engineering and went on to join DRDO as scientist. Later, he joined ISRO. The development of Missiles like Agni and Prithvi during his tenure, brought the title 'Missile Man' to him.

In the 90s, he headed DRDO and was also the chief scientific advisor to the Prime Minister. He went on to become President of India. Kalam went on to become one of the most popular leaders in post-liberalised India.


In fact, he managed to have a connect with the students, especially, children, which no one has had, probably, after first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Kalam was also lovingly called 'chacha' by kids who felt inspired by him.

There are few people in the history of modern India, who have been loved so much. While India has had far more popular politicians, it has had few 'leaders' who have been loved so much. People from all sides of the political spectrum liked him.


When Kalam would visit schools, kids would flock to see him. He motivated them, gave them dreams.  His autobiography 'Wings of Fire' has been a permanent best seller. There was something in Kalam, which made everybody admire him.

A humble man, his first love was 'educating' students. Dr Kalam never cared much about protocol and remained active till his last breath. He travelled across the country, interacting with people. During his tenure at President too, he acted like a 'People's president'.


In an era, when politicians invited scorn, Kalam emerged as a true leader, someone young generation could look up to. Even those who look at every thing from religious angle, looked at him differently. There was a blend of innocence and charisma in his personality.

APJ Abdul Kalam has left an indelible mark on the minds of countless Indians, and there is no doubt at all that he is one of the greatest Indians ever, who will continue to inspire generations and who can never be forgotten.

Can we have another leader like him? That's the toughest question. Rest In Peace, Kalam Sahab, for you were the real leader, a person who wanted India to achieve progress, who wanted children to dream big and turn their dreams into reality.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Opposing death penalty doesn't mean support for Yakub Memon: State influences delivery of justice after verdicts, create perception of bias

(C) Indscribe

Firstly, let me make it very clear that opposing death penalty doesn't mean that it is a voice in support of Yakub Memon.

It is simply against death penalty to him. Keep him in jail for the rest of his life, just like others.

But here you are are baying for his blood, while going extra-mile to save other hard-core terrorists' lives.

The yardsticks are not the same, not at all. Rules are soft for one set of people, tough for another set, though crimes are same.

There are a host of reasons why death penalty is being opposed vehemently in this case.

People from all cross-sections are opposing it, not just those who are Muslims.

And, as a democracy we should be mature enough to listen to dissent and voices opposing a decision.

Death penalty has been abolished in around 100 countries, and there are individuals who oppose it on principles.

It is also a fact that people from certain sections get death, others don't. A major factor is poor financial condition as person can't afford lawyers. As many as 94% who got death penalty in India were either Dalits or Minorities.


1. But there is another big issue. State plays a major role in it. They can definitely influence the processes that can delay investigation and the judicial process. Further, they can stop or delay executions.

2. All those including killers of our former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the man who assassinated former chief minister of Punjab Beant Singh, the person involved in bomb blast killing 9 persons in Delhi, were NOT HANGED, because the state governments didn't want them hanged.

It's so easy. They can delay it for years and years. Governments finally decide it, even after court verdicts.

3. The 'nationalist' BJP has an alliance with the Akali Dal in Punjab, so it can be 'tough on terror' but that's pure nonsense as we all know, how it is complicit in saving others in Punjab.

It never made an issue about Rajiv Gandhi killers as it didn't want to anger Dravidian parties, whose support it needed for alliance at national level.

But in Maharashtra, it wants to hang Yakub Memon, fast, as soon as possible. So law is applied selectively.

4. Courts give verdicts but governments have their own privileges and ways to delay or speed up the executions. Is that fair?

The State--the might of the establishment, through prosecution, investigating agencies, can speed up or slow down any case.

In the case of Babri Masjid demolition, CBI has failed to convict anyone till now. The situation is same in Mumbai riots 1992-93.

Travesty of Justice

5. Cases of massacres and riots seldom reach the stage where the perpetrators could be convicted. Unimaginable things happen in case of mass killers like Babu Bajrangi and Maya Kodnani. They don't get death penalty, fine.

But, they are even saved from jail terms, as they get released on parole due to 'State'. The officials in the government and jail, allow parole and don't appeal against relaxations in their cases, even if it is a double lifer.

6. So people like Kodnani and Babu Bajrangi even come out of jails within a short time (on parole) after they are convicted (28 yr sentence to Kodnani, yet she gets released). State doesn't oppose, it is helping them. Other prisoners can't think of such relaxations. Is that fair? Where is justice, now?

7. In the case of Rajiv Gandhi's killers, state governments in Tamil Nadu stood up for them. Even J Jayalalitha tried to release them. In the case of Balwant Singh Rajoana, the jail authorities refused to hang him, as the entire state was behind him.

Similarly, in the case of Bhullar norms were violated and now he has been shifted to a comfortable jail in Punjab. The death sentence was not executed for years, through delaying tactics, and hence Supreme Court, commuted it.

8. Governments can play with the law, it's a fact. Those who are not in government, can't do it, naturally.

This gives a sense of victim-hood. So much concern is shown for poor health of Kodnani, loss of vision of Babu Bajrangi, but not slight mercy to let Afzal Guru meet his wife and kid, last time before death!

It is a fact that there is a perception building up among Muslims that it is unfair to hand Yakub Memon, who had cooperated with Indian authorities, and came to India.

So Maharashtra government, the 'rashtrawadi' [self-styled nationalist] won't delay, rather, hang him readily.

Congress can't speak up for Memon, as it long back fell into the BJP's 'nationalist' trap. So in UPA tenure, it had to hang Kasab and Afzal Guru, fast, so that BJP couldn't have political gains. Memon has no one to back him.

9. No wonder, when MIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi speaks, there is immediate response from 'bhakts' is that he is supporting 'terrorist'. No, this is against death penalty to him.

Many people don't want death penalty and feel that there is injustice in this case and they feel just Owaisi is speaking what they feel. Is that a good scenario, when people have such a strong perception of state bias?

[Do we need to remind you that Muslims don't even allow terrorist's burial on the soil of Hindustan. How can you forget this?]

10. Then, the media, particularly, loud TV channels create majoritarian opinion--refusing to give space to the 'other', plays a major role in deciding who gets death sentence and who doesn't. Alternative opinion must also be heard.

Investigating agencies failed to catch the main perpetrators in the Mumbai blasts case. Yakub Memon's entire family came back, and Menon, through a certain dealing with investigating agencies, with a trust on Indian state, its judicial process, and his coming to India (with his entire family), helped India in its case against Pakistan on the international forum.

When governments, through the might of the state, influence justice after the verdicts, it is also contempt of court. Law is blind, but the courts aren't deaf. It is time they hear the voices, take note of how governments misuse their powers in influencing justice.

1. 94% who get death penalty are Dalits, minorities Link
2. Kodnani, Bajrangi get released from jails on 'medical grounds'. Link
3. B Raman's article. First rediff introductory Link & then the article Link
4. Jailer had refused to hang Rajoana Link

Monday, July 20, 2015

Politicians' iftaar angers right-wingers: Is there a world beyond the word 'appeasement' in India?

Some people are unhappy with Indian politicians attending 'iftaars', especially, about the politicians who wear the skullcap (topi).

It is disturbing to see so much anger on social media and abusive messages about these politicians.

The anger is because they feel hosting 'iftaar' is appeasement of Muslims. A guy reacted, "Look, why don't they attend Hindu functions?"

He didn't realise that the politicians attend so many religious functions of the majority community--at least in North India, that it is no longer news.

From Bhagwat Katha to the Dussehra celebration, 'praan-pratishtha' to 'yagnas', they attend every religious function. This is natural because Hindus form the majority.

The 'iftaar' is hosted once a year, and hence it becomes news, the photos are splashed in media. The other guy said, 'Why should Muslims' be entertained separately'.

They are not entertained, buddy, there is something called multi-culturalism and goodwill gestures. Incidentally, he is the same guy who was delighted when US president hosted Diwali party and had posted the video on his Facebook wall. 

Why Barack Obama does it? Hindus are a minority in US, is it appeasement? No. There are certain basics, a few courtesies, decencies. I may not like it but I won't oppose it either. Another guy was upset that these politicians wear 'topis'.

He tweeted that why Muslims don't sport 'tilak'. If you haven't seen a Muslim politician sporting 'tilak', then that's your issue! When confronted with photographs of Muslim leaders sporting 'tilak', there was no answer, rather, a query comes quickly about other forms of appeasement.

To set the record straight, Hindus are six times the number of Muslims in India. And when it comes to politicians, the ratio is even more skewed. So you will see more Hindus politicians than Muslim politicians.

But if you start observing carefully the next time, a Muslim MLA or MP goes for campaign in your area, you may surely see some of them breaking coconuts, going to temples, seeking blessings of the priests. 
Upset with politicians for wearing topi, say no Muslim would ever sport 'tilak' but when confronted with photographs of Muslim politicians with 'tilak', there is a another accusation of appeasement of other kind..
Others zealously shared a report on a Hindi website that dealt entire with 'iftaar' and 'appeasement'. It expressed concern that politicians were not going to Christian and Sikh events. This is plain stupid. In areas where Christian and Sikh minorities are significant, the politicians go to there events too.

The politician is a human being too, he lives in the society, he is expected to interact with all sections of the society. I don't go to any politician's iftaar. It's my choice. Some 'right-wing' leaders host 'iftaar' because of their relations with Muslims, while many leaders popular among Muslims don't do it.....


....it's totally up to them. But, at least, show some basic intelligence, before talking about 'appeasement'. So what's appeasement? Whatever happens as per your ideology, vision, experience and intellect, is fine but whatever is beyond that, is appeasement! Isn't it!

Sorry, things don't work that way. The country and the world can't run like your household or my household.

Ending this post with a photograph from our neighbouring country, where Muslim politicians seek blessings from Hindu gods, yes, in Pakistan.